Cases. Speakers. Earphones. Software. These are the things that make Apple’s iPods and iPhones look and sound their best. Today, the most impressive of these products were awarded high honors in iLounge.com’s 2008 iPod + iPhone Buyers’ Guide, a popular annual publication dedicated to spotlighting the top iPod and iPhone products of the year.
The biggest awards recipient was speaker and headphone maker Logitech, which in addition to being named iPod Accessory Maker of the Year won three awards for specific products. Its just-released Pure-Fi Anywhere ($150) and Pure-Fi Elite ($300) speakers received awards for Portable Speaker of the Year and Deluxe Speaker of the Year, respectively, while its recently-replaced AudioStation ($300) was recognized as the Deal of the Year. Additionally, NLU Products’ BodyGuardz ($25) — a super-thin, scratch-resistant clear film that covers the bodies of iPods and iPhones — was awarded iPod + iPhone Accessory of the Year.
“Our awards recognize products that offer especially excellent results for their prices,” explained Jeremy Horwitz, Editor of iLounge and the Buyers’ Guide, in the press release. “Logitech deserved its Speaker and Accessory Maker of the Year awards for its continued commitment to delivering class-leading sound and features at popular price points. And in a year when iPod case prices continued to go up, NLU’s BodyGuardz offered an sophisticated, protective alternative that we now prefer to use on our own devices.”
The year’s other big winner was Griffin Technology, which received two awards: the company’s Evolve Wireless System ($300) took home the Accessory Innovation of the Year award, while its iClear hard case ($20) won the iPod touch Case of the Year award. Other reasonably-priced cases dominated the awards, as well, with Portable Design Outfitters winning iPhone Case of the Year honors for its TopSkin case ($20), Power Support for its iPod shuffle Silicone Jacket ($13), SwitchEasy for its iPod nano Biscuits ($20), and Marware for its iPod classic SportGrip ($15).
“iLounge reviewed products this year that range from $2 to $1,150 in price,” said Dennis Lloyd, Publisher of iLounge, in the press release. “Readers are always looking for value, whether that’s the best way to spend $25 or the best speaker for their $100, $150, or $300. This year’s Buyers’ Guide and Best of the Year Awards are all about helping iPod and iPhone users make the best use of their budgets, whatever they may be.”
Surprisingly, the Buyers’ Guide bestowed the Apple Product of the Year award on the company’s third-generation iPod nano ($149-$199), rather than the company’s much-hyped iPhone. “As much as we enjoy our iPhones, the new iPod nano represents a considerably better value for Apple’s customers,” continued Horwitz. “It delivers incredible game, video, and music features in an amazingly small enclosure, at reasonable prices, and without a two-year cell phone contract. There are good reasons that iPod nanos have been Apple’s most popular past iPods, and this year’s model is even better.”
This year’s earphone awards went to three companies. JAYS’ amazingly small double-driver q-JAYS ($179) were honored as Value Earphone of the Year, while Shure’s amazing, triple-driver SE530 ($500) was named the Deluxe Earphone of the Year, and Plantronics’ wireless Bluetooth headset Voyager 520 ($100) was named iPhone Headset of the Year.
Other notable awards included Electronic Arts’ Sudoku ($5), which was named iPod Game of the Year, Elgato Systems’ Turbo.264 ($100), a video conversion accessory named iPod Video Accessory of the Year, and Belkin’s car mount, charger and FM transmitter TuneBase FM with Clearscan ($90) as Car Accessory of the Year. XtremeMac’s Luna ($150) was picked as the Clock Radio of the Year. Thirty-three runners up were also selected across the various categories, all of which can be seen in the free PDF-format downloadable Buyers’ Guide on iLounge.com.
The 2008 iPod + iTunes Buyers’ Guide is available immediately from http://www.ilounge.com/2008bg/
Widely heralded as “the iPod Bible” iLounge’s million-downloaded Free iPod Book and previous years’ editions of the Buyers’ Guide can also be downloaded at no charge from