Review: Mophie Bevy Protective Case with Earbud Wrap, Key Chain, and Bottle Opener
Pros: Unique multipurpose case that functions as a keychain, cord manager, bottle opener and shuffle case and is available in a variety of colors. Reasonably priced at $15.
Cons: Lacks adequate protection, especially when used as a keychain. Needs to be removed from shuffle for docking, unless used with a third-party USB key. To use the bottle opener, its major function, you need to remove your shuffle from the Bevy.
Until recently, the marketplace for second-generation iPod shuffle cases has been noticeably stale and unimaginative. Fortunately, Mophie has recently introduced Bevy ($15), a simple but rather cleverly designed option. Developed in January as a winning entry in Mophie’s Illuminator design contest, Bevy is an evolution of the company’s iPod shuffle case Wraptor (iLounge rating: B-), adding two new features: a key ring and a metal bottle opener.
Thanks to an integrated earphone cord manager on its sides, Bevy offers an easy way to manage your shuffle and earphones together, and with the included key ring can optionally hold keys and be tossed into your pocket. The multifunction case is made with a clear thick hard plastic, as well as a metal inlay that can be ordered in any one of five colors –- green, blue, pink, orange and silver –- each matching those of the shuffle. Bevy snaps tightly onto the shuffle, and generally will not allow the shuffle to slip out unless you deliberately pop it out of the case.
Bevy allows for full access to the shuffle’s controls, indicator lights and rear clip. Additionally, we were pleased to find that even larger headphone plugs, such as the ones in our high-end Shures and Ultimate Ears, fit easily into the shuffle port, correcting an issue found in Wraptor. When you are through using Bevy, the integrated cord manager neatly wraps your headphone cables around the shuffle’s edges.
Mophie’s only real flaws are continuations of the Wraptor design. First, Bevy lacks adequate protection; the hard plastic shell is only semi-protective, leaving its bottom switches, front controls, headphone port, and entire rear clip exposed. For this reason, despite the included key ring, users will need to be extra cautious when using Bevy as a keychain, as the keys could easily scratch the aluminum finish of the shuffle. Second, Bevy is not immune to a problem we have frequently seen in second-generation shuffle cases: the case will need to be removed entirely from the shuffle for connectivity, which some users may well find inconvenient or need to use a third party USB key. Third, to use its major feature, the integrated bottle opener, a user will first need to pop his shuffle out of Bevy before he is ready to use Bevy to pop the top of his favorite beverage.
Though it’s no surprise, we had no problems when we tested Bevy as a bottle opener. The metal Mophie chose for the inner portion of Bevy is hard and thick enough to withstand typical and even atypical bottle opening pressure; our only complaint is that it doesn’t cover the shuffle’s face as completely as Wraptor did, a consequence of the need to have enough empty space in Bevy’s center to accommodate the sizes of bottle caps.
Bevy is a standout concept at a time when iPod shuffle cases have become boring, and although we took issue with certain aspects of its execution, we are anxious to see how multifunction iPod cases evolve. Hopefully we’ll see mini mirrored shuffle cases and other cool innovations in the future.