Apple iPod Shuffle second generation review: Apple iPod Shuffle second generation

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The Good The competitively priced iPod Shuffle has a dead-simple user interface with satisfying tactile controls, and its integrated belt clip provides a handy way to keep track of the player. The Shuffle is available in five, metallic colors, and the package includes a cute little syncing cradle.

The Bad The iPod Shuffle has no screen, so there's no way to navigate easily among artists, albums, or playlists. And it only offers so-so sound quality. The player might be too small for some users, and nonstandard USB syncing takes away from its plug-and-go appeal.

The Bottom Line If you like your music playback simple and your device nearly invisible, the second-generation iPod Shuffle will suit you well. But absentminded users should steer clear of this easy-to-misplace player.

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6.3 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 5
  • Performance 6

Review Sections

Apple iPod Shuffle (second generation, 1GB)

It's true: The second-generation iPod Shuffle (1GB) is the lowest-profile MP3 player we've laid eyes on. Apple may have been slow out of the gate, but the company has succeeded in launching perhaps the tiniest and simplest player on the market--and it sports a price tag to match: $79. The new Shuffle is appealing in its elementariness, too, but the itty-bitty device is far from perfect. Its screenless design means you get few navigational options and no extra features. And how small is too small?

Even the Shuffle's box is small.

At 1.6x1x0.4 inches and 0.6 ounce, the iPod Shuffle is one minuscule music player. In fact, it's so inconspicuous that we have trouble keeping track of it--if you're constantly misplacing your keys, this player probably isn't your best option. If you just can't help yourself, go for one of the brighter color options. The pink, orange, green, and blue models will probably be easier to spot on a cluttered desk than the muted silver one is. That said, the integrated belt clip on the back of the Shuffle helps keep the player within easy reaching distance. Some users have complained that the clip isn't very durable, but it seemed fairly sturdy during our testing.

The Shuffle is a little longer than the MobiBlu Cube2, but it's smaller overall.