Company: Sonnet Technologies, Inc.
Compatible: iPod 5G
Sonnet Technologies Volta Rechargeable Battery Pack for iPod with video
[Editors' Note: On November 1, 2006, iLounge published The 2007 iPod Buyers' Guide, with more than 30 brand new, capsule-sized product reviews - only for products we considered to be amongst the very best we've seen throughout the year. The short review below is excerpted from the Guide, which you can download here.]
Once upon a time, it was merely difficult to develop a universal iPod battery solution, but now, with radically different sizes for iPods, nanos, and shuffles, no one’s even trying. So our Buyers’ Guide has focused on batteries for the iPod that needs extra power the most: the fifth-generation iPod, which despite recent gains in video play time still requires external assistance for extended movie watching. Sonnet’s Volta delivers that help in an inoffensively thick black package, which straps on to the back and bottom of 30GB, 60GB, and 80GB iPods, using a soft foam spacer for thinner 30GB units. It promises - and actually does - add 60 continuous hours of music playback time and between 9 (original 5G) to 16.5 (Enhanced 5G) hours of video to the iPods’ original run times, letting you hear 74-80 hours of music or watch up to 23 hours of video with a fully charged, 80GB iPod. For what it accomplishes, it feels small and light, and looks quite nice.
A Dock Connector-to-USB cable is included for recharging - an extended (5-hour) process - and a twistable, detachable belt clip is there if you want it. Four bright but small LEDs on the front detail battery status. While not as fully conceived as iLuv’s i603 and i604 case-slash-batteries, reviewed elsewhere on iLounge, Volta performs well at a fair price point given the battery’s capacity, isn’t a chore to carry around, and works with any 5G model you may have.