Looking like a cross between a lunch box and a small purse (a blocky, chunky purse, that is), the i-rocks MP3 Audio Case is cute in a Hello Kitty type of way.
Featuring rounded edges and glaringly bright colours (our review unit was hot pink), the case will find most appeal with the tweens set -- the unit will probably match whatever Mary Kate and Ashley-inspired wardrobe they're into at the moment. The case splits open in the middle like a clamshell phone to reveal a fairly large space in which MP3 players, mobile phones or any other knick-knacks can be stored.
Of the course the i-rocks MP3 Audio Case isn't just a simple carry bag -- the unit features a built-in speaker making it (in tandem with a music device) a portable hi-fi system. The speaker is hidden underneath one side of its clamshell design, and takes two AAA batteries to operate. The speaker itself faces outwards, which means the ideal listening position is with the unit closed. A short cable can be found inside the case which can be attached to any music source that has a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The i-rocks MP3 Audio Case -- which features a maximum amplifier output power of 0.75W -- produces a surprisingly decent sound, considering it only has a single speaker. The unit features NXT flat panel loudspeaker technology, and while it sounds OK, audiophiles need not bother. Volume isn't terribly loud -- don't expect to have this as the main audio source for a party -- and can only be controlled via the source device (i.e. your attached MP3 player).
As a case, the i-rocks MP3 Audio Case is fairly sturdy, though with the speaker taking up a fair chunk of room on the inside, the unit won't hold too much. Having said that, what space you do have is too big for a single MP3 player or mobile phone, so expect whatever you have in there to be jostled if you move the case around too much.