DLO iPod Case(s) Review: Thou Must Protect Thy iPod

When I’m sitting down with friends discussing what?s on their iPod, I?m surprised to see a newly acquired iPod shopworn with scratches not only on the metal backside, but the screen as well. With the 30GB or 80GB video iPod starting at $349.00 USD, most forget to purchase the extra accessories that will protect an investment not only from normal wear and tear, but sticky soft drink spills and drops (oops).

Digital Lifestyle Outfitters (DLO) offers a variety of cases and clips for the iPod.

Set that Diet soft drink down far away from your iPod and take a look at two of DLO?s latest products for the video iPod.

First up is the DLO VideoShell SE. Offering the most protection for the screen and click wheel, the transparent polycarbonate case has a brushed aluminum faceplate that snaps on and off with ease.

There are openings for access to the ear bud port, hold switch… and the disk connector that means never having to remove the iPod out of the casing.

The casing has an integrated kickstand on the backside that folds flat, opens to 45 and 90 degrees for upright viewing which is perfect for watching The Office in your cubicle.

The faceplate is molded to accommodate a metallic colored aluminum surface that has a etched circular pattern that radiates out from the click wheel that offers a nice groove feel to the touch and is smudge proof.

Glued to the backside of the faceplate is a plastic membrane protecting the click wheel ? navigating the click wheel was not hampered with the covering.

If the majority of your time is not bound to a cubicle, then dealing with the headphone cords can be a hassle for outdoor use whether walking or working out at the gym. The DLO Jam Jacket with cord management is a brilliant, yet simple solution to deal with cord tangles. Usually I either wrap the ear bud cord around the iPod or my fingers and stuff them in a shirt pocket. Replacing a set of Apple iPod In-Ear Headphones run $29.00 at Amazon, so I appreciate the Jam Jacket functionality in allowing me to take better care of them.

It?s quite simple: Thread the ear bud jack through the hole, secure the cable plug in the notch provided and wrap the cable around under the lip.

Last, pop the ear buds into the holder and all of your tangled cord woes are over.

The case itself is made of rubber silicone that protects the iPod except for the screen. What I like is the raised ?bumps? on the sides for a good grip and the attention to detail with the raised border around the screen and the surface around the click wheel.

There are openings for easy access to the ear bud port, hold switch and the disk connector. The casing has a thin layer of silicone with embossed click-wheel icons for easy touch navigation.

Fitting the iPod into the case was like trying to squeeze into a pair of last year?s jeans or spandex. Once on, the Jam Jacket is super snug. You?ll think twice about removing the casing! There?s a bit of pulling and stretching involved pulling the pants off once on.

I like the high quality molding and the silicone used. Rather than a flat rubber covering, the Jam Jacket is precisely molded to fit. I wish there was protection for the screen; I?d like to see DLO add a clear plastic sheet that could be slide in place on top. There is no doubt the case will hold it securely in place.

Summary: I have never seen or used a better pair of solutions to fully protect an iPod. If you primarily use your iPod for indoors in an office or in a vehicle, then the DLO VideoShell SE is a classy way to show off your iPod. For the gym or outside use, the DLO Jam Jacket with cord management is the ticket.

Sure you could throw a different sock on your iPod for 6 days; but a better use of your monies is to pick one of the DLO solutions.

I?m impressed. Besides, in the packaging DLO is offering coupons for 35 free MP3s from eMusic.com/DLO and 12 free issues of Rolling Stone Magazine ? no strings attached. Cool. Very cool.

The DLO VideoShell SE is available online at www.dlo.com and at national iPod retailers in Duo Packs with interchangeable faceplate color combinations – Purple + Silver, Green + Pink, or Red + Blue.

Single Pack: $24.99
Duo Pack: $29.99 (two faceplates)

The DLO Jam Jacket with cord management is available for the 2nd generation iPod nano and the iPod Videos online at www.dlo.com and at national iPod retailers for $19.99.

What I like: Attention to detail, manufacturing quality, best cases I’ve seen for the video iPod by far.

What Needs Improvement: A slide in plastic faceplate to protect the screen for the DLO Jam Jacket.

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3 Comments on "DLO iPod Case(s) Review: Thou Must Protect Thy iPod"

  1. Hey that second case with the headphone thing is a great idea!! Headphone mess often takes me at least a minute to sort out with my Sony earbuds. They are great sound quality, but they have this weird rubber instead of plastic cord that makes their twisted mess that much harder to untangle. What an excellent solution!

  2. Chris Magnusson | May 30, 2007 at 9:27 pm |

    I’m with Mitchell regarding the Jam Jacket. How thick is the rubber/silicon used?

  3. Hi Chris – I measure 1/16″ thickness around the screen with the border and the edges, and 1/32″ at its thinness for the skin. The Jam Jacket retains it shape and after use for several weeks, I have not seen any splitting or failure along the seams or molding.

    I’d like to see this concept carried over to a smartphone!

    Mitchell – The fit is good for the plug and ear buds; I fail to mention in the review that you can unwind only as much cord as you need.

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