Belkin Headphone Adapter for iPod Shuffle

iPod and Touch Devices Belkin Audio Visual Gear

When Apple first released its current generation iPod shuffle, I complained about the impact of its design on the ability to use third-party earbuds. Sure, the shuffle has a sleek design and the voiceover feature is really neat, but the fact that it lacks physical controls ties the user to the stock earbuds.  After using high quality buds such as those from Etymotic it was a bitter pill… too bitter in fact and I initially returned my shuffle to Apple.

Well it’s a few months later and Belkin has released an adapter that lets you use any headphones with the new iPod shuffle. The company was kind enough to send me one for a firsthand look. How is it? Boy do I love when something actually exceeds expectations!

iPod and Touch Devices Belkin Audio Visual Gear   iPod and Touch Devices Belkin Audio Visual Gear

iPod and Touch Devices Belkin Audio Visual Gear   iPod and Touch Devices Belkin Audio Visual Gear   iPod and Touch Devices Belkin Audio Visual Gear

As you can see, the adapter is small and places the controls close to the iPod shuffle itself rather than a short distance down from one of the earbuds.  The short cord on either side of the controller is a nice, heavy duty wire that looks as if it will take a good deal of abuse. I wasn’t sure if I liked the location of the controller at first but after using it for a short time I already find it to be a far more convenient location than the placement of the controller on the Apple earbuds.

iPod and Touch Devices Belkin Audio Visual Gear   iPod and Touch Devices Belkin Audio Visual Gear   iPod and Touch Devices Belkin Audio Visual Gear   iPod and Touch Devices Belkin Audio Visual Gear

Shown With Etymotic hf2 headset

As promised, the adapter allows use any earbuds you want. I tried it with three different sets of earbuds. All sounded better than the ones that came with the shuffle initially and isn’t that the point of this adapter?

iPod and Touch Devices Belkin Audio Visual Gear   iPod and Touch Devices Belkin Audio Visual Gear   iPod and Touch Devices Belkin Audio Visual Gear   iPod and Touch Devices Belkin Audio Visual Gear   iPod and Touch Devices Belkin Audio Visual Gear

There’s one last feature of the adapter that I love — it feels sturdier than a controller on the Apple earbuds. It’s a little larger, feels more substantial and, overall, is much easier to use. That’s not something I expected.

What I like — allows you to use any earbuds you want, moves the controller down close to the iPod itself, feels more substantial than what ships with the iPod

What I don’t — it has significantly to the cost of owning an iPod shuffle

Available from Belkin for an MSRP of $19.99.

About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.

5 Comments on "Belkin Headphone Adapter for iPod Shuffle"

  1. “Eliminate the hassles of printing sheet labels when you need just a few. Introducing the next generation of LabelWriters. Print great looking labels the fast and easy way from you PC or Macintosh…..”

    WOW! An iPod Shuffle adapter that prints labels, too! I’m sold!

    Pasted the wrong “Description”, I presume.

  2. OMG– so embarrassing. The dangers of working on two posts at once. 🙁
    jkj- THANK YOU for letting me know.

  3. You’re welcome.

    That’s as bad as one of my male bosses intending to reply to a female coworker with my contact information, but instead addressing the email to me (male), with the body of the email starting with, “Here you go, sweetie”.

    At least I HOPE it was an mistake.

  4. It was bound to happen. I have half a notion that Apple does this on purpose. Does Belkin have to pay Apple for the Made for iPod label?

    Anyway….as far as iPod acessories go, my favorite ones ever have been Belkin. They do a great job.

  5. Just so you know, I DO know Belkin has to pay Apple for the label. It’s just I think it’s wrong to operate in this way. They make Belkin pay for the label, then Apple changes the design and then Apple gets a cut of the accessory sales that make their product easier to use/stomach. Doesn’t seem fair does it?

    Apple DOES eventually get things right sometimes. Just look at the iPhone 3G and 3GS and it’s lack of a recessed headphone jack. That makes it so the extenders that were sold are no longer necessary.