Feeds
80%

Apple 2G iPod Shuffle

Two years on, still going strong

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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.

The essential guide to IT transformation

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
Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?
Tip: Put the shades on and you'll look less of a spanner
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
One step closer to ROBOT BUTLERS: Dyson flashes vid of VACUUM SUCKER bot
Latest cleaner available for world+dog in September
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Tim Cook in Applerexia fears: New MacBook THINNER THAN EVER
'Supply chain sources' give up the goss on new iLappy
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.