Pros: An inexpensive sleeve case with included – but detachable – armband; Seven styles available.
Cons: Plastic and canvas material feels as inexpensive as it is, and has rough edges. iPod protection is far from comprehensive, with top, corners, and Click Wheel left exposed.
Available in multiple versions – we received Camouflage (brown, black, and green nylon), Rockstar (black rubber, silver vinyl), and Tropics (brown tree-embossed rubber) for testing – Scosche’s lineup of fifth-generation iPod cases feature integrated, non-detachable rear belt clips, protection for most of the iPod’s front, back, and sides, and access holes for the Dock Connector port, entire top, and Click Wheel. An adjustable, detachable black arm band is included with each case; clear screen protectors are built-in to their faces.
The various styles of the Scosche SoundKase are formed primarily with either a canvas or plastic base, and accented with a plastic trim surrounding the screen and Click Wheel. In either case, much of the inside is lined with an iPod-friendly soft material.
We can’t say we’re thrilled with the fit and finish of the SoundKase: the pieces of material are a bit rough around the edges, and the sewing that joins them together is a bit sloppy, with loose threads dangling in places. Additionally, the build of the case makes it difficult – though not impossible – to massage the iPod perfectly into alignment with the Click Wheel and screen holes. Even once in place, the material around the Click Wheel doesn’t lie perfectly flat, it buckles. There’s no one thing that’s completely awful about the build quality, here, but in general, it’s certainly not up to the standards of nicer cases we’ve reviewed.
Though protection isn’t strong with the SoundKase, this enables essentially unimpeded iPod use. The screen, Click Wheel, Dock Connector, Hold switch, and headphone jack are fully accessible while the iPod is in the SoundKase. The sewn-in soft screen protector is clear and easy to see through without any problem.
Each Scosche SoundKase comes with a sewn-in (not detachable) plastic belt clip, and a removable thin armband that you can feed through a loop underneath the belt clip at will. The armband isn’t phenomenal in construction or comfort by any means, but it’s got plenty of velcro to make a strong closure, and will suffice for the casual use it’s likely intended for.
Also, the SoundKase is offered in 7 styles: a feature we award here with an extra point.
The SoundKase offers only modest protection. The Dock Connector and Click Wheel are exposed and unprotected full time, as is the entire top of the iPod, and its bottom two corners. The iPod’s screen, thankfully, is protected, as is the rest of its front and back faces. We add a point for the SoundKase’s appreciable-thickness soft covering, but the protection score still falls considerably below many other cases; if you buy a SoundKase, it won’t be because of its exceptional iPod protection.
$20 is what we’d usually consider an excellent price for a full-size iPod case, especially with the versatile ability of serving as an armband-mounted case as well. However, this guideline only really holds for a certain threshold of quality and design. Since we didn’t really care for the less than superb construction and lacking protection, we’ve adjusted this score back to an ‘average’ value. For $20, you’re getting a case worth no more than that. The SoundKase isn’t a terrible buy, considering that you get a case that’ll serve double duty as a belt-mounted sleeve and armband case for exercising, but it’s certainly not a smoking deal at this level of quality and design.
Unless you absolutely love the look, or must have the only so-so detachable armband feature, we’d sooner recommend you take a look at other more protective, higher-quality 5G sleeve-style cases like the Marware SportSuit Basic (iLounge rating: B), also available at only $20.
Company and Price
Company: Scosche Industries
Compatible: iPod 5G