The Belkin SportCommand iPod remote is designed for individuals who engage in activities that pose substantial risk to life and limb but wish to keep their iPods safe while doing so. The device’s flexible cloth controller attaches to your clothing and sends signals to a 4.5-inch RF receiver that connects to your iPod, allowing you to tuck your iPod away inside your coat or backpack to protect it from the elements. Of course, you still have to run a wire for your headphones.
The remote’s large, water-resistant buttons are easy to use and responsive—even if you are wearing gloves. The unit can withstand a fair amount of abuse; after a week of use, the SportCommand came out looking pretty good, even after we washed some mud off of it. The controller covers just the basics: power, play/pause, previous or next track, and volume (you can’t switch playlists), but when exercising, we’re not necessarily concerned with navigating a full interface.
The included neoprene and Velcro strap is best suited for use with ski gear. It even stayed secure on our coat, with no slippage or shifting, but the strap isn’t particularly comfortable when worn with lighter clothing. We definitely appreciated the inclusion of a sturdy carabiner, which we used when we went on a long run.
The SportCommand’s promised range of 50 feet was easily met, and we had no problem connecting to our iPod through coats or backpacks; however, without wireless headphones, it’s unlikely you’ll ever need to test the limits of the unit’s range.
We’re pleased with the SportCommand’s performance, but it’s a little spendy for a remote. One potential issue is that the device’s lower operating-temperature limit is -10 C, which means you could run into some trouble on the slopes; however, we didn’t encounter any problems in our tests. The device’s construction is solid, though some minor fraying occurred along the remote’s seams and detaching the battery cover required a bit of surgery.
Water-resistant, durable as all get-out, comes with a "sturdy carabiner"
'tis a wee pricy, and might not survive a trip to the slopes.