But what the Incase and Marware options don't have is the ability to use the Nike+ Sport Kit because the port on the bottom is covered. The only other Nike+ Sport Kit option is the generic silicone cases from ebay.

Posted by Rob Werner on July 16, 2006 at 7:05 AM (PDT) Comment 1

No, actually both the Incase and Marware armbands provide part-time access to the bottom port - they cover as much of the nano's bottom as you want, and open up to reveal the Dock Connector port when necessary.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz on July 16, 2006 at 7:54 AM (PDT) Comment 2

Actually the predecessor had one major problem: not enough velcro to hold it on. I always found myself reaching over to reattach the velcro. I would love q hybrid design that incorporated a window...

Posted by akatsuki on July 17, 2006 at 5:06 AM (PDT) Comment 3

It seems to me that the major flaw identified by this review is the obscured screen. While I recognize that not all users have the same needs, if you are looking for an armband for exercise purposes, I don't think the lack of screen visibility is that big an issue.

1) The simple design makes the armband subtler-- it does not scream iPod. Without close inspection, one might not notice that I have an iPod with me at all-- assuming I'm not using the telltale white headphones. When exercising, I am not interested in flaunting my mp3 player. I appreciate the design for modesty and safety's sake.

2) When I'm out exercising I pay very little attention to my iPod, so in fact I don’t even notice that I can’t see the screen. Fiddling with menus and flipping through songs screws up my pacing and distracts me from my run. Further, I generally use predetermined playlists while exercising, and should I want to skip a song I need not look at the screen. (It's notable that the raised center button is very handy for no-look click wheel navigation.) Indeed, not being able to see the screen is an annoyance when calibrating the Sport Kit, but presumably one will do that once every 2 years. In general, because I only use the armband when I’m exercising (I have a hard case for other use), I don’t miss being able to see the screen.

All in all, I think that the C- rating is low. If you are looking for a subtle but functional armband for exercise, don't mind the black/red color scheme and particularly if you see yourself taking advantage of the Sport Kit, don't write off this armband just because of the obscured screen.

Posted by wicalct on July 22, 2006 at 11:07 AM (PDT) Comment 4

I have to totally disagree with Jeremy's review on this one. I bought and have been using the armband with the Nike+ kit and not being able to see the screen when working out is not a big problem for me and I suspect most people would feel the same.

Because I created a new playlist for my work out with songs that are upbeat to help me pumped up during my exercise, I really don't care which song is playing and therefore I don't need to look at the screen.

And if you want to know about your work out progress during your exercise, you just press the center button and it will tell you everything you need to know. Pressing a button to pause the workout or to end it is also not difficult as Jeremy would want you to believe. You just press play/pause button to stop the workout and because of the raised center button, you can pretty much do it without looking at the armband.

I do agree that the small hole on the bottom of the armband for earphone access is too small and could've done better.

Jeremy, you should've gotten 2nd opinion on this review. C- is awefully low. Because of the kit's receiver, I found most of regular armbands were not suitable for Nike+ Nanos. So I thought this armband worked well considering limited option to wear your nano.

Finally, the price of armband is $29, not $30 to be precise.

Posted by trueblue on July 26, 2006 at 5:56 PM (PDT) Comment 5

Trueblue and Wicalct: The point - noted pretty clearly above - is that if you're a runner (which you both appear to be), the armband might be fine for you. However, like Nike's Nike+ apparel, not every prospective buyer of this "Sport" armband is going to be a runner. Call it the "Nike+ Running Armband" and we'll be closer to agreement, but there are lots of people - including people who use the Sport Kit for power walking, and some runners - who will want screen access at some times. You can't get it with this case, and that's totally annoying - just as much as noted in the review, and not exaggerated to have people believe otherwise. We tested the Sport Kit with other armbands, and found them better; why compromise usability just for the sake of buying a Nike+-branded product?

We see a lot of armbands here, a lot of different types of iPod users, and lots of different opinions on iPod accessories. You're welcome to your opinions, and obviously welcome to share them here with the community - that's why we have the open comments system here. But when people say that "most of regular armbands were not suitable for Nike+ Nanos," we have to respond and point out again - as in the review - that there are fully compatible armbands with better features at the same price point, and though it's great that you guys don't mind this product's limitations, many other prospective users will.

The price has been updated to $29. Thanks.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz on July 26, 2006 at 9:52 PM (PDT) Comment 6

Ok, so say I'm jogging, and I've got my iPod nano in a strap around my left bicep. Is there any way that I'm going to be able to A) read the screen and B) use the click wheel with any measure of precision in order to navigate menus, etc. which would require being able to see the screen? No. I don't know about you guys, but my fingers don't have the dexterity to manipulate the scroll wheel in anything more than the most basic of ways (e.g. mashing the center button) while I'm running, especially if said scroll wheel is located on the bicep of my other arm. This product is marketed directly towards runners. Walkers can make use of it, yes, but these Nike+ shoes are running shoes, not walking shoes.

