Feeds
80%

Apple 2G iPod Shuffle

Two years on, still going strong

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Just tap the centre of the ring to play. There are only four other controls - volume up and down, and track skip forward and back - you need during playback, so even if your Shuffle's not correctly aligned, it's not going to be any struggle working out which button you need to press to trigger a given function.

The base of the Shuffle has two more switches: one to flip between shuffle mode and in-sequence playback, and the power slider. We'd like these to be slightly longer, to make them easier to push back and forth, but they're easily slid with a fingernail. Having a physical on/off switch also means there's none of the power leakage you get with soft-touch power controls.

Apple 2G iPod Shuffle

Colour refresh

Loaded up with songs and charged, the Shuffle's ready to go. We've heard much better earphones than Apple's standard buds, but we've hear a lot worse too given away with MP3 players. Apple's set will suit casual listeners, and we'd defy any but the sniffiest 'real music lovers don't accept lossy compression' brigade to not get on with the Shuffle's sound quality itself.

Complain about other iPods, but bizarrely perhaps, the Shuffle offers one of the best sonic performances of the lot. It beats our first-gen iPhone and our old Nano, for example. Songs have more clarity and more immediacy on the cheap model.

If you've not seen a Shuffle before, there's no screen, but that's not what the player's about: it picks the songs, not you. Unless, of course, you set to to play every track in order. We've been using our review unit in the car, connecting it to the hi-fi and just letting it get on and pump out tracks at random.

Verdict

It may not be the best value iPod around, but the Shuffle is among the ones at the front when it comes to sound quality. It's still a great player to keep in a bag or in the car for those occasions when you don't have your main music player or phone to hand, or you just want a simple, easy machine for random playback or casual listening.

It has to be said, there are rather cheaper players out there if you look, but few if any from well-known brands. Thirty quid is the going rate for 'name' 1GB players, give or take a couple of quid depending on who you buy it from. But we think the Shuffle's worth the premium, for its metal casing and that oh-so-useful clip.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

80%

Apple 2G iPod Shuffle

The smallest iPod and one of the best sounding. A great grab-and-go music player.
Price: £32/$49 (1GB) £45/$69 (2GB) RRP

More from The Register

next story
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
DARPA-backed jetpack prototype built to make soldiers run faster
4 Minute Mile project hatched to speed up tired troops
Hey, Mac fanbois. HGST wants you drooling over its HUGE desktop RACK
What vast digital media repository could possibly need 64 TERABYTES?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.