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Want an iPod? Buy it abroad!
Surajeet Das Gupta
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August 12, 2005

For all Apple iPod lovers looking for accessories to enhance their listening pleasure, a piece of advice: in case you travel abroad or have relatives in the US or Singapore coming over, don't buy these accessories from India. They cost a fortune here, anything between 50 per cent to double the global price.

A second piece of advice: there is an array of iPod accessories in the marketplace -- from thousands of armbands, to fancy camera connectors and sophisticated remotes -- catering to all your fantasies.

But get down to brasstacks, choose accessories which would really make a difference rather than getting overwhelmed by the aggressive marketing by companies.

So what are the things you must have once you buy an iPod? Choices can differ but here is what I think are the essential things you need to buy -- after a chat with many iPod aficionados.

Perhaps the most important accessory that you should buy is the Griffin's iTrip, which is essentially an FM transmitter for the iPod. The iTrip lets you play all the music that you have stored into iPod wirelessly through an FM radio in your car, while you are driving, or at home in your stereo (which has a built-in FM) system. All you have to do is to tune the iTrip with any empty station from 87.7 to 107.9 in your FM radio.

The iTrip is designed exclusively for the iPods, so the design matches perfectly with your machine. Attach it to the earplug connector on the top of the iPod and you are on.

It does not have any buttons to plug it on or off -- it shuts off automatically after 60 seconds of silence. What makes it an innovative product is the fact it does not need any special battery, it draws power from the iPod.

So how much does it cost? Well, in Delhi, the iTrip for both the mini and the 10 GB Ipod is available at select outlets at Rs 2,490. Of course, if you want to buy it in Singapore it is yours for around Rs 1,800, or in the US for slightly over Rs 1,700.

But considering the fact that there is no real fun (for the rest of the family, that is) without the iTrip, if you have an iPod the extra that you have to fork out might not be that steep after all.

Arm bands: There are many other things, which are a must with the iPod apart from the iTrip. One is to have an arm band so that you can take your iPod while jogging or walking without having to fear that it will fall off.

Use the armband to wear on your arms and keep the iPod secure -- while running, dancing or working out. The price in India from Apple for a iPod mini armband is Rs 2,000. But if you pick it up from Singapore you pay only Rs 1,350 and have a choice of five colours, which include grey, orange, pink, yellow and blue.

That apart you must also have an iPod power adapter, which connects the iPod with any power outlet so that it can be recharged without the need of plugging it to the PC. Without that you cannot be mobile with the iPod. The price in India from Apple is Rs 1,900, but you can get it in Singapore for Rs 1,350. So take your pick.

The other thing you might want to buy for convenience is the iPod mini Dock. Dock the iPod on this base station and you can charge and sync the iPod with your computer or connect it to your home audio system. Price in India is Rs 2,200, but in case you are in Singapore, it is available for Rs 1,700.

Bluetooth headsets: There are many iPod diehards who are looking for much more than what the earphones, which come with the pack offer. The array of choices of earphones is mind boggling but there are two interesting alternatives in case you are interested.

If you are ready to fork out money go for the Logitech Wireless Bluetooth Headphone for the iPod. It is, of course, not cheap -- it costs a cool Rs 6,400 even in the US and in case you get it in India it will be more expensive.

With this, you can listen to your music wirelessly till about 30 feet away from the iPod and a special frequency-hopping technology ensures that interference is minimised and you enjoy crystal clear output.

It has rechargeable batteries and can play uninterrupted for eight hours. What's more, you can remotely adjust volume, play and pause and select tracks without having to touch the iPod. The choice is loud and clear: if you have the money go for it. But it is surely a bit expensive.

Earjams: For those who are looking at some other not so fancy options for headphones, Griffin has an interesting offer: Earjams. The Earjams have to be attached on the iPod headphones, which come with the product. The Earjams come with three sizes of earbuds to suit your comfort level.

What they do is to offer you massive bass, raise the earbud volumes up to 10 decibels and improve the quality of sound coming from the iPod earphones. And even in India, they are relatively expensive - around Rs 900 a set - and in case you are dashing off to the US it's for less than Rs 650.

There are many who tell me that they would love to listen to the iPod in the tranquility of their bedrooms. Or have small speakers next to their bedside to listen to their favourite songs. Again the choices are just amazing.

Apart from the Bose Sound Dock digital music system, those looking for cheaper choices can go for the Altec Lansing IM3C exclusively made for the iPod in which like Bose you can dock the machine (Singapore price is Rs 6,975).

Or go for the JBL On Stage iPod speakers, which offer easy use touch controls, and recharging facility without the need of a PC (price in Singapore Rs 6,700).

In India, the iPod costs between Rs 22,500 and Rs 31,900 depending on the storage capacity of the device, the lowest being 15 GB and the highest for 40 GB.

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