The main goal of OtterBox’s iPod Classic Armor is serious protection, and seriously-protect it does, using the same design and construction as the iPod Nano 3rd Gen Armor Case we previously reviewed. The case covers every inch of the iPod in a thick shell of hard, transparent plastic, guarding its cosmetic integrity and providing shock protecting against even gut-wrenching falls and bumps–the Armor is even waterproof to a 3-foot depth. Once you’ve slid your iPod classic into the case, where it connects to a headphone plug inside, the case is secured by a plastic, locking clasp that seals the front and back pieces together. You plug your headphones into the case’s own headphone jack on top.
Your iPod’s Click Wheel is protected by a thin, but still sturdy, membrane that allows for easy–easier than the Classic Cube, at least–control of the Wheel and its buttons. The back of the case has a removable belt clip that you can also use to manage your headphone’s cable; there are also two slots for the included lanyard. To accommodate for the size differences between the 80GB and 160GB iPod classic models, OtterBox includes a piece of adhesive foam that affixes to the inside of the Armor for use with the thinner 80GB model.
The case’s huge bulk, at 3 by 1 by 5.7 inches, is its biggest (no pun intended) weakness, eliminating the practicality of the case for use as a regular in-your-pocket iPod protector. Instead, the Armor is targeted specifically at users who will bring their iPods into situations where an unprotected device would otherwise be doomed; for example, kayaking, beach-combing, and mountain-biking.