Second Gen Nano is “stunning”

Written by: Adam Christianson

Categories: Reviews

syncdockconnector20060912.jpgSo yesterday I went out and bought a Blue, 4GB second generation iPod nano. I am stunned.

The first thing of course was the packaging; dramatic change. The whole thing feels much more finished, much more professional and much more Apple than the really “nice”, but still cardboard, cardboard boxes of the first generation Nanos. The whole thing is encapsulated in a small transparent box which somehow brings to mind the 5th Avenue NYC store. It’s held out by two clasps (top and bottom) from a clear backing which “hides” a fold out cuboid of very silky card, in which the headphones, dock and USB cable reside. Overall the design of the packaging is much smaller (due to it not coming with an iTunes install CD), simple, more elegant, cleaner and more refined.

The Nano itself is wonderful. Harking back to the long gone days of only last year when we all crowded around the iPod mini. The exterior is again a refinement of the era. Rounded sides, white end caps, one piece all aluminum casing… Even the color choices are the same (silver, pink, green and blue). It feels much sturdier than before, much more like it won’t break, dent or squash too easily and the anodized metal doesn’t feel scratchy at all (not that that stops me from being cautious).

In terms of features, it’s fully packed too. Although, I don’t think I will ever use the ever pointless “search feature”. The main thing for me really is volume; the first generation Nano didn’t give good volume. This however does. The new Nano bursts ear drums at a thousand paces, providing the kind of volume at around one third the bar indication that the previous Nano achieved (my 1G was always on max and still I often couldn’t hear it).

Also bundled are the new headphones. I’m not sure if these play a part in the volume increase, but they are certainly more comfortable. While they are ultimately very similar to the original headphones I have been wearing them all day today and my ears are only just starting to hurt; that’s nearly 12 hours as opposed to 12 minutes. I don’t think I will need to buy more headphones for a while at least.

Not the most in depth review, but I will say that overall this is a massive improvement on the original Nano. If you liked the iPod Mini you will be blown away. Great price point, colors, design and features. All that is missing (forever I fear) is the FireWire cable (and of course a couple of small software upgrades). Very impressed, well worth the money and wish they had had the PRODUCT (Red) in stock because that’s what I went in for (couldn’t resist).

This is the personal music player for those who don’t need 2TB of songs at all times. Well done Apple.

There are 9 comments on Second Gen Nano is “stunning”:

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  1. rick | Nov 07 2006 - 12:29

    Please tell us a little bit about the sound quality. I have heard that the new iPod shuffles have a hummm, specially at low volumne or when a song is not playing. I would be interested to know if this new Nano has some problems with the sound. Thanks.

  2. Matt Hoult | Nov 07 2006 - 12:48

    I can say with complete certainty that my nano does not have this issue. It seems that this is limited to the second generation iPod shuffles although I haven’t tested one myself (yet).

  3. Tom | Nov 07 2006 - 03:11

    Congrats Matt on the new nano!! I have been holding out, but I really want a 8GB Black one. I have a 4GB one now and feel like upgrading. Hard to resist after reading all the great reviews!!

  4. ken fitzgerald | Nov 07 2006 - 03:58

    Please expand on the “pointlessness” of the search feature.
    Can you search artist/album/song/all/ or just one of those categories?
    I could sure do with a search feature on my 30Gb.


  5. Railrider | Nov 07 2006 - 07:44

    The search feature is much more useful on one of the hard drive based iPods. Basically, it’s just a text search that will match all occurances of the term that you enter, no matter where the term appears (beginning, middle or end). This applies to all items on your iPod. The results are displayed with small icons next to them, so you can tell if it’s an artist, album, song, etc. You can probably find some good pics at in their review of the updated 5G iPods.

  6. Railrider | Nov 07 2006 - 08:57

    “Rounded sides, white end caps, one piece all aluminum casing…”

    Except on the black one, which has glossy black end caps, not to mention a matching black scroll wheel. I think the white scroll wheels on the 2G, 4GB and red 8GB models look a bit odd.

  7. studio34 | Nov 08 2006 - 06:42

    >>>The new Nano bursts ear drums at a thousand paces

    I can’t imagine recommending an ipod for its ability to destroy one’s hearing.

  8. Matt Hoult | Nov 08 2006 - 12:07

    [b]@studio34[/b]: Now that all depends on your use and musical tastes doesn’t it?

  9. Mike Breed | Nov 11 2006 - 06:35

    I have a 2G shuffle and haven’t noticed any humming. I plug it into my ’07 Camry’s dash and crank it up and don’t hear any extraneous noise. I definitely want the red Nano!