At a Glance
Belt clip for the iPod shuffle
The Flip Clip is one of a number of “belt clip” attachments that have recently been announced for the iPod shuffle, and the second one we’ve had the opportunity to review. Like Apple’s lanyard, the Flip Clip connects to your iPod shuffle via a “cap” that snaps onto the shuffle’s USB connector, using two ball bearings to ensure a firm grip. The light gray color of the Flip Clip is a decent match for the iPod shuffle’s gray front controls (although, oddly enough, the belt clip itself is darker gray). A thin plastic back, to which the actual belt clip is connected, covers the shuffle’s entire backside, save for an opening that allows you to access the shuffle’s Off/On/Shuffle switch — a nice touch that also features comfortable, rounded edges. The downside to this switch access is that it requires the belt clip to sit quite low; half of the shuffle’s body sits higher than the belt clip hinge. Having the clip hinge near the top edge of the iPod shuffle would make it a more secure method for attaching your shuffle to a belt or bag, as none of the shuffle’s body would protrude above the clip. In addition, the top of the clip rests directly behind the shuffle’s Volume Down button — it’s a bit too easy to accidentally depress the Volume button when pressing the top of the belt clip to open it.
My biggest criticism of the Flip Clip actually relates to its price — at $20, the Flip Clip is 1/5 the price of the 512k version of the shuffle itself. On the other hand, Apple charges $29 for its shuffle accessories, and other third-party shuffle products we’ve seen are in the $15-$20 range, although perhaps that just means that shuffle accessories in general are pricey relative to the cost of the player.
Overall, the Flip Clip is a sturdy and secure belt clip for the shuffle that makes an acceptable compromise between optimal clip placement and easy access to the shuffle’s rear controls. If you can accept its price tag, the Flip Clip is one of the best iPod shuffle belt clips we’ve seen so far.–Dan Frakes