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Review: Griffin iTrip for iPod nano

by on April 18, 2006

All sorts of iTrip models have existed in the past, but usually owners of the smaller iPods have had to put up with using an iTrip that just didn’t fit well with their mini or nano. Griffin changed this with their latest revamped iTrip for iPod nano. It includes new features and a great design that will be the ying to your nano yang for just $50.

Unlike Griffin’s previous versions of iTrip, the iTrip nano model is designed to appear like a natural part of the iPod. The nano slides directly into the formfitting, black iTrip, connecting via the Dock Connector and headphone jack and adding no real extra bulk with dimensions, 1.57″ x 3.97″ x 0.55″. Sorry obsessive-compulsive, white nano owners! You can only purchase this model in black. iTrip nano also offers on-screen tuning, supports both U.S. and international tuning modes, stores previous three used station presets, provides SmartSense volume control and stereo/mono modes, and draws all of its power directly from your nano.

iTrip for iPod nano + iPod nano

iTrip for iPod nano + iPod nano + bag

iTrip for iPod nano (Back)

The on-screen tuning makes changing the station and experimenting with the several new options a breeze. Seriously, what were the people at Griffin thinking before now? Now with just a couple clicks of the navigation switch, you can change the station without worrying about playing, pausing, and looking for blinking lights (I’m surprised I never got seizures). The station presets also do wonders for those of us on the road. Unfortunately because of my slim college budget, I was unable to test the international tuning options, but I’d imagine it would be great for overseas travel.

With SmartSense and stereo/mono modes, sound quality has definitely improved compared to previous iTrip models. In the past, finding the right volume for the best sound could prove to be a little tricky, but with SmartSense the iTrip will reset the volume for you. The new mono mode also makes city FM transmitting a little easier when you can’t
find a completely clear station. Finding a good station was still a little difficult, but the mono setting definitely helped with sound quality.

However, you may still have trouble finding a station in larger cities despite the new mono mode and road tripping can be a hassle as you’re forced to periodically update the station. Another drawback is the lost access to your nano’s Dock Connector. You’ll no longer be able to simply buy the standard car chargers or use Apple’s USB power adapter if you want to keep your nano/iTrip powered. You’ll need to purchase an USB A to 5-pin mini USB B cable that will connect from your charger to the iTrip.

Editor’s Note: Car chargers or AC adapters with a USB port can be used the the mini USB B cable to provide a suitable charging solution. Some of these include Griffin’s PowerBlock, PowerJolt, and Sonnet’s USB Power Adapter.

Finally, a storage bag is included, and holds both the nano and the iTrip. A drawstring keeps the entire system from falling out.

The iTrip for iPod nano gives the rest of us a unique choice to go along with our iPod, rather than force us to put up with oversized, wide accessories that were designed for other iPods.

The One-Sentence Verdictâ„¢

Griffin’s iTrip nano is great for anyone looking to take his or her nano-listening beyond mere headphones and into the stereo for a reasonable price and great design.

Pros: Slim design of awesomeness, aesthetically pleasing, simple controls, good sound quality, international capabilities, reasonable price
Cons: Poor sound quality/tough to tune in large cities, lost access to Dock Connector
Rating: 8/10

The Facts

Product: iTrip for iPod nano
Company: Griffin Technology
Platform: iPod (N)
Price: $49.99

This post has been filed in iPod, Mobile Devices, Reviews