Pros: Comfortable, neutral colored iPod shuffle armbands made from cotton terrycloth with integrated rubber cord management and good shuffle stability.
Cons: Limited shuffle top and bottom protection; sold only in two-packs; Hulk-sized arms might find them tight.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve assembled a collection of several new and different armbands for the iPod shuffle – competitors to Apple’s already-released official, pricey iPod shuffle Armband (iLounge rating: B+) and DLO’s Action Jacket for iPod shuffle (iLounge rating: A-). The shuffle’s small size has made it easy for armband makers to come up with inexpensive and legitimately different options from the bands we’ve seen for larger iPods and iPod minis, though the specific band that’s right for you will depend as much on personal taste as anything else.
Of the options we’ve recently tested, we liked iMojo’s shuffle Sweats ($18.95/2-pack) the most. Based in Venice Beach – home to the original Gold’s Gym -iMojo came up with a soft sweat band for the forearm that includes two proprietary additions: an elastic strap and a hard rubber headphone cord manager. The strap is divided into two parts by a plastic sewn-in iMojo logo, and independently holds both the rubber manager and your iPod shuffle.
You get to choose from two colors when you order shuffle Sweats – all black or all white – and can pick two of the same color or one of each for the two-pack you order. Having the two-pack is a good idea, as the Sweats anticipate a reality of so many workout armbands – sweat – and permit you to flip back and forth between two bands while one is being washed. Safe washing instructions are provided.
We liked the shuffle Sweats for three major reasons: they’re quite comfortable, thanks to their use of soft cotton terrycloth and the mounting position on your forearm. The two colors are neutral enough that you won’t look like a goof wearing them. And they do a good job of holding an iPod shuffle and winding your cord to the desired length.
Are they right for everyone? Perhaps not, for only two reasons: they’ll fit the small-to-average-to-above average man or woman’s forearm without a problem, but budding Schwarzeneggers might find them snug. And they don’t offer protection of any sort for the shuffle’s top or bottom – a fairly common problem with shuffle armbands, but one most people won’t sweat.
Depending on how price sensitive you are, the $18.95 asking price will either make you chafe or smile. iMojo’s priced shuffle Sweats at a premium over the plain old sweatbands they’re based upon, but added enough – particularly the smart cord manager – to justify the asking price. Moreover, you do get two of these for about the same price as one of their cheapest alternatives, so by iPod accessory standards, we’re inclined to view these quite favorably, especially given that we really liked how they fit and feel. That said, single-packs for under $10 a piece might clinch the deal for more people.
It’s worth only a brief mention that DLO’s previously mentioned Action Jacket offers a design that’s a bit more shuffle-protective, if that’s what you’re looking for, though it does so at a higher price. We tend to prefer the shuffle Sweats’ forearm location to the Action Jacket’s bicep mounting, but both products are equally worthy of our high recommendations.
Company and Price
Model: shuffle Sweats 2-Pack
Compatible: iPod shuffle