Review: Capdase Protective Case Set for iPod shuffle 2nd Generation
Model: Protective Case Set
Compatible: iPod shuffle (aluminum)
Pros: A good silicone rubber case for the iPod shuffle, bundled with a leather case, a spring-loaded hook, and matching lanyard necklace. Available in four different colors.
Cons: The only selling point is the silicone rubber part; the leather case is mediocre and lacks adequate protection, while its accessories are an assortment of mis-matched pieces.
Capdase has recently introduced two new sets of cases for the second-generation shuffle. The Protective Case Set ($13) includes three major components: a leather case with a non-detachable spring-loaded hook, a matching lanyard necklace, and a silicone rubber case. While more protective than its counterpart, the Leather Case and Syncha Set (iLounge rating: B), which lacks the silicone case but includes a mini USB dock for the shuffle, both cases lack the sort of style we’d prefer to see in iPod cases.
With the Protective Case Set, you get your choice of two different cases for different levels of protectiveness. Capdase’s leather case is available in four different colors - red, green, black or white - and is most noteworthy for its large metal belt- or bag-ready hook, though sticking the shuffle inside prevents you from using its rear clip. By comparison, the two-part clear or matching tinted silicone case design has a small hole for attachment of a lanyard, and allows users to access the shuffle’s rear clip. A Capdase logo on its front is the only thing detracting from its good looks, and the shuffle’s.
The silicone case is a far more protective case, almost completely covering the shuffle in a clear thin layer of silicone. All that’s exposed is the shuffle’s headphone port, and small hints of clip metal on the top, bottom, and one side. A full silicone clip cover is included, affording a layer of protection that many shuffle cases omit. As simple as it is, it’s far more protective and attractive than its leather counterpart, which has oversized openings in all four corners, leaving the shuffle unnecessarily exposed and allowing its edges to be easily scratched. The only point of the leather case appears to be to offer you another way to carry your shuffle, beyond using the lanyard or just pocketing the iPod with the case on. Since Capdase knew how to protect the shuffle with silicone, why was the leather case so poorly designed?
As with almost every shuffle case out there, neither the silicone case nor the leather case has the ability to dock with the shuffle unless a third-party USB key-style dock is used. Additionally, while the headphone port opening was sized properly for our most oversized plugs, the thickness and shape of rubber may prevent you from getting a perfect seal with certain unusually-shaped plugs; we saw only one such issue during our testing.
While the Silicone Protective Case is a good design, Capdase should seriously consider eliminating the token leather case all together. Like we said in the Leather Case and Syncha review, this component looks and feels cheap, as does the included lanyard. Put together, you get the impression that this Set was assembled from spare parts the company had sitting around, rather than parts that were expertly designed to work together.
The bottom line here is simple: if you need a rubber case for your second-generation iPod shuffle, the Capdase Protective Case Set has one that’s roughly as good as the one Power Support sells as a Silicone Jacket, but it’s paired with a bunch of less than thrilling parts that drag the rating down, despite the attractive price. Capdase really doesn’t need more mediocre cases in its catalog. We would have been thrilled to have one good rubber case with a USB key for the shuffle, and hope that the company will bring such a pair to market. If not, Incipio’s IncipioBud USB dock for shuffle remains a viable alternative, paired with a Power Support Silicone Jacket.