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Review: tapSTICK gives you back control of your iPod shuffle

Apple recently launched a new iPod shuffle, but made a major design change that limits you from using your own personal headphones. They moved the basic controls from the device to the headset so you have to use the Apple headphones or buy some made specifically for the iPod shuffle with integrated controls. Scosche has a solution for new iPod shuffle owners so you can use your own high end headphones without having to buy another expensive set with the controls. The tapSTICK is a slim, sleek case that slides over the iPod shuffle to give you back controls on the unit so you can use ANY headset you desire with the shuffle.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer on

Apple recently launched a new iPod shuffle, but made a major design change that limits you from using your own personal headphones. They moved the basic controls from the device to the headset so you have to use the Apple headphones or buy some made specifically for the iPod shuffle with integrated controls. Scosche has a solution for new iPod shuffle owners so you can use your own high end headphones without having to buy another expensive set with the controls. The tapSTICK is a slim, sleek case that slides over the iPod shuffle to give you back controls on the unit so you can use ANY headset you desire with the shuffle.

Since I don't have my own new iPod shuffle, I had a buddy with one take it for a spin for a couple of weeks to test out. Morgan is an avid runner and has a set of sweat proof headphones, actually the same as the JayBird ones I tested out in August. Overall, he was quite pleased with the tapSTICK and prefers to use it over the standard Apple headphone that do not stay in your ears well while running.

The tapSTICK retail package includes the tapSTICK and a 3 foot 3.5mm audio cable so you can connect to a car stereo or other compatible speaker system with 3.5mm port. There are three large rubberized buttons on the tapSTICK to control volume, play/pause, skip tracks and activate VoiceOver. You still have to double-tap to advance the songs so it would have been great to have seen one more button used for advancing songs since double tapping can be a bit of a pain while running and is one of the most common functions you perform.

The tapSTICK fit over the headset jack and connects through the headset jack so that the controls can be activated. This actually offers a bit more protection for the shuffle from sweat and I have heard of iPods failing due to sweat in the headset jack before so this is a real benefit. The polycarbonate tapSTICK also offers some protection of the shuffle when it comes to wear and tear. One aspect of the way the tapSTICK fits over the shuffle is that there is no way to control the power button on the shuffle so you will need to turn it on before placing it in the tapSTICK case.

The tapSTICK is a $29.99 accessory available in either white or black. If you have a set of headphones you like to use for working out and want a new iPod shuffle then this is definitely an option to consider.

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