Review: JAVOedge JAVOShield Stainless Steel Case for iPod shuffle 2nd Gen
When Apple introduced the second-generation iPod shuffle back in November of 2006, we were generally impressed, but there was one obvious omission – color. Compared to the nano’s six body color options, your one and only color choice for the new aluminum shuffle was silver. Three months later, Apple unveiled four new colorful additions to the shuffle family (pink, green, blue and orange), leaving envious silver shuffle owners with two options: buy a new shuffle, or accessorize with a similarly colorful case.
Prior to the release of the colored shuffles, JAVOedge introduced what it calls the JAVOShield Stainless Steel Case for the second-generation iPod shuffle - a colorful family of cases sold in 3-packs ($16) or 7-packs ($27), with metal offerings that approximate the shuffle’s new color line up. With a metal exterior and padded interior, the one-piece case is designed to slide over the shuffle, covering its face and sides, leaving the rear clip, top, bottom and controls uncovered. For that reason, even though the company calls it a case, and we review it as such, JAVOShield serves mostly to change the color of your shuffle. The 3-packs are available in two color combinations – Metallic Silver, Jet Black and Chrome, or Metallic Blue, Metallic Pink and Metallic Green - while the 7-pack includes all the above colors, plus Metallic Red. There’s no orange option in the bunch, but if you want black, chrome, or red, this might be a better option than waiting around for Apple.
JAVO’s color picks are close to Apple’s - enough that people mightn’t tell the difference at a distance - but they’re not quite perfect. We found that the metallic green case is a pretty close imitation of the shuffle’s new color, while the pink and blue cases are a few shades off.
It also provides no color-swapping for the shuffle’s Play/Pause button, rather leaving the entire Control Pad surface exposed. On the other hand, because it’s possible, we also tried adding the Metallic Green case to the new pink shuffle - the result, a fun watermelon color combination - but other color mixes, such as pink on green, don’t look quite as hot.
There were a couple of disappointments. JAVOShield is not perfectly contoured to the shuffle; there’s a small, but noticeable space around the shuffle’s Control Pad, often slightly off on one side, and intentionally, there’s a little “wiggle room” between the case and the shuffle to make the Shield easy to remove. Additionally, full Apple Dock access is not available for the shuffle while inside the case, a common problem with shuffle designs, so you’ll need to consider a third-party cable or USB key if you want to keep JAVOShield on at all times.
Apple’s new colored shuffle line won’t necessarily hurt the value of JAVOShield’s cases: users of the original second-generation silver shuffle can inexpensively snap on one of these - or swap between three colors - in lieu of running out and purchasing one of the newest colored shuffles, while new shuffle owners can mix and match case colors for added fun and individual personality. While the case lacks the sort of comprehensive protectiveness we prefer, the $16 and $27 pricing for the respective 3-pack and 7-pack cases makes JAVOShield an excellent value for fun personalization of the iPod shuffle.