We previously reviewed OtterBox’s cases for full-size iPods, iPod minis, and iPod shuffles, awarding each of them our rare 5-Play rating. The company’s newest case, for the iPod nano, is just as impressive.
Like the other iPod OtterBoxes, you insert your nano into the case by opening the lid and sliding the iPod in until its headphone jack connects firmly to the 1/8″, stationary headphone plug inside. (An external pass-through headphone jack lets you plug in your headphones.) As you squeeze the case together and snap the latch closed, a rubber gasket forms a watertight seal around the case, providing protection from water, sand, dirt, dust — nearly everything. (The company claims the OtterBox is waterproof to 1 meter.) Rubber “bumpers” inside the case provide very good shock protection in case of drops or bumps.
(If you’re interested in submersible/waterproof headphones, OtterBox recommends those from SwimMan, available at http://swimman.net/pages/859130/index.htm.)
The OtterBox case is nearly crushproof, yet it doesn’t prevent you from controlling your iPod when inside: A thick membrane gives you full access to the nano’s Click Wheel. (The nano’s hold switch is inaccessible, as is its dock connector port.) The OtterBox’s belt clip is removable, and a $15 armband provides another carrying option. Finally, the OtterBox for nano includes a unique lanyard that attaches by inserting two rubber “T” connectors into grooves in the open case; when the case is closed, the lanyard’s connectors are locked into place.
As is the case with the larger OtterBox iPod cases, all this protection comes at a price in size: At 5.1″ x 2.2″ x 1.1″ (including the removable belt clip), the case adds a significant amount of bulk and weight to your nano. Although it’s less than the girth added to standard iPods by the full-size OtterBox model, because the nano is so slim, it seems like more.
Like the other OtterBox cases, this is the most protective iPod nano case we’ve seen, and the one we use when venturing into unforgiving environments.–Dan Frakes