Review: HotRomz Cases for iPod
Pros: Soft, individually made fabric cases tailored to the specific shapes and sides of various iPods, at reasonable prices for handmade goods. Each comes with a gift box and certificate of authenticity. Vivid colors and a wide assortment of looks to meet many tastes.
Cons: Limited iPod control or screen access while inside, no belt clip or fabric loop way to attach to clothes or bags.
We’ve previously looked at a number of sock-like cases for various iPods - the holiday-specific Marware Santa (iLounge rating: B+), and most notoriously Apple’s generic iPod Socks (iLounge rating: B-) - and though their lack of screen and control access precludes socks from being our favorite genre of iPod cases, we continue to feature the designs because some of our readers enjoy them.
Some of the better sock designs we’ve seen recently come from HotRomz, a small company that has developed a series of puffy holders in a huge variety of colors. There are 14 categories of the cases, ranging from the shimmering, curly furred colors of Exotica iPodica to the Star Trek-esque Tribbles, feather-like Birds of a Feather, Mohair Hedonist and SuperStar, and more standard knit cases. HotRomz boasts 83 different colors for just one of its case types (the knit Colors series), and many more options for the furry and feathered cases.
The other big factor in these cases - partially justifying their prices - is that each one is handmade to order, and shipped in a sealed black box with a certificate of authenticity. While the importance of these touches may be lost on some iPod owners, they definitely add to the cases’ appeal as gifts, particularly for a mom, wife, or girlfriend. Below, we take quick looks at the three different cases we received for review, one each for 3G & 4G iPods, iPod minis, and iPod shuffles. Fabric aside, they’re highly similar to each other in body design, except for one iPod shuffle difference noted below.
IT in Pink for iPod
There are eight different versions of the IT series, the first of which (“IT in Pink,” now called “Infamous”, $24.95) we received for review. While the majority of the case feels like pink thread, there are also a number of individually covered fabric balls sewn into the body, each the size of a mini M&M. Each of the eight IT cases differs in the colors of thread and balls, and one (Gothic Cathedral) is actually spooky enough to shock on sight - the iPod accessory we’d picture being developed for the movie Corpse Bride.
In each of these cases, the 4G iPod’s top is partially exposed to air, though the threads overhang and typically cover it. There’s only limited (push through fabric) access to the iPod’s controls when inside, so you’ll need to pop the iPod out and use it that way - pretty standard for the sock-style design. There’s also no belt clip or loop to attach the case to clothes or a bag.
Sassy for iPod mini
Sassy ($19.95) mixes threads with pieces of colored foam instead of fabric balls, though there’s a lot more foam here than in the IT case above, and only one color of Sassy is available. Silver threads poke out from blue, green, purple, and pink foam, creating a bright design that’s also very soft to the touch.
As with IT, the case’s top exposes just enough of the iPod mini to let you access the Hold switch and headphone port, though the case’s threads overhang and provide some coverage up there, too. Control or screen access is limited while the mini’s inside of Sassy, and there’s no belt clip or loop for clothing or bag attachment.
Exotica iPodica - Sultry for iPod shuffle
The last of the HotRomz cases is Exotica iPodica ($16.95), a series of 10 colored cases made to fit the iPod shuffle. Each of the cases uses thin, shimmering, multicolored threads - more luminescent than the pictures suggest, and quite nice if you’re excited by the idea of wearing something so furry.
We say “wearing” because these case designs feature tapered holes at their tops and bottoms so that you can wear your shuffle’s lanyard USB cap and headphones at the same time - the only HotRomz case we’ve seen that’s wearable. There’s enough thread on both sides to cover even the slightly exposed parts of the shuffle’s body. As with the other cases, accessing the shuffle’s controls requires either pressing through the fabric, or removing the iPod altogether.
As with all of the sock-like cases we’ve looked at, there’s not a lot more to say about these cases than that they have their benefits (reasonably comprehensive iPod protection, unique looks) and their consequences (limited access to the iPod’s controls or screen, limited ability to be used outside of a bag or pocket). We were definitely more impressed with the time and effort that went into these designs than the iPod Socks, and although they’re more expensive individually, they’re more deserving of the price.