OtterBox for iPod Shuffle
Company: Otter Products, LLC
I’ve been spending a fair amount of time enjoying my iPod Shuffle, as in running with it, exercising with it, working around the house and yard with it, really giving it a workout. Doing all of this can have an impact upon the iPod, as in running/exercising and sweating all over the place or getting a bit wet when the summer thunderstorms pass through the area in the late afternoon or early evening.
So I was a bit interested when Otter Products came out with an OtterBox case for the Shuffle. Designed of clear polycarbonate, the case is waterproof, dustproof, dropproof, sandproof and very rugged. (heck, it’s even Russ-proof…) A flexible, rubber button on the front permits the use of all the shuffle’s functions. The clear back panel allows the user to see the shuffle’s playback position and the battery check light. The back of the case also has a rubber button that permits the user to perform a battery check on the unit.
The case is designed to nestle the iPod in a rubber cushion that provides drop protection to the iPod. The case also has a waterproof external headphone jack that permits the use of any headphone with a standard mini-stereo plug. Think of the case as a rectangular clam, hinged at one end, and when you open it up, you insert your iPod into it, placing the stereo jack that is inside the case into the earpiece jack that’s on your iPod. You then close the case and secure it by closing the latch on the other end. Simple and foolproof.
The case is also waterproof up to 3 feet (1 meter) and if you can find a reasonably priced set of waterproof headphones, you can even go swimming with your iPod! Why one would do that is a bit beyond my understanding but there are diehard iPod users who would probably love the chance to do that. My own test of the OtterBox’s capability to withstand water was to fill the inside of the OtterBox with folded tissue and then drop it into a 5-gallon bucket. When I came back about 10 minutes later and removed it, the tissue was bone dry, no water leaks. That’s when I decided to let my Shuffle take a dive in the OtterBox and after 5 minutes, again I found things bone dry. (Phew! Thank you OtterBox…)
Now I’ve tried everything I could think of to test the limits of the OtterBox, again short of running it over with my car. I’ve used it running, exercising, working around the house, in all weather conditions, dropping it and listening to the iPod just sitting around in the house. No problems encountered, the Shuffle remained dry, clean and protected.
Now to take a look at what is a very minor glitch with the OtterBox. While the unit does a superb job of protecting your iPod, the only method of carrying it around with you is the lanyard that OtterBox provides you when you purchase the unit. The lanyard works great and you can wear it under a t-shirt while you’re running or working out because sweat won’t be a problem with the OtterBox. If that isn’t good enough, you can purchase an adjustable neoprene armband from OtterBox for $14.95 that does an excellent job of holding the OtterBox case and permits the plugging of headphones into the case from either end of the case holder. (Yes, I used it while working with the OtterBox and found it worked very well, was very comfortable and stayed put exactly where I positioned it on my arm) Personally, I think that the OtterBox would find a larger audience if it came with a belt clip like OtterBox provides with the other iPod cases that it sells.
So to review: + waterproof, rugged, dustproof, dropproof, and sandproof; standard headphone jack that is usable with any style headphone and an unconditional Lifetime warranty which includes replacement of the case only.
Cons: lack of belt clip.
MyMac rating: 5 out of 5
OtterBox’s Shuffle Armband-
Company: Otter Products, LLC