At a Glance
Adapter for using 2G iPod shuffle with Universal dock accessories.
Apple’s second-generation (2G) iPod shuffle has been a big hit, because of both its tiny but functional design and its relatively low price. But perhaps the biggest drawback of the 2G shuffle is that, like its first-generation predecessor, the lack of Apple’s dock-connector port means that the shuffle is incompatible with most electronic accessories made for the iPod.
Griffin Technology offers a remedy via the Dock Adapter for iPod shuffle. The bottom of this adapter is shaped exactly like an insert for Apple’s Universal dock system, similar to those that allow different dockable iPods to fit in a Universal dock. The top of the adapter looks much like the small dock Apple includes with the 2G shuffle for syncing and charging. In other words, Griffin’s Dock Adapter lets you “dock” your 2G shuffle in any iPod accessory that uses Apple’s Universal dock design. And unlike some of the USB-to-shuffle adapters we’ve seen, which can charge and sync your shuffle but don’t pass audio through, Griffin’s Adapter can do all three, although with a minor hitch: you have to choose the appropriate mode — audio or charge/sync — via a switch on the top of the adapter. (As is the case with both Apple’s shuffle dock and several shuffle-specific speaker systems we’ve tested, the 2G shuffle sits in the Dock Adapter upside-down.)
Because it connects to the shuffle’s headphone jack — the only way to get audio out of a 2G shuffle — you have to adjust the shuffle’s own volume level to get the best output for use with dock-based speakers. And because it has no dock-connector port, the 2G shuffle can’t be controlled by such a speaker system’s remote control; you must use the shuffle’s own buttons. But the Adapter worked perfectly in my testing with a variety of iPod speaker systems (again, those using Apple’s Universal dock design).
Of course, if you’re just trying to get your 2G shuffle’s audio into a speaker system, a much less expensive solution (assuming the system provides an auxiliary-input jack) is a cheap audio cable. But if your speaker system doesn’t have such an input; if you’re trying to connect to a different type of accessory (such as an FM dock-based FM transmitter); or if you just want a less cluttered setup, the Dock Adapter is a clever solution.