The Best iPod Ever Made – iPod Shuffle 2nd Generation – $49 (refurb.) – $55.00 (new)
Originally Published 5/4/2010
NOTE: Since this post was published, the brand new 4th Generation Shuffle has debuted, and Apple has gone back to the features that made the 2nd generation so popular. But also note my personal 2nd generation is coming up on 4 years old, has been run through conditions ranging from -6 degrees to 105, dropped, stepped on, been played with by some rambunctious cats, and it’s still going strong.
Even Apple can screw up. They never should have redesigned the iPod Shuffle. Because the third generation is far inferior to the second.
The second generation is small, has buttons on the body, and is almost indestructible. The third generation ditched the buttons on the body in favor of a headphone cord that has the controls on it. Really bad idea Jobs.
The ipod Shuffle was born to be used while working out. And if you happen to sweat when you workout (here’s a fitness tip: you should) the controls on the 3rd generation are right there on the cord, ready to be flooded with your drippings. Once those headphones go, you’re SOL on using it until you get another pair of apple headphones with the controls on it. Not any old pair will do.
If you want your music in a small, light, tough package that can clip to your gym shorts on a run or easily stow inside your jacket pocket on a flight, stick with the second generation.