Apple iPod Shuffle (fourth generation)
Apple's fourth-generation iPod Shuffle sees the return of physical playback controls
- VoiceOver button, longer battery life, return of physical playback controls
- Difficult to determine exact battery level, no hold feature, only 2GB model available, no in-line controls on headphones
Apple's fourth-generation iPod Shuffle is a sleek and easy-to-use device, largely thanks to the return of the controls offered by the first- and second-generation Shuffles. The VoiceOver feature is also a big winner.
Price$ 49.00 (AUD)
Apple's iPod Shuffle has returned to its roots: unlike the third-generation iPod Shuffle, there are physical playback controls on the MP3 player itself.
The new iPod Shuffle looks very similar to the second-generation model that was released in 2006. It is slightly smaller than the new iPod Nano and its case is made from a single piece of aluminium.
As with its other iPods, Apple seems to have included as little as possible in the sales package: headphones, a USB to headphone cable, an Apple sticker and a mini manual. If you're looking for accessories for your iPod or iPhone check out our buying guide for MP3 accessories.
Apple has reintroduced a plastic control system and an aluminium clip. There are buttons to alter the volume and next and previous buttons to skip tracks. A play/pause button is embedded in the centre of the iPod Shuffle. The clip feels sturdy and attaches to clothing very easily.
On the top edge of the iPod Shuffle is a three-position switch that allows the user to switch off the iPod, shuffle and play tracks in order. There is also an indicator light that highlights the battery level of the iPod when charging — green (full battery), orange (25% battery) and red (low battery) — and a VoiceOver button that tells you what track is playing, what your level of battery is and what playlists you have available.
To activate the VoiceOver function you simply push the button once to hear the track name and artist, twice to find out your battery level, and hold it to scroll through available playlists. You can skip through these quickly using the next/previous buttons or just listen to the playlists as the voice reads them out. You can select a playlist by pushing the play button.
The new iPod Shuffle is very easy to use. Changing playlists or from shuffle to normal mode is a seamless experience, as is switching tracks and changing the volume. People with in-line earphones or third-party earphones with buttons will be pleased to note that they will be supported by the Shuffle. However Apple has bundled its regular bud earphones with the iPod. Conveniently, the VoiceOver function supports 25 languages including English, Italian, Spanish and Japanese.
One issue with the iPod Shuffle is the lack of a hold/lock button to prevent buttons being accidentally pressed. Apple's support forum details users experience of accidentally changing tracks as a result of this.
According to Apple, the new iPod Shuffle delivers 15 hours of audio playback off a single charge, equating to five hours longer than the previous model.
Sound quality is adequate, but the included earphones aren't the best and the lack of in-line controls makes no sense, especially on a device that ideal for fitness use.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z3 review: The no-frills flagship
- 2 Samsung's Galaxy Alpha review: A peek into the Galaxy S6
- 3 Samsung Galaxy Note 4 review: The busiest, biggest and best Samsung phablet
- 4 Aldi's $279 Bauhn Sphere review: Disappointing
- 5 Nokia Lumia 735 review: Perfectly ordinary
Best Deals on GoodGearGuide
Latest News Articles
- Think North Korea hacked Sony? Think about this
- Uber temporarily suspends service in Portland
- The 'grinch' isn't a Linux vulnerability, Red Hat says
- Messaging app Line buys Microsoft's MixRadio music-streaming app
- Vulnerability in embedded Web server exposes millions of routers to hacking
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.