Undergraduate economics classes teach a simple but important lesson early on: at the right price, people will buy almost anything, and at the wrong price, they won’t buy even great products. That explains the appeal and our general recommendation of ifrogz’ new Shuffle Wrapz ($15) cases for the second-generation iPod shuffle: they’re only barely interesting, but they’re inexpensive enough to be fun accents for Apple’s littlest music player.
What you get for the price is a set of three partial silicone rubber sleeves—“partial” in the sense that no Control Pad or rear coverage is provided, while the top headphone port and button switches are just left exposed. It’s a combination we’ve regrettably seen too many times before, and one we still consider to be more ornamental than actually protective. ifrogz uses “anti-dust technology,” which actually does a much better job of resisting lint and grime than some of the expensive iSkin cases we’ve been testing recently.
Also new to the second-generation shuffle is the two-tone coloration, which ifrogz has employed with uneven results. One of the company’s three-packs includes orange, blue, and pink-centered cases (shown), while another has orange, red, and yellow, and still another peach, green, and blue, each case with a contrasting color for the rest of its body. Some of the color combinations, like the brown and blue or orange and purple ones in these shots, feel more like tacky Microsoft Zune mixes than Apple ones, but the others are actually reasonable.
Given the choice between three half-protective Shuffle Wrapz and one ultra-protective Power Support Silicone Jacket, we’d pick the Power Support option any day. That said, you’ll do about as well for $5 per Shuffle Wrapz case as you do for $3 per less sophisticated JAVOSkin Case, though you’re also trading off additional protection for better looks. Going forward, we’d like to see ifrogz provide every iPod with the same level of customization and protection as its iPod nano
Company and Price
Model: Shuffle Wrapz
Compatible: iPod shuffle (aluminum)