Pros: Nice iPod-matching style, very protective of the iPod against water, shock, and other harm.
Cons: No access to screen or controls (even wired remote) when case is sealed, opening mechanism exposes iPod to potential scratch damage.
North Carolina-based Eroch Studios certainly knows how to catch attention: it’s developed a unique iPod accessory, a humorous website, and a very good reason to put a bikini-clad woman in its advertisements. The company’s LiliPod is a great-looking watertight housing for the iPod, sold complete with an integrated watertight headphone stereo cable extension cord and a quality, water-safe adjustable neck string.
Designed to be shock resistant and impervious to liquids, the white shiny plastic LiliPod opens into two halves by unlocking a black plastic clasp and moving a single hinge. An iPod is inserted upside-down into a plastic lower half containing a hardwired metal headphone jack at the very bottom and dark grey foam lining on the sides. The foam and headphone jack snugly hold the iPod in place, while the case’s top half contains a single piece of foam to pad and reinforce the (upside-down) bottom of the iPod. A black rubber lip creates the waterproof seal between the two halves.
As per the instructions – and as a mandatory consequence of the design – you need to turn on the iPod and start it going on a playlist before you close up the LiliPod. But that’s the last chance you’ll get to play with the controls. The LiliPod’s headphone jack doesn’t include one of the iPod’s four-pin accessory connectors, so you can’t use a remote control or adjust volume when the iPod’s inside.
That the case isn’t transparent or able to feature any button control is the major “interference” failing of the device, but truthfully, we’ve only seen waterproof cases done better for other types of devices, like for example, Canon’s ~$200.00 WP-DC800 Waterproof Camera Case. Since the LiliPod is a first-of-kind product for the iPod and sells for one fifth the price of a case with such features, we can’t be that tough on it.
A minor knock on the case is that you need to gently tilt the iPod to snap the case closed, but can’t effectively perform the same tilt when the case is open, potentially exposing the side of the iPod to potential scratching. Some extra foam on that part of the case would have been preferred, but careful users shouldn’t have a problem.
And our final issue is that the utility of the LiliPod is somewhat limited. If you have an active lifestyle and need a resilient case, it’s a good option, as the LiliPod’s certainly designed to be more resistant to dropping and other shock-related damage than most iPod cases. The shiny white plastic is going to scuff up pretty quickly, but the iPod’s not going to be damaged.
Yet the key “waterproof” selling point of the case is a bit less exciting than it initially seems. True, the iPod can now be submerged in water, but absent similarly waterproof headphones and a fully waterproof headphone cable, you’re not going to use it in the ocean, a pool or bathtub. If you’re interested in waterproof headphones, you can indeed find a pair at Waterproofcases.com.
Eroch’s advertising notes that the case can be used for activities from “skiing to sailing, mountain biking to beach bumming,” each of which suggests light water exposure with the potential of moderate physical impacts. (For what it’s worth, we think that the unit’s black plastic integrated one-piece belt clip will probably weather a nasty skiing or mountain biking fall better than its user.) If one or more of these outdoor activities appeals to you, LiliPod’s got your number. And even if not, it’s worth visiting the company’s web site for a few Southern-fried laughs.
Jeremy Horwitz is a consumer electronics fanatic who practices intellectual property law in his spare time. His recent book, Law School Insider, has been called the “best book about law school -ever,” and he continues to contribute to Ziff-Davis electronic entertainment magazines.
Company and Price
Company: Eroch Studios
Compatible: iPod 3G