Review: Apple iPod Shuffle 3rd Gen

Apple’s newest Shuffle (at almost 50 percent smaller than the previous Shuffles) could easily be mistaken for a stick of Trident, features no buttons and it pimps voice-identification technology. But even given its apparent readily consumable stature, there are a few features on the Shuffle that are a bit tough to swallow.

The biggest gripe on the 4-GB Shuffle we tested is definitely the control set. First off, it’s completely counter-intuitive; Apple says you can easily use it without looking. We still don’t have the hang of it after a few days of testing. What’s worse if you have a decent set of earbuds (say a pair of Shures or Ultimate Ears) you’re totally hosed — you’ll have to endure the ‘buds that come with the shuffle or pick up a specially made third party headphones. Our recommendation? Pick up a new Shuffle only if you’re prepared to deal with proprietary headphones and ambiguous controls. Oh and keep it out of the reach of small children &mdash they may try to eat it.

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