Review: STM Cocoon

A possible but not desirable solution to protecting your iPod (August 12th, 2004)

MacNN Rating:


Product Manufacturer: Standard Technical Merchandise

Price: 39.95

The Good

  • Comes with 2 3rd generation iPod skin sizes for perfect fit, Cocoon shell is rugged and tough.

The Bad

  • Velcro is both ugly and useless, openings are not well made, requires the remote if you wish to quickly pause or switch tracks.

Protecting your iPod has become just as complicated (and almost as hopeless) as protecting the shine on a new car; both lose their new feeling from the factory very quickly. Scratches, dents, blemishes, or gunk all contribute to this. STM, the makers of the STM Glove offers a possible solution to this problem with the STM Cocoon. Possible that is, but not desirable.

iPod Goodness Hidden Inside a Graphite Block

The STM Cocoon consists of two parts: The graphite color semi-hard shell and the transparent skin for the iPod. The skin is fully transparent with detachable wrist loop and a patch of Velcro on the back to attach itself to the inside of the Cocoon shell.

This is one of the aspects I did not like. No one will argue the iPod's simple beauty, especially the perfect chrome backing. However, the transparent skin's Velcro hides the chrome and any personal engraving you might have on the iPod. If you decide to carry around the skin without the shell, the Velcro is rather itchy and bothersome. If that wasn't enough, the Velcro serves no real purpose, because the Cocoon's shell has a tight net that the iPod can easily slide into. Originally intended for the iPod ear buds, this net just tangles the headphones when cramming them in and are just as difficult to take out.

The answer is to simply let the elastic net hold the iPod and leave the headphones untangled in the large space. If STM intended to let the net hold the iPod, then they it would have removed the Velcro, but unfortunately, not every iPod accessory is as well thought out as the iPod itself.

"I Wouldn't Say Perfect Exactly..."

The STM Cocoon, much like the STM Glove, is meant to be used in conjunction with a bag. The full Cocoon is too unwieldy to be used on its own and is also too bulky to be worn on your belt with the attached clip. The Cocoon's semi-hard shell protects the iPod while in your favorite bag but not without a few faults. The top hole for the remote and bottom hole for connecting to the computer are understandably hard to tailor, but contribute to the STM Cocoon's imperfection. The top opening is simply too small, preventing a full connection and allowing the remote plug to easily fall out. The simple headphones fit okay, but you lose the ability to adjust volume and playback without the remote, because the Cocoon is closed. A remote is a must if you plan to use the iPod with the STM Cocoon. Furthermore, I could not figure out why STM decided to tailor a hole on the bottom of the Cocoon. On one hand the hole is big enough to put the connector through, but not perfect enough to plug into the iPod while it was in the Cocoon. If you do not use the dock, you would need to remove the iPod from the Cocoon, connect it to cable, and close the iPod back into the Cocoon. STM could have just as well removed the hole entirely to protect debris from entering the Cocoon. While the iPod is out, why not use the dock?

Could Have Been Better

The STM has the potential to be a great iPod accessory but falls to being merely mediocre due to the pure annoyance of the Velcro and poor access hole executions.

Big thanks to Rushfaster, a major STM and other digital lifestyle oriented accessories retailer, for providing the review unit.

by Florian Maurer

Click to enlarge
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