Apple iPod Classic 160GB (7th Generation) Review
Although we’ve had MP3 players in our pockets for well over a decade now, the most iconic of MP3 players didn’t arrive on the scene until fairly far into the development of MP3 player technology. When it did arrive, it changed the technology landscape for good, and started to make technology itself trendy. The product that managed to do all this came from Apple, and it was the classic iPod.
Despite its age and the developments that have since been made, the iPod remains seared into the memories of most and is easily identified as a symbol of MP3 player technology. And even though there are now a range of touch screen MP3 players out there, the old-school appeal of the iPod remains, which is why the iPod Classic (7th generation) is still a very popular device.
The iPod Classic doesn’t bring anything new to the party, and in fact it’s sort of the opposite. It’s for those who prefer the traditional kind of MP3 player, or who revel in “retro”-chic design and style. Still, it sells well even though it hasn’t been updated for a few years, so is it really worth buying? Or would you be better off going for a newer alternative? Let’s take a look.
Key Specs For The Apple iPod Classic 160GB (7th Generation)
- RRP: $229
- Release Year: 2009
- Size: 4.1 x 2.4 x 0.41 inches
- Weight: 4.9 ounces
- Display Size: 2.5 Inches
- Storage Size: 160GB
- Song Capacity: 40,000
- Battery Life (Video): Up to 6 Hours
- Battery Life (Audio): Up to 36 Hours
- Apps? No
Apple iPod Classic 160GB: The Pros
Storage: The biggest practical advantage of this MP3 player over so many others, including all of the latest iPods from Apple, is the storage capacity. Modern touch screen devices generally have smaller storage capacities than older technology, and the standard storage across the board for MP3 players, smart phones and tablets is now 32GB or 64GB. This is partly as a result of the potential for cloud storage, but remains a hindrance despite this.
The iPod Classic 7th generation model has a whopping 160GB storage. This dwarfs all modern alternatives and really opens up the potential for storing a large library of music on your device, as well as numerous films and more. In actual fact, the storage capacity of the iPod Classic translates to roughly 40,000 songs, or 200 hours’ worth of video (which is something like 80 to 100 movies on average). So if you want to take a lot of media with you without any internet access, this is a great choice.
Colors: This device comes in two colors, black and silver. This is a change from the older iPod’s white color, but is a welcome alteration that seems to refresh and rejuvenate the design, making it more up to date and less likely to fall into the realms of the unstylish. That means you can be more sure that you won’t be embarrassed to get your MP3 player out in public even if you opt for the silver version.
Physical Buttons: These days, physical buttons are becoming a real rarity. Touch screen interfaces are dominating the market and for some this is a real annoyance. There are those who simply find it easier to manipulate physical buttons (and this is particularly true in cold weather when touch screen interfaces struggle) as well as those with a preference for old school design.
In either case, the physical buttons on this device are solid and responsive. They give the reassuring sense that comes with a tactile response from the device your operating, something definitely lacking with touch screen devices. This is guaranteed to please those with a preference for the real over the virtual.
Interface: The interface on the 7th generation iPod Classic has had a redesign, and it’s a good one. Since the 6th generation a lot has changed, and it’s now easier than ever before to create playlists and just navigate through your music library to find the things you want. This makes the whole user experience easier and more enjoyable on the 7th generation iPod Classic than it was on previous versions.
Music, Movies, Videos, Photos, Games: The iPod Classic is a true multimedia device. Although it can’t browse the web, it offers you access to the full range of stored media including music, movies, videos and photos. Plus, if you link up to iTunes, you can download iPod Classic games to keep you entertained. So whatever you feel like doing when on the go, the iPod classic should have you covered.
Apple iPod Classic 160GB: The Cons
Screen Size: If you’re big on videos and photos then the screen size of the iPod Classic may let you down. At just 2.5” calling it small is something of an understatement by today’s standards. By contrast, the recently released iPod Touch 5th generation measures in with a spacious 4” screen giving plenty of viewing space. The Classic sacrifices on screen size in order to offer the old fashioned physical buttons, but this is a keenly felt loss for those who enjoy watching movies and TV shows on the go.
Sound Quality: Audiophiles will be disappointed with the iPod Classic 7th generation. While No iPod has ever been heralded for the astonishing quality of its audio, the 7th generation Classic actually has a fairly obvious downgrade in sound quality from its previous incarnation. Bass is very weak and treble far too prominent resulting in a flatter and tinnier sound.
Expensive: For an old/new product that lacks much of what the modern market can now offer, this is an expensive device. It costs around $250, which means its only $50 less than a brand new iPod Touch. This definitely counts against it.
Hard Drive Storage: Although the storage of this iPod Classic is much greater in size than modern alternatives, the downside is that everything is stored on a hard drive rather than on flash memory. Hard drives are a little slower to access, meaning browsing music isn’t as fluid as on modern alternatives, and more worryingly hard drive storage is much more susceptible to damage.
Is The Apple iPod Classic 160GB Worth Buying?
If old design and old school technology appeals to you, or if you enjoy the physicality of real buttons over touch screens, then this is a great device. If, however, you want access to everything that modern technology can offer, including web browsing, touch screen technology, cloud storage and more, then you’ll want to look elsewhere. This is a solid product, but overpriced in today’s market. Only buy if you truly can’t tolerate the more limited storage or touch screen controls of current market leaders.
If it’s for you grab one today at Amazon.com here
Thanks for the review. My wife has been asking for an iPod for a while now but with so many different ones out there, I had no idea which one to buy for her. I think she would really like one of these though. With such a large hard drive, she probably would never fill it up!
I own one of the classic 160 GB iPods and I love it. Before I bought it, I owned something like 400 CDs, so I knew I was going to need an mp3 player with a large hard drive. I was able to fit everything on it, still with room to spare. I would buy another one again in a heartbeat before wasting the same amount of money for a fraction of the storage!