When we received reviewable samples of Richard Forbes’ SportRope lanyard replacement for the iPod shuffle last week, we puzzled briefly over both its utility and its pricing. Then Forbes dropped the price from $18 to $9.95, and Marware delivered the iPod shuffle’s first third-party case, Sport Grip, for our perusal. Suddenly, the SportRope began to make more sense.

Backstage: iPod shuffle Sport-cased and corded

SportRopes come in eight colors, and we’ve seen a bunch of them. Initially, the part that didn’t make sense was that you’d actually have to destroy the shuffle’s packed-in lanyard in order to use the SportRope – pull it apart at the white plastic cap where its two ends are glued together. That wasn’t going to fly. But when Marware’s Sport Grip showed up with a keychain ring attached to its rubberized end hole… which was just the right size for the SportRope… we had one of those Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups moments. And yeah, the two items look pretty cool together. Forbes’ lanyard has a nice metal clasp that works perfectly with the case, once the keychain ring’s been detached. (Click on Read More for a larger photo.)

Though we have no reason to think that the companies are working together to produce mix-and-match sets, I personally think that selling packs or individuals of these cords and cases with different possible color matches would be a great idea. The only question: does anyone really care about iPod lanyards? Two of iLounge’s editors think not. I’m on the opposite side on this one, and dig lanyards – only for the shuffle. What do you think? Would/do you wear your shuffle this way?

Click here for more photos of the iPod shuffle + Sport Grip case.

Jeremy Horwitz

Jeremy Horwitz was the Editor-in-Chief at iLounge. He has written over 5,000 articles and reviews for the website and is one of the most respected members of the Apple media. Horwitz has been following Apple since the release of the original iPod in 2001. He was one of the first reviewers to receive a pre-release unit of the device, and his review helped put iLounge on the map as a go-to source for Apple news.