Apple iPod shuffle (3rd Generation)
Allegedly the world’s smallest MP3 player, Apple’s latest iPod shuffle now talks to you thanks to VoiceOver technology.
- In-line controls are easier to access when jogging/walking, minimalist design, VoiceOver feature, supports multiple playlists, 4GB storage
- Too small, can’t use standard third-party headphones, shuffle slider button too small, multiple click sequences are frustrating
If you are the type of person who will simply switch on your iPod and let it play, then the new iPod shuffle may appeal to you. As it stands, though, Apple’s latest music player is too small, uses a frustrating control system and doesn’t allow flexibility when it comes to third-party headphones.
Price$ 129.00 (AUD)
Apple’s latest iPod shuffle is smaller than an AA battery and features a new technology called VoiceOver, which lets it speak the names of tracks, artists and playlists.
Aesthetically, there isn’t much to say about the 4GB iPod shuffle. It’s absolutely tiny and the design is very minimalist, with only an etched Apple logo on the rear stainless steel clip distinguishing it as an Apple MP3 player. While we can appreciate the achievement of making a music player this small, it’s a little too small for our liking — the shuffle is ridiculously easy to misplace or lose.
To make the iPod shuffle this small Apple has moved the music playback controls from the unit itself onto the headphones. This means the only button on the iPod shuffle is a tiny switch that allows you to turn the unit off, put your music in shuffle mode, or play your songs in order. The in-line controls on the headphones mean you can't fully use a regular pair with the iPod shuffle — you will be able to hear music in the order you have uploaded it, but you won’t be able to control volume, pause or skip tracks, or manage playlists. A number of third-party headphones that support the iPod shuffle have recently been announced, including models from Klipsch, Etymotic Research and V-MODA.
The in-line remote has three buttons (volume up, volume down and a centre button). A double-click skips to the next track, a triple-click skips to the previous track and the centre button pauses the currently playing track. Double-click and hold or triple-click and hold fast forward and rewind the currently playing track, respectively. Clicking and holding the centre button skips through playlists. We would have appreciated more buttons — it’s easy enough to grasp, but the fact that you sometimes have to triple-click or hold down buttons detracts from the overall user experience.
Because the iPod shuffle doesn’t have a screen, Apple has introduced what it calls VoiceOver technology. This allows the iPod shuffle to speak track titles, artist names and playlist names when you hold down the centre button. VoiceOver is available in 14 different languages, and for most part we found pronunciation to be excellent. The voice will differ slightly depending on whether you use a Mac computer or a PC running Windows, with the latter using a female voice. We preferred the male voice, which is only available if you synchronise the shuffle with a Mac running the Leopard OS X operating system. The iPod shuffle connects to your PC or Mac via the included 3.5mm-to-USB jack.
Sound quality is fair, though not outstanding. The included headphones are comfortable to wear for long periods, but sound is average. Bass lacks punch, while highs sound a little flat, sometimes causing guitar riffs in particular to lose clarity.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 2 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
- 4 Oppo A57 phone: full, in-depth review
- 5 Moto G5 Plus phone: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Europe moves to develop standard mobile phone chargers
- Michael Jackson's death knocks Google & Twitter offline
- Palm CEO: We don't have to beat each other to prosper
- RIM patches BlackBerry PDF vulnerability
- Big Profits from App Store? Maybe Not for Apple
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Asus launches laptops to start Computex 2017
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTProject Coordinator - Digital Applications (IT)NSW
- FTSolution ArchitectSA
- TPSenior Sitecore Developer (.NET)QLD
- TPICT Customer Support Officer - ForsterNSW
- TPArcGIS DeveloperVIC
- CCSenior Systems Engineer - WintelNSW
- FTSenior Front End Developer - BRISBANEVIC
- FTProject Manager Large ICT Enabled Business Change ProjectQLD
- CCSenior Procurement SpecialistVIC
- CCBusiness AnalystWA
- FTIT Systems EngineerTAS
- FTPeopleSoft Campus Solution ConsultantNSW
- FTSenior SharePoint Administrator. Location -ACTACT
- FTBusiness Intelligence / Datawarehouse DeveloperSA
- FTBusiness Development Manager IT Software & Primary HealthcareQLD
- FTDatawarehouse DeveloperSA
- FTDelightful Team with a Great Culture Seeking a PHP DeveloperNSW
- FTNV1 Cleared Software Configuration Engineer - Defence Projects - North Ryde areaNSW
- FTIT Command Centre Support EngineerVIC
- FTChange & Communications AnalystQLD
- FTAccounts and Office AdministratorNSW
- FTiOS DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Technical Consultant - RELOCATE TO CANBERRANSW
- FTApplication Support Lead l Experience with health applicationsNSW