Review: Ivyskin Skin iPod Cases

Slip on iPod cases with clips or arm band. (June 30th, 2008)

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Product Manufacturer: ivyskin LLC.

Price: $19.99 - $24.99 US

The Good

  • Easy to use. RAWK clip is secure (contrary to how it appears out of the box). Ports are accessible and Click Wheel isn’t blocked. Thicker than most silicone cases.

The Bad

  • Can be a problem when paired with some docking accessories. Will not protect iPod when dropped. Black back attracts dust, while colored front doesn’t. Arm band included with Chub is pretty basic.

It seems that everyone from Wal-Mart to the guy next door has created a case for your iPod. The materials range from unforgiving plastic to stainless steel, and their functionality depends your music-listening lifestyle. It is always nice to find a manufacturer that delivers protection with clips or armbands at a reasonable price.

For the last few weeks, I switched from my current hard case and surrounded my 80GB iPod Classic with the RAWK case ($24.99) from ivyskin, while Ilene dressed her iPod nano in the CUB ($19.99). The two-tone case feels like neoprene but is some type of rubber, LEXon, that is easy to manipulate and fits snugly over your iPod. The RAWK and CUB come in a variety of popular colors, but no matter the front color, the back is plain black with a stamped ivyskin logo.

Sneaky good

Out of the package, the RAWK looks attractive and seems weak. It comes with a plastic belt or bag clip that rotates 360° and has an integrated retaining nub that keeps the clip in place. If you hold the empty case and clip up in front of you and shake, the case flings itself easily out of the clip. That's a worry!
 ivyskin screen

Rawk Clip Attached to Case

Here's where the sneaky part comes in. Stuff your iPod into the video opening in the skin and put it back in the clip and it won't move. The friction between the edge of the case and the sides of the clip keep your iPod in place. I confess I am a couch statue and didn't take the RAWK jogging, but it stays clipped and safe at a brisk walk.

The CUB Clip and Band

The CUB ships with an armband that has a slip-in case attached to the band. The simple 3-inch elasticized band includes Velcro dots every inch to secure it to your arm, and has leather-like trim on the end. You can remove the carry case from the band and wear it around your neck with an included shoelace necklace. The neckband also has little rubber caps in which you can slip your earbud ends when not in use. Ilene notes: I felt that the setup was not secure enough to test while exercising. It is fine for a brisk walk, but I was reluctant to try any impact-type of exercise with the armband. There is no picture of the band on the site, but you can see the slide on case in the photo below.
 ivyskin screen

Cub Clip Attached to Case

Access points

The main reasons you buy an iPod are for protection and usability. At 2mm thick, the RAWK and CUB deliver a moderate degree of protection to your player. The cases do not feature protection for the scroll wheel or the screen, but sometimes the pads that cover the wheel can be non-responsive, so I think this is fine. The lack of screen protection is also okay, because they include screen protectors you can apply, and the skins wouldn't be nearly as pliable or flexible if there were a stiffer piece of material in them.

On the other hand, usability isn't quite up to what I had hoped when I first picked up the case. The cases slide over your iPod classic or iPod nano with little effort and the ports are easily accessible in most cases. If you want to use your iPod in a home docking speaker system or in an iTrip or other car dock, you may have to peel the case back to give full access to the Dock port. This is because some speakers and some car docks won't accommodate the thickness of the case in their standard dock adaptors. While it's not a deal breaker for the cases, it is an annoyance and if you like to come home and jam your iPod into a speaker on the kitchen counter, you should be aware of this shortcoming.

One caveat is that it really is easy to roll back the skin. With other cases, especially the hard plastic ones, you have to remove the whole case. Therefore, in this instance the IvySkin is a better option.

The wrap-up

If you are generally kind to your equipment and won't be skateboarding, extreme skiing, or using your iPod in the elements, these cases are an affordable option. If you need a case for commuting tunes or when dashing around the house, they are a great way to keep your iPod operable and accessible.

by Jeff Cutler and ilene hoffman


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