Company: Audio Outfitters
Compatible: iPod 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G, iPod mini, iPod photo, iPod shuffle
Audio Outfitters earPod
Pros: Simple and resilient iPod earphone protector in matching white plastic color.
Cons: Larger than some might prefer, matte plastic is a little dull by comparison with full-sized acrylic iPods.
We’ll admit - we have a problem. We lose the foam covers for our earphones with some regularity, mostly when the earphones go in and out of our pockets. We’ve lost a few iPod covers and a few cell phone headset covers, too. It doesn’t happen with earphones that include carrying cases - assuming that we use them - but it has happened often enough to make us receptive to a solution.
Audio Outfitters has one. The company’s earPod (originally $11.99, now $9.98) is a white plastic storage case that protects and winds the cord of earbuds such as Apple’s. Once your earbuds are safe, you can toss the case in your pocket or belt clip the whole affair on your pants if you desire. earPod is so simple in concept that we won’t spend a lot of time discussing it, but here are the basics.
Picture an oversized, all-white Oreo cookie and you’ll understand the basics of earPod’s design. Then imagine what you’d find inside if you spun off one of the Oreo’s cookie pieces: frosting, right? In the earPod, one face rotates off to reveal a large white padded hole with room for Apple’s packed-in iPod earbuds or most other in-canal earphones. Plastic spokes around the hole provide multiple openings for your cord, which then winds around the protective central chamber. After winding, you seal the case shut. If you want to use the earPod’s rear-mounted, small but sturdy belt clip, you can, or you can detach the clip to give the case a thinner profile for your pocket or bag.
The earPod does exactly what it promises to do, and we generally like how it looks and feels. While not a perfect match for the iPod in the sense that its matte plastic is dull by comparison with Apple’s acrylic, it looks good enough and is likely more scratch-resistant for Audio Outfitters’ choice of materials. And though it’s a little larger than we’d like - mostly due to its ability to hold more than just Apple’s small earbuds - we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to people who want to protect their earphones. It’s solid and well-made, and for $9.98 won’t break your wallet if you need its functionality.
Jeremy Horwitz is Editor-in-Chief of iLounge. His recent book, Law School Insider, has been called the “best book about law school - ever,” and he continues to contribute to Ziff-Davis electronic entertainment magazines.