The latest iPod Shuffle (4th generation) does not enjoy the title of the smallest music player from Apple. That title is still retained by the older model which they abandoned. Check out our full review of the iPod Shuffle 4G after the jump.
In fact, Apple reverted back 2 generations into the design of the iPod Shuffle (2G). It seems like Apple is admitting they got it wrong with the design of the iPod Shuffle 3G and should have gone with the design of the 2nd generation instead.
And so the correction has been made and the new iPod Shuffle is still small, slim and comes with a clip. The physical buttons are back (clickable control pad) so you’re not left at the mercy of the controls attached on the earphones.
The build and design is still an Apple signature with an anodized aluminum body that comes in a variety of colors. Probably, the only feature changes that was retained from the previous model was the use of the audio jack as the power and data socket (so charging the transferring music into the device via the audio/headphone jack).
The other one would be a physical button beside the Off toggle called VoiceOver button that speaks the song title, playlist/artist name or battery status. This helps give the user some sense of direction considering the lack of a display screen.
The headphones that came with the new iPod Shuffle is the same old white cord minus that small mic/volume controls that’s attached to it from the previous model (the coating is also less rubbery) .
Audio quality of the iPod Shuffle 4G is decent to good (I wouldn’t call it great) and does not seem to have any improvements from previous model of the iPod Shuffle. It doesn’t have that enough bass and range. However, if you’re a long-time uer of the iPod Shuffle (or even the Nano), you won’t notice any difference at all.
I think the headphones did not add any help since the sound tends to get a little tinny and broken at the highest volume setting. However, when using a better set of headphones (Sennheiser), the audio quality seemed to have improved considerably.
As usual, battery life is superb and you can use the iPod Shuffle for almost the whole day on just a single charge. Apple claims up to 15 hours but that hasn’t been achieved yet on my several tests (I only get around 12 hours on average).
The 4th generation of the iPod Shuffle shows some indication that Apple (or Johnny Ive) is somewhat having trouble coming up with new design inspirations for their entry-level iPod. It’s either that or the iPod Shuffle is already at its peak state (just like the iPod Classic).
What could be the most exciting news about the new iPod Shuffle 4G would be the price point. With a suggested retail price of Php2,490 (2GB), it’s almost 40% cheaper than the previous model (and even cheaper than the 1GB model that’s already been discontinued).