Review: XtremeMac TuffWraps for iPod nano, classic & touch
Thanks to its extremely appealing aesthetic design, we liked XtremeMac's TuffWrap case for iPhone so much that we've been using it on one of our iPhones despite its small issues: it's Universal Dock-friendly, but not iPhone Dock-friendly, and it's not as protective as it could be. Now XtremeMac has released new TuffWrap cases for the iPod nano, iPod classic, and iPod touch ($20 each), which offer the same visual appeal along with protectiveness enhancements.
The two-tone rubber case concept isn’t unique to XtremeMac, but it’s especially well executed here: each case offers a stylish combination of silicone rubber, augmented with included clear film protection. The iPod nano and classic versions both come with screen and partial Click Wheel protectors—missing center Action button covers—while the iPod touch version comes with a face protector, which when paired with the rubber case provide very substantial body coverage. XtremeMac offers the nano and touch versions in two different color options, while the iPod classic version is available only in the black/gray version shown here, sold separately in 80GB- and 160GB-tailored versions. Each case looks identical to the original iPhone version, with clean side ribs and an XtremeMac logo embossed only on the rear.
This time out, rather than exposing the touch’s Sleep/Wake button or the classic’s Hold switch, XtremeMac covers them. And both of these models now also have part-time Dock Connector covers that can be pulled back with a finger for connection of accessories. By comparison, TuffWrap for iPod nano is a little more conventional, with a fully open bottom surface that permits access to the headphone port, Dock Connector, and Hold switch at once. All three versions have holes in their back for attachment to mystery accessories; only the iPod nano version comes with a carabiner hook that can attach to its holes. It remains to be seen whether XtremeMac will offer optional add-ons for the other models.
With the exception of the small rear and front holes, XtremeMac comes as close to perfection in protection as we’d hope for each iPod model. The only tradeoff, unfortunately, is some Universal Dock compatibility. While the iPod nano version, like the iPhone original, works perfectly with Universal Docks, the iPod classic and touch versions’ covered Dock Connectors present more of a problem; you may be able to get TuffWrapped classics and touches to work with certain docks, such as Apple’s, but the docking process can be little tricky when there’s a speaker grille to deal with in the back. Headphones and other accessories connect without an issue.
Ideally, there wouldn’t be a need to fidget too much with the TuffWraps and docks, but from our perspective, XtremeMac’s otherwise done a great job here for $20 per case: each version is worthy of its price, though the tradeoff between protection and port access varies a little from case to case. These TuffWraps are worthy of our high recommendation, regardless of the iPod you own.