Review: iFrogz Audiowrapz Treadz

A case, speakers and a party in a small silicone case for iPod nano 3G (June 10th, 2008)

MacNN Rating:

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Product Manufacturer: ifrogz

Price: $24.99 US

The Good

  • Thick silicone case. Built-in speakers. Use speakers or earphone. Accessible earphone port.

The Bad

  • Sound quality isnít very good. Attracts dust.

The Audiowrapz from iFrogz has received many awards and accolades. This over-sized iPod nano case (4.25" x 2.25" x .5") with built-in speakers is unique in the iPod marketplace. You won't find a more convenient solution for sharing your iPod music with friends.

What makes the Audiowrapz stand out from the crowd is its thick (2mm) silicone case that contains a hard plastic liner with a built-in speaker system. The three integrated silver speakers use passive speaker technology and do not use any more power from your iPod than your standard headset or earphones.

Audiowrapz Treadz


Audiowrapz Treadz

The Audiowrapz Treadz looks essentially the same as their iFrogz Treadz, but iFrogz also makes a plain case, dubbed the Thumpz, in eight different colors. Another version ships as the Tadpole, with sure grip handles in white, purple (Purple Parade), or green (Lymon), which is great for kids.

Dressing Up Your iPod

Your iPod slips into the 2-piece case through the video opening and the earphone port slides onto an audio jack mounted on the plastic liner, while a thin plastic piece slips partially into the Dock port, both deep inside the case. The hard plastic backing extends the length of the silicone case. You should make sure your Hold switch is off before you install your iPod in the case, because only the earphone port is always accessible.

Although I haven't heard of any mishaps while installing the iPod, you should be careful, because the jack could scratch the iPod if slid around or jammed too quickly into the case. The screen and Click Wheel are open, but the Audiowrapz ships with an adhesive protective clear plastic video cover. You can also order a Click Wheel cover when you buy the case; this bundle saves you $3.00 over the case and cover sold individually.

Sound Quality

Not to be a wet blanket, but while the case is innovative, the sound leaves a lot to be desired. There's just this hollowness to it that detracts from the music experience. The sound is muddy and the mid-range suffers. Audio books and podcasts sound just fine though.

On the other hand, sometimes access to music is more important than the quality of the sound. For example, when I was in middle school my family traveled to a vacation home at least once a month. I remember huge arguments with my parents over my insistence on dragging along my huge boom box. You could not separate me from my music. If that is how you feel about your music, and you don't always want to plug up or cover your ears than the Audiowrapz iPod speaker is the perfect solution. Alternatively, if the sound starts to grate on your nerves, just plug in your earphones and the speakers switch off.

The Audiowrapz is particularly convenient when you lose, break, or mangle your earphones or want to share your music with other people. The sound won't fill a room, but for tabletop listening, it is almost loud enough. Due to the innovative design, convenience, coolness factor, and price, I'm reluctantly giving the Audiowrapz a 4-star rating, although the sound quality rates about 2.5-stars.

When you consider the price of many of the iPod cases available, the Audiowrapz with built-in speakers is a real bargain, especially at retail stores. The iFrogz site lists the Audiowrapz Treadz for $24.99, but Target sells the Thumpz for $19.99. This makes it a perfect gift for almost everyone with an iPod nano 3rd Gen.

Related Reviews:

iFrogz Treadz

by ilene hoffman, reviews editor


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