Pros: Three inexpensive iPod shuffle clothing/bag clips for the price of one competing product.
Cons: Small imperfections in fit and finish that are mostly noticeable up close.
Even after seeing our fair share of other iPod shuffle clip alternatives in recent weeks (see our earlier roundup, Clips, Clips, Clips), there’s still no single alternative that would live up to our old “Exciting” rating – we’ve seen some good offerings, and also some junk. On the spectrum of available options, the single most appealing thing about DVforge’s The Clips ($14.99) is the price – you get three different replacement USB caps for your iPod shuffle for under $15, which is a better value overall than any of the other available options save Marware’s $8.95 Sport Grip (iLounge rating: B).
But price aside, are The Clips any good? Yes. They range from decent to good, starting with the “push pin,” a USB cap identical to Apple’s standard one but with a metal push pin on its back; the “gripper clip,” a spring-loaded metal alligator clip with seven jagged teeth to grip your clothes, and the “belt clip,” a wavy piece of steel that grabs your belt or pants without a problem. All three hold the iPod shuffle upside down like Apple’s own iPod shuffle lanyard, rather than right side up like DLO’s Flip Clip (iLounge rating: B+), not that the difference in alignment will matter to most people; it mostly impacts the location of the shuffle’s headphone port.
The good news is that all three Clips did what they were supposed to do, and moreover, they looked pretty good doing it. Their plastic parts are a pretty good color match for the iPod shuffle – the ones we received were each as glossy white as you’d expect – DVforge apparently threw away a batch of Clips that weren’t quite iPod white, and the choice appears to have been for the better. Similarly, most of their metal parts are stainless steel, shiny and fairly full-sized iPod-like. We were a bit concerned when we saw what appeared to be imperfections in the metal inside the blister packaging, but with the exception of the gripper clip, which isn’t polished to a glossy finish, the imperfections turned out to be nothing more than a bit of machine grease, easily removed.
The bad news is that The Clips are a little rough around the edges, though generally not in ways that most people will mind for the low price. Close inspection of each of the clips reveals small glue seams and sizing imperfections that aren’t issues on Apple’s original parts. Most of these little issues is so small that it’s hard to care much about them, but there’s one that obsessive iPod fans may worry over: the gripper clip’s metal alligator teeth. one of which comes into contact with the shuffle’s glossy plastic rear. There’s no need to be concerned unless you actively press the teeth into the shuffle’s rear – it doesn’t make damaging contact under normal circumstances.
If you’re hoping to use The Clips with rubberized iPod shuffle cases, you’ll need to use either the gripper clip or the push pin cap, which both work without incident. Unfortunately, like DLO’s Flip Clip, DVforge’s belt clip won’t unless you’re using a super-thin case; the clip’s metal back is too tightly aligned with the shuffle to work with thicker, more protective shuffle options. But with the gripper clip and push pin as options, you won’t likely mind.
Overall, and like the best of their current competitors, The Clips are a good but not outstanding option, most recommendable because of the value they represent over other options. If you need a simple belt or other iPod shuffle clip and aren’t looking for protection, there’s no major reason save stylistic preference to prefer the otther options we’ve reviewed. This is a good offering from DVforge, and properly priced.
Company and Price
Model: The Clips
Compatible: iPod shuffle