Apple iPod Shuffle 4th generation review
Apple iPod Shuffle 4th generation reviewT3
New iPod Shuffle slims down, but new features speak volumes. Quite literally
Apple’s new iPod Shuffle fourth generation may be the baby of the latest iPod line up but with its sub £40 price and robust simplicity, it’s got its own charms. Reverting back to the 2G Shuffle’s button design but incorporating the creepy VoiceOver feature of the iPod Shuffle third generation, today’s Shuffle is the most compact Apple has produced, yet the buttons are nearing a fifth bigger than ever before.
As with the previous incarnation, you flick the small slider on top to switch between continuous and random playback and tap the equally small button flanking it to activate VoiceOver – one press for the current track and artist; two for battery status; hold it down to cycle the playlist menu. You have to enable (and download) the VoiceOver Kit in iTunes, but installation is automatic
More on the new iPod Shuffle fourth generation:
Watch the iPod Shuffle fourth generation video on the right >>
Click here for exclusive new iPod Shuffle pictures
Check out the new iPod Shuffle unboxing
More Apple reviews:
It’s hardly as much fun to use as touchscreen Apple iPod Touch, nor is it as intuitive, but you’ll soon get used to operating playback, blindly, in a pocket.
Once connected to a Mac or PC using the small 3.5mm-jack-to-USB cable, the Shuffle can be synced with multiple playlists and Genius mixes through iTunes, as well as podcasts, audiobooks and iTunes U files. Tick a box in iTunes and the Shuffle can also be used as an external flash drive.
New iPod Shuffle fourth generation: Audio and battery
Audio doesn’t reach the volume or quality of its bigger brethren but as a lightweight – just 12.5g – MP3 player to clip onto a sleeve or short pocket when exercising, there’s nothing that does the job better.
The battery gives just under 14 hours continuous play before needing a recharge and the supplied Apple headphones are about as good as ever – ie: not very. In the case of the Shuffle, adding more expensive cans won’t greatly improve the range, bass and punchiness of the audio, but it’d be nice to at least have earphones that stay in your ears during a treadmill session, or won’t annoy your fellow commuters through ‘leaky’ sound.
That aside, at just £39, with 2GB of storage and coming in a variety of fruity colours – our “orange” was more gold, and better for it – this iPod Shuffle is the best effort to date.
Find out more from Apple
iPod Touch and iPod Nano 2011 video
The iPod just got better with the new Nano and Touch 201101:23
New Apple iPod shuffle fourth gen luxury video
New Apple iPod shuffle fourth gen luxury video01:46
New Apple iPod touch fourth gen luxury video
New Apple iPod touch fourth gen luxury video01:50
Apple iPod Nano sixth gen luxury video
Apple iPod Nano sixth gen luxury video02:25
iPhone 5 video: rumour update
A rundown of the features we would like to see in the Apple iPhone 503:27
LG Optimus 3D vs HTC Evo 3D
We test two of the top 3D phones avaialble01:52
Apple iCloud video
We take a look at the new service including iTunes Match01:36
Apple iPod Touch 5th generation unboxing
The latest iPod Touch is on sale but what's inside the box?02:19
Apple iPod Shuffle fourth generation
Best Smartphones: Reviews
HTC One M8 review
The new HTC One (M8) is the brand's new flagship Android KitKat smartphone
Samsung Galaxy S5 review
Can the new Samsung Galaxy S5 flagship smartphone blow away the competition?
iPhone 5s review
Google Nexus 5 review
Can the Google Nexus 5 trump the excellent Nexus 4?
LG G2 review
Is the G2 the best Android smartphone around?
HTC One Mini review
The HTC One Mini is a scaled down version of the popular HTC One Android phone
LG G Flex review
The LG G Flex is the maker's very first curved Android smartphone
Motorola Moto E review: Hands-on
Is the Motorola Moto E the best budget smartphone around?