Song Sling for iPod Shuffle
Company: Mophie, Inc.
Lately I’ve been reviewing cases for the iPod Shuffle, designed to protect the Shuffle from the extremes of weather or from physical activity. For a change, I’ve had the chance to try out Mophie’s Song Sling for the iPod Shuffle.
The first thing that strikes you is the styling of the Song Sling. Coming in three colors; blue, grey or pink, the flexible holder of the iPod is attached by cord to a lanyard of the same color that enables the user to wear it around the neck, placing the iPod on the front of your body. The iPod is also positioned top down so that when you want to reach the front controls, they are right side up when you pick your iPod up to look at it. The holder is designed to just hold your iPod, not encase it in a protective covering. The second thing that strikes you is the fact that the headphones are not dangling well below your iPod. In fact, the headphones are retractable and are contained in a small 1-inch square plastic case that is part of the lanyard on each side.
While the headphones are the same as the earbuds that come with your iPod, I found that being adjustable and retractable made a big difference when one wears and uses the Song Sling. Another noticeable difference is that while they may still be earbuds, the use of a soft foam cover that you can place over the earbud piece definitely made a difference from the normal earbud in keeping the earpiece in one’s ear and not dangling down on one’s chest. I found that they remained in place even if I used the Song Sling when I went for a quick jog. No, I wouldn’t recommend the Song Sling as an athletic accessory but maybe Mophie will come up with a sports model that can withstand the harsh treatment and moisture that comes with running or exercising.
One thing to understand about the Song Sling is that it is not designed to protect your iPod. Its primary function is to carry your iPod in a stylish unit that looks good and provides the user with better functionality by way of the adjustable/retractable earphones. The unit has been well thought out to the point of even including earpiece holders on each side of the cord that links the inch-square repository of the earpiece cables to the iPod hold. When you’re not using the Song Slide, just slide the earpieces into the flexible holder to maintain your headphones in a safe position.
As for the style, I guess the best way to gauge that is by age of the user. In my testing and evaluation, twenty-somethings tended to pick the blue and pink as they choice of color for the Song Sling. The older the person asked about color choice, the more subdued (or picky) the user became. Twenty-plus-plus users seem to have picked the grey and blue more often then the pink. Maybe a few more choices in color would spread the use of the Song Sling. Testing of the Song Sling included using it during normal activities in and around the house, including walking, cleaning, reading, doing laundry, ironing, gardening, raking leaves, heck- even cooking. As long as you’re not dealing with a small child or a dog or cat that would become interested in the Song Sling as a play toy, it works in all those environments and uses. A sports model would probably be a hit with the athletic crowd, provided that the lanyard was cleanable or washable to remove any dirt or grime.
It would be interesting to see how much more play the Song Sling would get if the earbuds were replaced with in-the-ear earpieces. Overall, for a start up company and the design of an eighteen-year old entrepreneur, the Song Sling is a very nice product that has great potential. I would still recommend it for normal everyday use.
So to review: Stylish, improved use by way of the adjustable/retractable earphones, controls more readily accessible then with most other iPod holders. Mophie even provides the availability to have lanyards marked with logos or company/club name.
Cons: Not a protective case for the iPod, not designed for athletic use, comes with just the same style earbuds as provided by Apple, lanyard is not adjustable.