Review: Hori Silicone Cover for iPod shuffle (Aluminum)
Price: ￥800 (~$6.50)
Compatible: iPod shuffle (Aluminum)
Pros: Inexpensive colored or colorless frosted silicone rubber cases for the second-generation iPod shuffle, sold in two packs. Provides substantial coverage for the front, top, and bottom of the shuffle. Adds necklace or wrist strap loop.
Cons: Rubber looks its price. No clip protection, cannot be used with shuffle’s dock, thereby forcing you to remove the case for charging and synchronization. Doesn’t include anything to use with integrated loop. Bottom coverage is only OK.
Hori’s Silicone Cover for iPod shuffle (Aluminum) is the first case we’ve seen that properly fits the second-generation iPod shuffle. Sold in two-packs at a price of under 800 Yen in Japan (around $6.50), it sets the base-level standards for what we’re expecting to see from cheap rubber cases for the low-end shuffle.
The Silicone Cover is available in several translucent colors - clear frosted, green, blue, and pink - with the two-packs assembled to include two of the colors. None is especially beautiful, as the silicone rubber has a slightly cheap, impure look and feel, but the holes line up as they should, and we didn’t find the cases easy to damage unless actively misused. The silicone rubber is thick enough not to tear easily, but not quite a Power Support Silicone Jacket in terms of strength or quality.
A bigger issue is that the Silicone Cover is only semi-protective, shielding the majority of the new shuffle’s body, but leaving its bottom switches, headphone port, and entire rear clip exposed. For obvious reasons, we think that companies can and should find ways to cover more of the shuffle, as some users will want to pocket it and avoid damage to all of its surfaces. Hori adds only one feature to the shuffle’s existing arsenal - a silicone rubber loop for the shuffle’s left side, which can be attached to a wrist strap or necklace if you have one; none is included in the package.
Not surprisingly, each of the cases permits visual access to the new shuffle’s top and bottom lights, and physical access to its front and bottom controls. Hori has also designed the case to provide full access to the shuffle’s headphone port, however, it hasn’t tapered the rubber enough to enable you to dock the shuffle while the case is attached. As such, you’ll need to pull the case off in order to use the shuffle with the dock, which users may well find inconvenient.
From our standpoint, the biggest selling points of these cases are their low prices. For roughly $6.50, you get the ability to protect most of your shuffle while on the go - something we’ve found more important than we’d expected given that there’s already a small dent in our new shuffle’s metal, which this case might have prevented - and you’re also able to modestly change its silver body to a slightly more colorful shade. While the Silicone Cover isn’t a great case, it’s decent for the dollar, and worthy of a limited recommendation; we hope much better will come along, and soon.