Made to fit all capacities of fifth-generation iPods, and resized using two sets of four rubber spacers, Logic3’s Crystal Armor Case for iPod with video ($25) is a clear hard plastic design with a rubber Click Wheel guard and fabric lanyard necklace built-in. In the spectrum of iPod cases, it fits somewhere in-between the guaranteed waterproof shell of an Otter Products OtterBox and the no-promises but good-looking design of a Contour Design Showcase, offering water resistance rather than complete immunity, and a lower price point than comparable offerings.
Like the Showcase and similar clear cases, you get almost complete visual access to the 5G iPod while it’s inside. Except for the spacers on the back and a matching gray rubber Click Wheel guard on the front, the case is fully transparent on the front and back, allowing you to see the iPod’s screen, front coloration, and rear metal casing. A Logic3 badge on the back overlaps the signatures of the members of U2 on the iPod U2 Special Edition, but other iPods look just fine from both sides. You don’t get iPod Hold switch or Dock Connector access while the 5G’s inside, but with cases like this one, neither is expected or necessary from our standpoint. The inner spacers properly resize the case for 30GB iPods and 60/80GB models, providing taut, responsive Click Wheel access despite the rubber guard, and the case does a surprisingly good job of resisting scratches around its screen and other areas, as well.
For a case that’s not promised to be fully waterproof, Logic3’s taken some fairly aggressive steps to seal the case against environmental intrusions. A rubber seal around the Crystal Armor perimeter is sealed with a plastic clasp at the bottom of the case, and interrupted only with one gap: a top-mounted headphone port hole. You can plug an included white headphone plug adapter in, sealing this hole against splashes, or connect Apple’s (and similarly thin) headphones directly without using the adapter. While the case should definitely not be submerged with or without headphones connected, splashes are unlikely to moisten the iPod inside when the adapter’s fully inserted.
There’s also an integrated necklace that can be resized for any neck size, assuming you want to keep Crystal Armor on your chest, with the iPod’s screen facing upwards for easy viewing. The necklace pops open at a central joint, revealing knots that can be untied if you want to carry the case in a pocket instead.
From a big picture perspective, the Crystal Armor Case offers a step up in protection from all clear hard plastic cases we’ve seen besides Otter’s OtterBoxes and H2O Audio’s Waterproof Cases, which sell for more and deliver superior resilience. Though in raw point tally it’s on the edge of our Recommended and Highly Recommended rating levels, and not the most beautifully designed case we’ve ever seen, it’s practical and a solid enough value to sway us towards the higher rating overall. Additional pack-ins or better styling would make it an even smarter buy than it already is.
Company and Price
Model: Crystal Armor Case
Compatible: iPod 5G