Given that, I think the Nike designers have done a great job on the design of the armband. The raised part for the center button makes it easy to find the center button, play/pause, and the transport buttons (Next/Previous) solely by touch. If I want to stop and dig through menus (which, face it, most people only run for limited amounts of time, usually half an hour or an hour, maybe 2 hours at the most; so the limitations of a single playlist or even a single album won't be so bad), I won't mind standing still for a second and removing the nano from the armband. It even looks like it might be possible to keep the nano in the armband, and just pull/slide down the top edge a little bit to see the screen if I really have to (but I'd still want to stop jogging first).

While I do not yet own this armband (but I'm going by FootLocker tomorrow to buy it, new Nike+ shoes, and the Nike+ kit... based solely on your reviews, which despite my disagreement with some of the conclusions, I find thorough and well-written) I find your criticism of this armband too strong based on just the lack of screen visibility. It's kind of like dropping your score of the iPod shuffle from a B to a D because it lacks a screen: it indicates that you don't understand the purpose of the product (assuming that this armband would have gotten an A- without the hidden screen issue). This product is explicitly designed for runners. It is part of the Nike+iPod product line, which is geared towards runners (as you can see in the screenshot of the website in your other review -- "My Runs", not something more generic like "My Workouts").

There are plenty of other armbands out there for people who just want an armband. This is an armband for runners.

Posted by badgerW on July 27, 2006 at 11:09 PM (PDT) Comment 7

i have to agree with wicalct and trublue. If the point of the armband is to work with the nike+ system, which was designed for runners, I would think the screen use is not that big of a deal. I have the xtrememac case now, which has a clear cover over the screen, and when running it's hard to see the screen without it being lit up anyway, so I hardly look at the screen. Whether I'm running 3 miles or 20 miles, I make sure to use a playlist that's long enough. So I would say this armband may not be so bad.

Posted by randall311 on October 2, 2006 at 5:19 PM (PDT) Comment 8

Jeremy if there was some way you could show us what you mean when you say the other cases allow the receiver to be used... could you perhaps put pics of the receiver in use on the other reviews? or attach it to the nike+ system review? when I look at those cases you linked, it's not clear how i'd consistently use the nano + receiver.

my two cents on this case is that after the initial calibration, which is a PITA without screen access, the thing is great (for running, which is all my nano is for).

Posted by mrfett on October 2, 2006 at 8:41 PM (PDT) Comment 9

I have to agree with the review that not being able to view the screen is a big negative and it justifies the low rating. I have the Nike+ Sports Kit and I do use it to run. Labeling this armband as Nike+ leads one to believe that it works well with the Nike+ system. The Nike+ system relies on access to the screen to pick your workout type and select a playlist. Let me tell you it is a real pain to:
1. Scrunch down the armband so you can see the screen to select a workout and playlist.
2. Scrunch it back up just right so the click-wheel matches up with the one on the armband.
ALL without accidentally hitting the click-wheel during this process.
For this reason I am actively seeking a better armband solution.

Posted by Trix606 on October 4, 2006 at 4:39 AM (PDT) Comment 10

I bought the Nike+ sports armband a few weeks before buying the sports kit and while I was just using it to turn the music on and go it was fine. However the lack of screen access is a problem for use with the sports kit. Aside from the fact that you need to have it out of the armband in order to set the workout up the buttons don't always line up causing problems with trying to start/stop/pause workouts and using the "power song" feature. This weekend I used it for a 5k just to track my time and miles but I was using it without headphones since I was running with my 7 y/o and needed to keep track of him (alot of runs don't allow the use of headphones anyway). I thought I had started it when I crossed the starting line but when I got to the finish it was still waiting for me to hit start. Without the verbal cues and with no screen access you have no idea if it is running or not and during a race the last thing I want to be doing is fiddling with my ipod. I'll be looking for a replacement.

Posted by fink369 on October 23, 2006 at 1:01 PM (PDT) Comment 11

The lack of screen is a limitation. I used about two times before I cut out a square hole and glued some clear plastic over it. I don't know how many times I stopped it and later found out that I accidentally had pressed twice, so it was still running, very irritating when I'd like to know the distance I had estimated to be 35k. So when I can get hold of an armband from Marware I'll switch.

Posted by macrunner on October 29, 2006 at 12:47 PM (PDT) Comment 12

I tried this system out for the first time last night. Perhaps I just need more practise, but I found the controls difficult to access via the armband. At one stage, trying to change my playlist, I managed to terminate my run details so that I had to re-enter my time and start again, splitting my run into two sections. I think this armband probably requires that the user be organised enough to preselect a 'running' soundtrack and not jump between lists. I'll give that a go and report back.
My other objection is the size of the armband. I've got relatively skinny arms and this is too big for me. I shudder to think how Paula Radcliffe, who features on the nike website, and whose arms are much skinnier than mine, manages. Need to do some arm work.....

Posted by skinnyarms on January 4, 2007 at 1:13 PM (PDT) Comment 13

I love running with the Nike+ iPod Sport Kit and the new and improved armband. I wear the armband directly on my arm as opposed to over a shirt or other clothing. I am having a problem with static in the headphones and my nano locking up after about 25 minutes of running.

My best guess is that perspiration is getting in the headphone jack hole and shorting my headphones and the nano locks to protect itself from damage.

Does anyone else have this problem?

Posted by runner_va on September 5, 2007 at 11:56 AM (PDT) Comment 14
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