Review: Tune Belt iPod Carrier (iP1)

A waist belt for your iPod. (September 28th, 2005)

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Product Manufacturer: Tune Belt, Inc., distributed by Proporta Software

Price: MSRP $19.99 US

The Good

  • Easy to clean. Waist bag is good for people with shoulder and neck problems.

The Bad

  • Neoprene slips on clothes, plus belt buckles can let go if you\'re not svelt.

When I first laid eyes upon the Tune Belt I was a bit taken aback, because I didn't expect anyone to make a fanny pack type case for the iPod. The pouch has a hole on top for the headphones and a small zippered pouch to store the headphones when not in use. A Tune Belt logo patch on the velcro closure flap is reflective for nighttime visibiblity This neoprene pouch holds your iPod around your waist allowing you hands-free listening capabilities. The problem is that it does not accomplish this very well.

Slippery Neoprene

When I attempted to wear the Tune Belt the buckles slid right off the neoprene. It is advertised to fit "up to a size 40-42" and I'm not that rotund, yet the buckles would not hold tight. You would think that something that is supposed to hold your iPod near to you would actually stay on. This was just the beginning of my problems with the Tune Belt. As I walked around with this iPod holster I realized just how embarrassed I was to be wearing it. The snickers and laughs from my co-workers did not help the Tune Belt's case. To tell you the truth, the Tune Belt is about as stylish as earmuffs in summer.

Accessibility is an Issue

Not only is the Tune Belt visually unappealing, the functionality is not much better. As I walked with the belt I realized that the iPod is not accessible. I would have to unplug my headphones, unhook the belt, and remove my iPod just to change the song. This was a little more than what I was willing to do. The iPod is also inserted vertically, which leads to the iPod getting in the way of your leg movement and can be quite annoying. You can to wear it with your iPod over your lower back, but with the unreliable buckles, this is taking a chance of dropping your iPod. A horizontally positioned iPod would be much more comfortable though. The neoprene belt also slides up on your torso making it uncomfortable and quite foolish to view.

In all fairness, I should add that waist-type pouches are just not popular with the 20-somethings anymore. They are still worn by the more experienced generation, and are good for people with shoulder or neck problems. Another tester, who is a bit thinner, did not have trouble with the buckles letting go, but the slippery neoprene did ride up on her also.

Nice Price

The good thing about the Tune Belt is the price. At $19.99, this item is about half the price of most iPod cases and belts. It comes with a year warranty and is available only in black. Unfortunately, if you are looking for functionality and reliability with some style, you will have to look elsewhere.

Editor's Note: The Tune Belt was kindly provided by Proporta, who makes and distributes a wide variety of cases for PDAs, MP3 players, iPods, and cell phones. You can see their full product line on their web site.

by Patrick J. Sullivan


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