Vaja’s iPod cases have traditionally been two things: (1) more expensive than most other cases; and (2) better looking and of better quality than most other cases, making #1 less of an issue than it might otherwise be. Vaja’s first offering for the iPod shuffle — a custom-fit flipcase made of very nice Argentinean leather — continues this trend. The case fits your iPod shuffle like a glove, with an opening at the bottom that accommodates most headphone plugs and still allows you to see the shuffle’s indicator light. The leather covering the shuffle’s front is thin enough that you can still press the controls underneath; small play/forward/back/up/down icons are “branded” into the leather to indicate where each button is located. The back of the case provides an opening to access the off/play/shuffle switch.
The top of the case features a leather flipcover that lets you insert and remove your shuffle. The cover also provides access to the shuffle’s USB plug — you can simply open the flipcover and fold it back to connect your shuffle to a USB port without removing the shuffle from the case. (One caveat: like any piece of leather, the flipcover will develop a crease over time as you repeatedly fold it back.) To close the flipcover, you slide it through a Vaja-logoed leather loop that looks and functions much like a belt loop. The flipcover accommodates both the shuffle’s standard USB cap and the lanyard cap, so you can carry your leather-clad shuffle in your pocket or show it off around your neck.
Vaja’s Vitelino version of the case, available in 15 color choices, uses a textured, shiny leather with matching-color stitching. The Analine version, which comes in 7 colors, features smoother, softer leather with white stitching. Whichever you choose, Vaja’s shuffle case is the nicest leather case we’ve yet seen for the shuffle — and has a price to match.–Dan Frakes