Review: JP’s Clip + Armband for iPod Shuffle
Pros: A relatively inexpensive combination of armband and iPod clip in one package.
Cons: Neither the armband nor the clip is as good as other options we’ve seen, including at least one option with very similar functionalty in the same price range, which unlike this includes full and attractive iPod shuffle protection.
Are JP’s Clip + Armband for iPod shuffle ($21.99, available from Pods Plus) and DLO’s Action Jacket for iPod shuffle ($24.99, iLounge rating: A-) really comparable? That depends on who you ask, but our answer’s yes. Both are armband and belt clip accessories for the iPod shuffle, and they’re both in the same price range, but one is clearly executed a lot better than the other.
Regrettably, the Clip + Armband combination isn’t the superior option. It consists of three total parts: first is the black twelve-inch elastic and Velcro armband that snugly fits a small male or female arm, folllowed by a black seven-inch armband extension band made from the same Velcro and elastic. Each of these two band pieces stretches an additional 60% or so beyond those numbers, thanks to the elastic, so you’d need to have a big arm to have problems fitting the band with the extension attached. A white plastic loop lets you double the armband around itself to lock onto your arm.
Last is a plastic belt clip that’s a hair off Apple’s pure white plastic in color, but looks fine from a distance, and includes a spring-loaded metal and plastic clip mechanism that makes gentle contact with the shuffle’s back unless you really snap the belt clip intentionally. It did a fine job of securing our shuffle - upside down - on our clothing, remaining sturdy without an issue. However, the clip uses plastic rather than metal to lock into the shuffle’s USB port, and though the shuffle didn’t feel loose inside when we tested it, weeks of playing with the plastic might change that.
If the only question we were asking was whether the Clip + Armband worked, the answer would be yes - generally. JP’s clip doesn’t integrate as well with the Armband as DLO’s Action Jacket, which holds snugly to a particular position even when the band is loose or removed, and includes a full and attractive iPod shuffle case, besides. The Clip + Armband slide around on each other without grip of any sort unless it’s on your arm, in which case the Clip holds as tight as your arm pressure can make it. When you remove the armband, you may find that the Clip falls off the armband altogether, as we did in our testing. Since it doesn’t include a case, you’ll likely want to add one on to protect your shuffle from sweat, rain, and accidental droppage.
If you’re looking for an iPod shuffle armband with a belt clip, we know which one we’d pick. Given their similar prices and very different levels of quality, we’d be far more inclined to recommend the Action Jacket than the Clip + Armband. (Apple’s own iPod shuffle Armband (iLounge rating: B+) is a bit more expensive and looks considerably better, but doesn’t have a detachable belt clip.) While the Action Jacket includes a full and attractive case for the price; the Clip + Armband requires that you purchase protection separately, and the $3 price difference between the Action Jacket and JP’s solution doesn’t make up for that or the other differences. The fit and finish of the Action Jacket’s a bit better in all the particulars, and its pivoting belt clip - not a feature of JP’s product - only adds to its appeal.
The Clip + Armband is thus an okay option overall - if you’re looking for an iPod shuffle armband, it’ll do what you want, just not as well as other options, and if you just want a clip, there are many other options you should consider first. Our advice would be to buy it only if you can find it at a nice discount.