Ars Technica reviews Apple’s 2G iPod shuffle: ‘extremely small, efficient, and well designed’

“Apple announced the second incarnation of its budget iPod, the iPod shuffle, at its widely-anticipated ‘It’s Showtime’ event in September. The new shuffle is notably smaller, thinner, and lighter than the original, with the addition of an aluminum case and a built-in clip,” Jacqui Cheng reports for Ars Technica.

“The shuffle is slightly larger than the iPod nano’s screen,” Cheng reports. “The 2G iPod shuffle uses the 3.5mm stereo headphone minijack for everything—audio, power, and syncing. It doesn’t have the usual iPod connector that we’re used to for all other iPods. This could become an annoyance to people who go on the road a lot and will be forced to take a dock while traveling instead of just a cord, or to those crazy iPod fanatics (*ahem*) who own more than one iPod and would like to use just one cable or dock with them all. That ‘Universal’ iPod Connector/Dock? It’s no longer universal.”

“After nearly six attempts to drop it with the headphones in my ears, I realized that the shuffle is too lightweight to even detach from the headphones when dropped. It just falls and dangles, never coming into contact with the cold, hard pavement. I was forced to be creative, so I simply draped the headphones over the back of my neck and dropped the shuffle. It hit concrete this time; when I checked the headphones, it was still playing. Everything functioned as expected,” Cheng reports.

Apple new iPod shuffle is “extremely small, efficient, and well designed,” Cheng reports. The 2G iPod shuffle is the “best value iPod yet” and it “can survive nearly any real world situation.”

Full comprehensive review, in which Cheng drops the shuffle 40-feet off a balcony, drops it into a glass of beer, and runs it over with a carhere.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “jojo” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Apple exec: ‘tremendous’ interest in new 2G iPod shuffle – November 08, 2006
Thurrott reviews Apple’s 2G iPod Shuffle: ‘a wonder of size, weight, and usability – I love it’ – November 05, 2006
Apple 2G iPod Shuffle disassembly guide – November 03, 2006
Reg Hardware reviews 2G Apple iPod shuffle: ‘great grab-and-go gadget for music on the move’ – November 03, 2006
Steve Jobs gives Apple employees new 2G iPod shuffles – November 03, 2006
First 2G iPod shuffle unpacking photos – November 01, 2006
Apple’s new 2G iPod shuffle available worldwide this Friday – October 31, 2006
Apple now shipping 2G iPod shuffle orders – October 30, 2006
AP: Apple’s new iPod, iPod nano, iPod shuffle ‘clearly worth the wait’ – October 19, 2006
Apple unveils new iPod shuffle: world’s smallest digital music player – September 12, 2006

13 Comments

  1. One other thing I’ve noticed: the 2G shuffle transfers songs a LOT faster than the 1G model. I haven’t raced them yet, but I think it’s around a 2X improvement, which is nothing to sneeze at.

  2. maczealot:

    I have not found any quality reduction in the new model. The only thing I have noticed is a slight reduction in the max volume the new shuffle is able to crank out–not that I ever use it at that volume, but as I was doing a side-by-side comparison I noticed that. Could be the amp, or it could be Apple maxing out the tiny battery’s life by turning it down a notch from 11 ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  3. According to a reviewer at Macworld, you may sacrifice some audio quality for the size and convenience with the new shuttle.

    Though I can’t compare it to the sound quality of other iPods, I can compare it to the sound I get out of my Creative speakers (through their headphones port) connected to my Mac and there is a noticeable difference in quality. It’s not so bad though. I think the Shuffle is worth what I paid for it.

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