- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Last week’s announcement of more new iPod models — Nano, Shuffle and Touch — means there will not only be new varieties of the top music-player line to deal with, but also a lot of bling to attach to said items. While we’re at it, let’s not forget the array of gear available for one’s iPhone 4 and iPad, too.

I’ll confess to being as guilty of “accessory cupidity” as the next person. There are things one just has to have, I believe, in order to be a properly outfitted user.

Take the iPhone 4, or any iPhone model, for that matter. These are great devices, but they need protection. For my new iPhone 4, Coveroo’s $34.95 “candy shell” case features the name, facsimile signature and Jersey number of Washington Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb.

Yes, I got it in part to mildly annoy an officemate who is eternally loyal to the Philadelphia Eagles, but the Coveroo case — which can be customized just about every way from Sunday, it seems — offers good, lightweight protections for three of the iPhone’s four sides. A visit to www.coveroo.com will supply details and endless options.

And what of the iPhone’s front? It cost me $19.95 at the Tysons Corner Center, but a bodyguard now protects my phone’s front. Or, more precisely, the BodyGuardz plastic film, which is die-cut and fits over the phone’s screen perfectly. The plastic comes in “dry apply” or “liquid” versions, the latter being affixed using a spray of water. The phone is then “off limits” for 24 hours while it dries; any “bubbles” are supposed to smooth out over the next few days.

So far, I’m impressed. The whole idea of putting protection on the phone’s front is to avoid any scratches on the screen while retaining the ability to use the touch screen. You can put a check next to both points with the BodyGuardz product; apart from your local mall kiosk, you can learn more at www.bodyguardz.com.

Headphones are another accessory that springs to mind when contemplating portable audio items. As I write, the incredibly good music of Diane Birch is floating into my ears courtesy of the Rdio online music service (www.rdio.com) and v-moda’s Crossfade LP headphones. Now these are rather pricey “cans” at $249.99 a pair, but the sound is well worth it, not to mention the built-in iPod controller/microphone that lets you use these with an iPhone for calls. The sound is stunning, and the appearance, though a bit flashy with their chrome sides, is striking. Fantastic stuff, in my opinion.

If that price is too much for your budget, take a look at the “Reverb” headphones from Wicked Audio. “The Reverb line, inspired by city streets, infuses an urban appearance and over-the-ear design, along with enhanced bass, that delivers earth shaking sound,” the maker says of the $29.99 over-the-ear headphones, which do not include a microphone or iPod controller. I won’t say the sound is “earth shaking,” per se, but it’s very, very good and certainly represents value for the money.

And for those who want earbuds, rather than headphones, check out Maximo’s iMetal 595’s. List price is $79.99, though I’ve seen them online for about $10 less. The sound is amazing, truly amazing, and the package includes four different ear tips to use in order to obtain the best bass sound. There’s a built-in mic for iPhone calls, and this is one product I’d say is a “must have” for traveling types. Information is at http://bit.ly/a1tC72.

Oh, and for schlepping around an iPad in style and comfort, nothing I’ve seen beats the $35 “Federale” from ColcaSac.com, which is based in Salt Lake City. It snugly holds the iPad and power adapter, and looks great while doing it. It’s one purchase I did not regret.

E-mail mkellner@washingtontimes.com.