Pros: A small, inexpensive, and stylish way to wear an iPod shuffle on your wrist for exercise.
Cons: Too small and tight for many wrists, no way to adjust it. Feels more comfortable with shuffle inside wrist than outside.
You may already be familiar with Incase’s two earlier Pouches for iPod shuffle (iLounge ratings: B/C+), and the company’s new Neoprene Wristband for iPod shuffle ($14.95) is literally cut from the same cloth. And almost the same pattern.
On the outside, it looks like a small black neoprene tube that’s open on the headphone port end, emblazoned with the shuffle’s Control Pad icons and an Incase leaf logo in gray on its face, and attached permanently to a matching perforated band sized for small wrists. The inside of the Wristband is made almost entirely from gray neoprene; the wristband’s two halves are joined by a non-elastic fabric band with the Incase logo.
On an aesthetic level, we liked the Wristband a lot. Its perforated design is sharp, and its combination of black and gray colors is better than any of the other Pouch-style designs we’ve seen from the company – more subtle, and a ltittle classier.
The Wristband’s only major failing is that it’s small and can’t be adjusted in any way. When we say “small,” we mean it’s a tight fit by adult male standards – younger or smaller users, including thin females, are most likely to find it adequate. While the neoprene expands a little to accommodate the wrist without cutting off circulation, it’s not as comfortable as it would have been with an adjustment mechanism of some sort. You may want to wear it inside your wrist rather than outside as a consequence; it felt sturdy, but very noticeably present on our hands. We strongly preferred the way that iMojo’s shuffle Sweats (iLounge rating: A-) felt.
There are a couple of other issues, too. As with the other Incase Pouches, you have no access to the iPod’s rear switch while inside, and you can’t really see the shuffle’s controls or access lights – you just need to trust that the icons are properly placed and press down. (They are, and control typically isn’t an issue.) And as a workout case, the neoprene isn’t going to keep out sweat or moisture, particularly with its open top. If you really need something with complete protection, you’ll want to look to options such as Otterbox for iPod shuffle (iLounge rating: A-) or a combination of iMojo and Power Support’s Silicone Jacket (iLounge rating: A-).
The Neoprene Wristband may look a bit better, and cost less, but it’s not as well-suited to its intended purpose as these other options. If it fits you, you’ll like it for the price, but if it doesn’t, you’ll want to look elsewhere.
Company and Price
Compatible: iPod shuffle