Company: Incipio Technologies
Model: [performance] Armband
Compatible: iPod shuffle (aluminum)
Incipio [performance] Armband for the iPod shuffle 2nd Generation
We've been heavily focused on certain priority iPod and iPhone accessories over the last couple of months, but wanted to keep a handful of interesting budget-priced options from falling through the cracks. One of them is Incipio's [performance] Armband for the iPod shuffle 2nd Generation ($15), which competes with Griffin's same-priced Tempo Armband (iLounge rating: B) and DLO's $20 Action Jacket for iPod shuffle (iLounge rating: B).
Sold in black or white versions, the [performance] Armband is a Velcro and elastic armstrap for the second-gen iPod shuffle, with a rubber mount for the shuffle’s rear clip. It looks almost identical to the Griffin and DLO options, save for a triangular-tipped end, and a separate rubber surface next to the shuffle mount that lets you wrap your earphone cables for easier carrying and storage.
Functionally, it’s otherwise highly comparable to its competitors. A rubber O-ring enables the armstrap to be adjusted to fit all but the largest biceps, and the Velcro used here is soft, rather than harsh, to the touch. Like Tempo but unlike the Action Jacket, it doesn’t come with a case for your iPod shuffle; however, DLO’s design doesn’t add as much protection to the shuffle as we (and most active users) would prefer, and since no one has developed a truly waterproof shuffle armband, all three options subject your shuffle to the same general risks of top and bottom exposure.
Aside from the passive cable manager, Incipio’s only major addition to the prior formula is a mesh drawstring carrying bag, designed to hold the armband, shuffle, and headphones when they’re not in use. Though this piece isn’t necessary, it’s pretty cool looking and feeling, and adds a way to transport everything home after an hour at the gym or a run outside. Our B+ rating recognizes this as a slightly better option than its peers for the $15 asking price, and a nice start to Incipio’s iPod armband lineup.