Review: Macally IceSuit shuffle
Pros: Three good quality protective cases for the iPod shuffle, plus matching USB cap covers and a soft elastic armband. Each case entirely protects iPod shuffle’s body out of the box.
Cons: Colors are so-so, armband solution is gimmicky and requires you to cut at least one of the cases. No lanyard USB cap cover, so not ideal for neck wear.
It’s hard to add much of a twist to silicone rubber iPod shuffle cases these days: the concept’s been done near-perfectly on style and functionality already by cases such as Power Support’s Silicone Jacket (iLounge rating: A-) and Tunewear’s Icewear shuffle (iLounge rating: A). Other companies have been left to make relatively simple changes to the established formula, and Macally’s IceSuit shuffle ($19.99) is therefore predictably almost entirely familiar.
Each package includes three IceSuit cases - one clear, one green, and one pink. The front and back of each IceSuit are the same - a slightly elevated replica of the iPod shuffle’s Control Pad, a slightly depressed groove for the shuffle’s rear power switch, and two long, narrow channels are the case’s only adornments. As it turns out, Macally includes a soft and decent elastic armband with every IceSuit shuffle set, and you can turn those two channels into armband holes with a simple slice of a knife or scissor edge. You’ll leave the case less attractive than it began, but it’s your choice whether to do it or not, and which of the three cases to sacrifice.
Macally scores points for protecting the entire body of the iPod shuffle, covering every bit of it save a minimalistic hole for the headphone port that presents no problem when connecting any pair of headphones you may have. The rear switch cover isn’t as perfect as the one on Power Support’s Silicone Jacket, but it’s more than adequate - better than many cases we’ve seen, especially the ones with no protection there at all.
IceSuit’s only real flaws are three in number: as with many of the inexpensive silicone shuffle cases we’ve seen, it only includes a cover for your standard USB cap, and not the lanyard cap, so it’s not as well-suited to neck wear as pocket wear. Macally’s color selection also isn’t that great - the weak green and pink tones in particular aren’t as sharp as the cases we’ve seen from companies such as XtremeMac.
Finally, the armband solution is - to be kind - a bit gimmicky. Like the MP3 Band-It we’ve previously reviewed the one-inch armband isn’t bad, but isn’t great, though it’s soft enough not to cut much into your arm. Attaching the rubber case by cutting the slits, however, doesn’t look or feel as nice as most of the armband solutions we’ve looked at to date. DLO did the same idea more justice with its Action Jacket (iLounge rating: A-), and we continue to like options like iMojo’s shuffle Sweats, too. IceSuit is a slightly better than okay solution in this regard, not great.
Overall, the IceSuit shuffle isn’t stylish, but it’s a more than competant entry in the iPod shuffle silicone rubber case category. For the price, if you like the three colors, you’ll be happy with its protectiveness and design. We’d still lean towards the other options we’ve mentioned on both looks and features, but this is still a good and recommendable option.