Pros: A simple, thick fabric case design for the iPod mini that protects almost all of its body against damage.
Cons: Style is highly nichey, top and bottom of mini are largely exposed, no access to controls or screen unless you remove mini from the case.
Since the early 2004 launch of the iPod mini, we’ve reviewed over 50 different cases tailored to the unique size and shape of Apple’s mid-sized iPod. Today, we begin a series of quick looks at eight additional cases that range in materials from rubbery plastic to leather and felt, and in place of origin from Sweden to Germany, Japan, China, and the United States.
The oddest of the iPod mini cases we’ve seen in recent months is the Airpodz Felt Pouch ($15.00) from Burning Love, a simple case that is available in five colors and two versions. (Our photo shows it next to one of the company’s Fuzzy Furball cases, which we’ll review separately.) Each Airpodz consists of two thick pieces of wool felt that have been sewn together on their sides, a tiny orange Burning Love tag on the left side, and a thin strip of black fabric that runs from the case’s top to the bottom. At the top, the fabric is sewn into a loop, but it continues down to form a reinforcing holder for the iPod mini’s bottom. You slide your mini into the felt case from the top, and the black fabric partially covers the mini’s Dock Connector port, but nothing else.
Our Airpodz case came in a gray color that looked and felt virtually identical to the bottom of a chalk board eraser; the company also makes red, teal, green, and pink/gray colored alternatives for the iPod mini. Airpodz is sold with and without a $2.00 “neckholder,�? a metal hook and matching fabric lanyard that inserts into the case’s top loop to make the mini wearable; we didn’t receive one for review. There’s no belt clip or other add-on to make it more than a pocket, bag, or neck-worn accessory.
Airpodz is unquestionably a niche case for people with a unique sense of fashion. It exposes the iPod mini’s entire top and most of its bottom, but covers the mini’s screen and controls – like Burning Love’s other cases, it’s very simple and only practical for people who don’t mind popping their iPods in and out of cases whenever they want to use them. We weren’t especially fond of its look or design decisions, and found that its felt body attracted hairs and whatever else it was near, though the heathered style of gray material in our sample case showed them less than the other, bolder Airpodz colors might.
The saving graces of Airpodz are three in number: at $15, it’s inexpensive. It’s also substantially protective – though it exposes two of the most easily scratched parts of the iPod mini, they’re also two of the parts that people care the last about showing off, and many people wouldn’t think twice about tossing the thick and otherwise resilient Airpodz into purses or bags. And the build quality doesn’t raise any issues – the sides and interior piece of black fabric are sewn well, though the whole concept is very simplistic and hard to screw up. As we said, we think it’s a very niche case – the mark of our B- rating – but it won’t empty your wallet if you like its looks.
Company and Price
Company: Burning Love
Compatible: iPod mini