Review: Music Band-It iPod Cases and Earphones

Walk about with these convient earbuds and cases. (February 15th, 2008)

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Product Manufacturer: Grandmax, A brand of YC Cable

Price: $19.95 and $29.95 US

The Good

  • Convenient. Retractable earphone cable is longer than other cables. Silicone In-Ear Adapter included. Headset can be removed from cases for use alone. iPod or iPhone installs into the Armband from the back.

The Bad

  • No microphone for the iPhone version. Neoprene pills up over time. Cannot control iPod when its in the Backpack.

Peanut Butter in Chocolate. Strawberries in Cream. Cookie Dough in Ice Cream. Headphones integrated into an iPod case. These are matches made in heaven.

Grandmax makes iPod and iPhone cases for the user on the go. What makes their products unique is their inclusion of detachable and retractable headphones with the cases.

There is a range of configurations available. I tested the Music Band-It Backpack Gear for iPhone and iPod and the Music Band-It Armband for iPhone and iPod. The Backpack Gear case wraps around a backpack strap and fits an iPod Video, Classic/iPhone, or iPod Touch. The Backpack Gear also comes in sizes to fit any of the iPod nano models, while the Armband has versions for the 3rd Generation iPod and the latest iPod Shuffle.

Music Band-It Backpack Gear for iPhone and iPod

The Backpack has two pockets, one for the retractable headphones, and one for the iPod. I found that in use, the two devices were too thick for both to be in the separate pockets at the same time. This is not a problem, because the packaging makes it clear that the retractable headphones have a clip on the part that stores the cable. I clipped that to the front pocket, and it worked well.

Backpack


Music Band-It Backpack Gear


It is very convenient to use the Backpack Gear while secured to a backpack or a shoulder bag strap. I can pull the headphones out, listen, and when I'm done with the iPod, a gentle tug on the headphones causes them to pull back into the case. There are no messy cables to wind up and it is very neat. The neoprene backpack is hand-washable and comes in black only. The Velcro strap wraps securely around any backpack strap.

Music Band-It Retractable Earphones

The earphones are very similar in appearance to Apple's headphones. They're white earbuds with a gray rim at the earpiece grille rim. They come with soft foam earpiece covers as well as silicone adapters that make them in-ear. It was difficult to place the in-ear adapters on the earphones, but I'm certain that they won't come off unless I take them off.

In either case, the sound quality and comfort is satisfactory. The advertised frequency range of the stereo earphones is 20-20,000Hz. I tested the frequency response with a series of files from 22Hz to 22KHz. I found that the headphones had a hard time reproducing audio below 50Hz. They could do it, but at a significant drop in volume. They reproduced up to 18080Hz just fine.

Backpack


Music Band-It Retractable Earphones


It's completely reasonable to use these headphones for any activity you could envision with a backpack or armband because the four-foot cable is long. The convenience of the retractable headphones makes it easy to take them off and on without aggravation.

Music Band-It Armband

The armband appears much like the other iPhone armbands available. Looks are deceptive though. It has the clear full face that you need for the iPod Touch or iPhone, so you can access the controls easily. A gray border sewn onto the black neoprene surrounds the clear face. Similarities with other cases end here. Instead of an open top in which to insert the iPod, it has a closed top and a horizontal slit in the back. This means that the iPod is more secure. The neoprene has perforations to allow your skin to breathe as you perspire, so it is more comfortable than many other armbands on the market. I found it very comfortable, and you can adjust it easily. The earphone retractor clips to the armband securely also.

Music


Music Band-It Armband

Reasonably Priced

The retractable headphones sell for $19.95 separately, and the headphones with the backpack or armband are $29.95. It's hard to imagine affordable headphones sounding much better than these. The cases are well-made and convenient to use. I intend to use the backpack often.

by Victor Marks


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