Pros: Simple, very inexpensive faux leather iPod 4G and mini cases made by famed design house Aneta Genova. The Sleeve-style design is especially good for younger iPod owners looking for a touch of fashion.
Cons: While designs are visually interesting, they’re far from the high standards of quality or protectiveness we’d hope for. iPod mini version of Play-Through design is superior to the 4G version, but neither is a really good case.
We’re catching up today on a number of case accessories for discontinued iPods, and for that reason presenting shorter than normal reviews. This review covers Aneta Genova’s Soundgear cases for iPods and iPod minis ($10), which have been sold at Target stores separately from the rest of the company’s line.
Fashionistas are probably already aware that Aneta Genova makes very expensive iPod cases – but the company has also produced very inexpensive ones for Target that sell for less than almost any other iPod case you’ll find. Though the designs are not stellar, they’re as competant as the fabric cases Apple used to throw in for free with its top-priced iPods, only given shinier faux leather bodies, a single snap on the top left side to hold your iPod minimally in place, and a hook-detachable handstrap in the back.
The gold-colored Soundgear Carrying Case has a gold-colored hook, attachment rings, and snaps, while a green-colored version has the same pieces in silver, but with three metal charms – an iTunes-like note, a heart, and a star, all permanently attached to a D-ring on the case’s front. A pink version uses a nicer-looking textured leatherette with a fake snakeskin-like pattern; it lacks the charms and faux gold, but looks the best of the three.
The cases have the same issues as Apple’s old ones – exposure of the iPod’s top and corner sides, and no access to its controls or screen while inside. But if you’re looking for a simple girly case for a 3G or 4G iPod, these work no matter what thickness of iPod you’re using, and they’re very cheap. For the price, we think a lot of people will like them despite their simplicity.
Another SoundGear design for the full-sized 20GB iPod (color or black-and-white) is a dumbed-down leatherette version of the MCA Hautes Coutures Double Stitch cases (iLounge rating: B-) we previously reviewed, minus the neck lanyards and plus simple, bland integrated belt clips. The pictures pretty much speak for themselves on these.
Though the MCA cases were twice as expensive as this one, the sample of which is gray, stitched with black around the clear-covered screen and uncovered wheel, and silver otherwise, they looked nicer and offered comparable protection. Even for the price, we’d skip this one in favor of MCA’s cases if you’re really looking for a design like this.
There are also iPod mini versions of the Play-Through 4G case, each with leatherette bodies that generally cover the mini’s sides, bottom, and back, plus part of its front. There are exceptions: holes on the top and at the bottom corners, one for the Dock Connector that’s too small to be used, and a big hole for the Click Wheel in the center. Both have clear vinyl screen protectors and leave metal exposed; rhinestones line the front of one case (the iridescent white one), while the black one is plain. Each case has the same dull belt clip as on the full-sized iPod version, but their colors – particularly the white one with rhinestones – looked a little bit nicer overall than the dull gray 4G case.
Again, it’s hard to especially like the Play-Through cases because of their plain design, or particularly dislike them because of their low prices. They’re mostly decorative, so if you like how they look, we wouldn’t dissuade you from trying them, but we also wouldn’t recommend them. It’s no surprise that Aneta Genova does a lot better with its premium cases – these latter cases are especially commodity designs at commodity prices, and don’t exceed those expectations.
SoundGear Play-Through mini
SoundGear Play-Through 4G
Company and Price
Company: Aneta Genova
Model: SoundGear Sleeve/Play-Through
Compatible: iPod 4G, iPod mini