itself is designed, and continues to be redesigned, for comfort and convenience. So, users expect to be able to go about their daily activities, enjoying their music, uninhibited by all of the wires and the clips and the extra weight. For runners, or even brisk walkers, there is a constant fight with the headphone cord catching one’s arm and the nuisance of the iPod flapping against you on every step whether you have it clipped to your belt or just nestled in your pocket. After any decent amount of exercise, you are more tired from fighting with the equipment then from the activity itself. Griffin’s Tempo armband for the iPod offers a more inventive alternative for a more active consumer.
I strapped on the Tempo and prepared to take it out for a test run. Call me elementary, but the first thing I noticed about it was that the fabric was soft. The material is also durable and machine washable but when you need to be moving that is the least of your concerns. The last thing you would want is a rough edge rubbing up against your arm. I did, however, have some difficulty getting the band to fit. It took some time and some fiddling for me to find exaclty where I was comfortable and confident that my iPod was secure. This issue, though, really just takes some getting used to and every user would have to find what is comfortable for themselves. As far as the function goes, once my iPod was in the Tempo, I had every confidence that it was meant to stay there through all sorts of motion. I even tried turning the entire unit upside down and the iPod was held firmly in the case with no chance of movement. The screen was protected by a thick, but flexible, plastic that did slightly inhibit the use of the buttons. Occasionally a ripple would form in the cover and make scrolling through the menus a little tricky but, personally, I would rather take a few extra seconds to change from one album to another then have to worry about the safety of my iPod. My fingers can take a lot more punishment. With the Tempo on, the iPod secure, and The Doobie Brothers playing it was time for the actual field test.
Running with the Tempo was a vast improvement over the usual ordeal. The biggest irratant, the headphone cord, was clipped back and held out of my way leaving me free to flail my arms like the amateur runner that I am. I barely even noticed the armband except for the aforementioned tightness but as I moved more and more with it, I began to appreciate the necessity for keeping the iPod close. That proximity makes the entire set-up streamlined, forcing it to work with you and to move with you. The only qualm I had during the actual use of the Temp was how difficult it was to see the screen without crossing my eyes. One arm needs to be held up at an unnatural angle while the other hand tries to twist the iPod into visibility. The run went well, though, and I could definitely see myself using the Tempo again.
Overall, the Tempo armband from Griffin is an excellent idea carried out simply and effectively. Not only does it function well under actual usage but it does something much more important: It makes even the most graceless of us look like we know what we are doing.