At a Glance
AC adapter with USB port; can be used to charge 4G and newer iPods.
Sonnet’s iPod USB Power Adapter is nearly identical in appearance to i-rocks’ $9 AC/USB Power Adapter: A tiny (roughly 2″ by 1.5″ by 1.25″) plastic package, available in white or black, with a USB port at one end and a flip-out, U.S.-style AC plug at the other. Simply plug the Adapter into a wall outlet and then connect your 4G or later iPod to the Adapter’s USB port to charge it. (The iPod shuffle connects directly; other iPods use Apple’s USB dock cable.) Both Adapters support fast and “trickle” charging, and both can be used with outlets rated from 100V to 240V. (Note that use outside the U.S. may require a plug adapter, which isn’t included. A European version of Sonnet’s Adapter, which uses a European plug, is also available; however, on the European model, the plug doesn’t fold into the body of the unit.)
What’s the difference between the two adapters? A Sonnet representative told Playlist that the $20 USB Power Adapter is likely produced by the same OEM company that makes i-rocks’ $9 AC/USB Power Adapter; however, there are three differences. Electronically, a light on the face of Sonnet’s Adapter glows red during charging, changing to green when your iPod is fully charged. (Sonnet told us that they had “tweaked” the circuitry in the adapter to offer this functionality; on the i-rocks Adapter, this light simply glows green whenever the adapter is plugged into a live AC outlet.) In addition, Sonnet includes a USB dock connector cable — similar to the cable Apple sells for $20 by itself — with its Adapter. Finally, the Sonnet version is available in black or white.
Sonnet’s iPod USB Power Adapter is the most compact iPod AC adapter we’ve yet seen, and at only $20 including a dock cable, perhaps the best overall value. I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a power adapter for their iPod.–Dan Frakes