If you need an inexpensive remote control cable for your iPod, there’s really only one good option as of the time of this brief review: Brando Workshop’s iPod 5G Remote Cable ($18). For $30 more, Apple offers the iPod Radio Remote (iLounge rating: A-), which looks nicer, has a spring-loaded shirt clip, and allows your iPod to tune in radio stations. And a company called iPDA sells its own, commonly cheaper iPod remote controls, one of which we’ve reviewed (Remote Control for iPod nano), but they’re much clumsier than this one, forcing you to connect two cables to your iPod at once.
This bottom connecting wired remote control uses a simpler, more compatible design. It’s compatible with all Dock Connector-equipped iPods – basically the same as the iPod Radio Remote, minus the radio functionality and iPod shuffle-style control layout. You still get volume, track, and play/pause controls on its front, along with a Hold switch on its side and a shirt clip on its back. There’s also a headphone port on its top, giving you the ability to let two people listen to your iPod at once. Unlike the iPod Radio Remote, its volume controls change both its own headphone port and the iPod’s, but the iPod’s controls don’t change its output level.
We’re not going to say that this is a beautifully designed remote control – by comparison with the mirrored ones Apple used to sell for 3G, 4G and mini iPods, and the iPod Radio Remote, it’s basically passable in appearance, a factor which under different circumstances might hurt its rating a bit more. But given that the only alternatives for 5G iPods and nanos are either considerably more expensive or not as well implemented, we think it’s recommendable overall. it works properly, safely notching down the iPod’s volume from both of the headphone ports, and the buttons feel just as responsive as we would hope. The $18 price won’t hurt anyone’s pocketbook, either. There’s no doubt in our minds that if Apple or other third parties wanted to create something better for 5G iPods and nanos, they could, but since they haven’t, this is the best option for value-conscious users we’ve seen.
Company and Price
Company: Brando Workshop
Model: iPod 5G Remote Cable
Compatible: iPod 3G, 4G, 5G, nano, mini