Review: Tunewear Aluminum Clipwear for shuffle
Pros: A strong metal clip for your iPod shuffle, protecting its sides and back.
Cons: Design isn’t the best we’ve seen for securing a shuffle; metal body lacks padding inside and looks a bit unfinished and imperfect around the edges.
The wave of iPod shuffle clips drawing to a close, Tunewear provided us with two samples of its Aluminum Clipwear for iPod shuffle ($14.95), a simple metal clip that’s appropriately sized for the gumpack-sized iPod. Boxy and unpadded inside, it holds the shuffle in place with two semi-soft pressurized bumps, and takes the unusual step of placing the single metal tab that might secure the shuffle on its top rather than bottom. Consequently, you slide the shuffle in upside down from the bottom, then put the clip on your pants, relying on the pressure bumps (and perhaps your headphone cord) to prevent the shuffle from falling to the ground. A hole in the back gives you access to the shuffle’s rear switch and battery light button.
It’s a very simple design, simpler even than DLO’s Flip Clip (iLounge rating: B+), and a bit less polished, literally and figuratively. Tunewear has rounded off all of Aluminum Clipwear’s edges properly, but the brushed metal clip initially feels tight inside the first few times you use it. Then the case becomes the “right” size and there’s no issue. We also noticed that the laser-etched Tunewear logos on the back of each clip were aligned differently - one was printed straight, another on an awkward angle. A serious problem? Not at all, but one that suggests how a bit of extra work could have made the clip better.
The flip side of the design is that it surprisingly offers more protection - here for the iPod’s sides - than Flip Clip and other shuffle clips. It also uses an even sturdier belt clip than DLO’s - one that pivots on a 30-degree angle - and includes a similar anti-slip hook at the end. A hole at the belt clip’s top lets you attach a lanyard - not included - if you don’t want to use Apple’s.
Overall, the Aluminum Clipwear clip is a better than average shuffle clip for the price, but not as polished as we would have preferred. Even thin interior padding, tabs at the bottom to hold the upside-down shuffle, and a little extra polish would have made it a better pick in our eyes. We’d rate it a couple of notches under the Flip Clip because of these issues, but understand why other people might feel differently.