3rd, 4th, and Mini iPod versions
We’ve reviewed several products from
OtterBox in the past. The first review was posted in
2002, and yet another in
three reviews were all for watertight PDA cases, but OtterBox isn’t just about
PDAs, they also sell cases for tablet computers, cigars (I’m not kidding!) and
Apple iPods. Today I’m going to tell you about their iPod case. We first saw
this watertight case earlier this year at
The OtterBox is a play through case that protects your digital audio player from
water, sand, dirt, dust and even drops. Available in 5 colors: White, Pink,
Green, Blue and Yellow, the OtterBox has an integrated clip that can be used on a
belt or with the optional arm band. There are versions of this case available
for the Mini, 3rd and 4th gen iPods.
I was sent the 4th gen version.
Made of slightly flexible, but thick plastic, this case is definitely rugged!
It is comprised of two pieces. The bottom portion of the case is lined in grey
rubber with a foam mat on the floor of the shell. An extra mat is included if
you intend to use this case with 20gb 4th gen iPod. My 40gb unit only requires
At the top of the case, there is a headphone cable pass-thru insert. The case
comes with a total of 3 different inserts. One for use with the stock Apple ear
buds, one for the Apple remote and one for generic flat two wire style ear buds.
The iPod presses into the bottom half of the OtterBox with a little pressure.
Once seated, it feels quite secure.
The top portion of the case has a hook that mates with a ridge on the other
half of the case. This hook acts as a sort of hinge to close the OtterBox. A press
fit latch at the top snaps the lid shut with a medium amount of pressure. Once
closed, your iPod is completely encased and protected from the elements. While
the OtterBox will protect your device from water, it is not to be considered
waterproof. Just water resistant.
There are two windows in the face of the case that allow you to fully
interact with the iPod. There is a full sized flexible membrane over the display
and a circular membrane over the touch wheel. The window over the display is
clear enough to see the menus, but is a bit foggy. I’m not sure why they decided
to go with a membrane here, as they could have just used a solid clear plastic
window instead. As is, the flexible rubber membrane tends to adhere to the
display in places, causing a slight bubble effect. This effect reminds me of
when you put a screen protector on your PDA incorrectly…
The membrane over the touch wheel is texturized and allows for easy
scrolling. The membrane is flexible enough to press the middle select button, as
well as the four points on the wheel edge (Menu, Prev, Next, Play/Pause).
In use, the case is bulky and does add weight (4 oz.) to your audio player.
That said, the OtterBox is a great case to use while camping, fishing, boating, at
the beach, hiking… I could go on and on… Basically, if you want to protect
your iPod from moisture and dirt, this is the probably the best solution so far.
Fully enclosed iPod protection from water and dirt
Lined with rubber for shock absorption.
Membrane over display tends to stick to it, making the display slightly
difficult to read