Review: SportGrip for iPod shuffle

Ribbed protective cover, but not a case... (June 20th, 2005)

MacNN Rating:

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Product Manufacturer: Marware, Inc.

Price: MSRP $9.95 each, 3 pack 24.95 US

The Good

  • Easily lets you take your iPod Shuffle with you anywhere without a long lanyard. Good choice of colors.

The Bad

  • Does not protect the face of the Shuffle from scratches. Carabiner only comes in black.

Listening to your music collection on your iPod shuffle might relax you, but carrying the iPod shuffle around raises worries about protection and transportation. How do you protect your iPod shuffle and prevent it from accidentally falling off its cap? What if you don't want to wear the supplied lanyard? Fortunately, Marware has responded to these needs with an excellent product, the SportGrip for iPod shuffle.

Band Your Shuffle

Made from ribbed silicone, the SportGrip fits like a large rubber band around the outside edges of your Shuffle and attaches to a black carabiner. A carabiner, also called a snap ring, is a triangular shaped metal ring with a spring clip that was developed for mountaineering to attach running ropes. Traditionally they are very strong, but fashion models are not usually as robust, but they do clip onto almost anything. You can easily attach your Shuffle to your pants, zipper, purse, or backpack. You should not attach it to your key ring, because contact with the keys may damage the Shuffle and heavy key chains could damage your car's ignition.

Edge Protection from Bumps

The SportGrip stays on even when you remove the cap to sync or charge your iPod shuffle. It is shaped to allow access to all the controls, including the Hold button. While the SportGrip does an excellent job of protecting the device's edges, be aware that it does not protect the face of the Shuffle. It is thick enough that any projected object would contact the case first, but full protection isn't provided.

Color the World

While the case is individually available in ten colors with a black carabiner for $9.95, you can also purchase a Sport Grip Three-Pack in Black, White and Gray or Red, Blue, and Black for $24.95. The product tested, now in heavy use, is a popular hot pink model. If you want carabiners that better coordinate with the Sport Grip, try your local Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS), they carry a whole range of colorful carabiners.

Wrap Up

While the SportGrip does provide some protection, it is not really a case and is therefore recommended for the more refined kid in all of us. Active (and younger) kids, who are more likely to toss their Shuffle around, would do better with a full case. It is a nice replacement for those of us who don't like things dangling around our necks, although it also can be used with a lanyard.

Editor's Note: If Marware had chosen to market this product as a cover, it would have received a 4-star rating. The SportGrip is marketed as a case, so that reduced the rating to 3.5, because it doesn't provide the coverage we'd expect from a case.

by P.A.M. Borys and Ilene Hoffman


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