The Macally Icebud combines a protective pouch, a neck lanyard, and headphones for the iPod Nano or iPod Shuffle, into one product.
You may have noticed I used the word pouch instead of case. That is the term Macally uses, and I would have to agree. The product is a pouch- not a case. As a protective pouch, the Icebud will protect the iPod from scratches, fingerprints, and the like. It is made of a clear and flexible plastic material, and closes with a plastic button. The clear look allows for easy viewing of the screen, and the click wheel. I would liken the plastic material to what might be the screen protector material on some iPod cases. It is thicker than acetate, but thinner than a silicone case. It is also thin enough to allow full functionality of the click wheel through the pouch. However, it is not a case and it is not made to be the heavy-duty case that other companies make. If you want a heavy-duty case, this is not for you.
The Nano pouch has headphone jack access, and hold button access. It does not have dock access. The Shuffle pouch also has access to the headphone jack, and the on/off/shuffle switch. Like the Nano pouch, there is no access to the USB port for syncing or charging.
Both iPods fit nicely into the pouch, but it is not skin tight. It is very easy to take the iPod out of the pouch. However, when used in conjunction with Macally’s Clear Protective Overlay (also reviewed) the pouch became too snug. It took 5-10 minutes to get the iPod out of the pouch with this overlay on a Nano. I also noticed that the Shuffle pouch is much tighter than the Nano Pouch.
The pouch connects to the lanyard. I really like the lanyard. It is very light and flexible. It is also adjustable. The iPod connects to the lanyard via a plastic clip/clasp that is definitely strong enough to support the iPod while it hangs around your neck.
The lanyard connects to the headphones that are of the earbud variety. I hate earbuds, and I cringed when I saw these. However, I must say I was pleasantly surprised with these earbuds. Not only did they fit snug in my ears (thanks to the swappable rubber buds in different sizes), they are the most comfortable earbuds I have ever tried. I would even consider using these on a regular basis.
Comfort and fit mean nothing without sound quality, and in my opinion, they sound great. I was very happy with what I heard out of the earbuds. Are these going to produce the type of sound you hear in expensive headphones? Probably not, but for the average user they’ll be fine.
So once everything is plugged in and ready to go, the iPod hangs around your neck as you go through your day. The only problem I had is that the iPod moved around a little more than I would like when running or moving fast.
All in all, the Icebud is a great product for a good price. For $19.99 you get two basic iPod pouches, a lanyard, and nice headphones that have adjustable earpieces for comfort. MyMac.com rating 4 out of 5.
Contains pouches for the iPod Nano and Shuffle
Headphones that sound good, feel comfortable, and have adjustable buds for fit
Lightweight and flexible
iPods easily swap in and out of pouches
No dock/USB access on the iPod while in the pouch
iPod can swing a little too much when participating fast activities