Review: The iCatchi Plug™ (18th March 2011)
The iCatchi Plug is one of those little devices that does one thing – and does it well. The iCatchi is designed to fit into the headphone jack on iPhone, iPad and a host of other mobile phones, tablets and handheld game systems. It protects your device from “… liquids, humidity, dirt, fluff, dust and sand getting into the headphone jack hole.” Quite honestly, this is going to be a pretty quick review, but read on for the details.
The iCatchi is a small, plastic disc with a headphone jack plug sticking out of the bottom. It is available in a couple of form factors that work with various devices. The iCatchi website has a handy compatibility chart where you can check your device and see which iCatchi models will work with it. The models include Flat Round, Curved Round, Curved Rect and Short Round. These names mostly refer to the size and shape of the disc that sticks out of the headphone jack, with the exception of the Short Round, which has a shorter headphone plug designed to work with Nintendo and Sony handheld consoles.
The iCatchi fits snugly into the headphone jack of your device, with the disc portion sticking out. The plug fits flush against your device, which could be a problem with some cases. Due to the sheer number and variety of cases on the market, there’s no definitive answer as to whether the iCatchi will work with your specific case. Trial and error is really the only way to know for sure.
Along with each iCatchi Plug, you get the iCatchi Clip™ – another small plastic device that is designed to hold your iCatchi Plug while you’re using your headphones. The Clip has a, wait for it, clip that fits around your headphone cord and a small hole to store your Plug. Seems like a nice idea, but I could never separate the clip enough to fit my headphone cords into the device. Maybe my headphones have a large cord, but they are definitely not out of the ordinary. Again, your mileage may vary, but if your headphones have a remotely thick cord, I think it’s safe to say they probably won’t work.
A large part of the iCatchi’s marketing is geared towards customization and showing off your personal style with your iCatchi Plug. The device is available in a ton of different “themes“, ranging from politics and flags to fashion and sports teams. Unfortunately, a fair amount of these themes are marked as “coming soon”, but there are still a lot of different Plug styles to choose from. I reviewed the American Flag style. iCatchi also advertises services for businesses that would like to create custom Plugs with their company logo(s).
In closing, I think the iCatchi Plug is a slick little device. I wasn’t nearly as impressed with the Clip, but the Plug works as advertised and solves a problem I didn’t even know I had. I rarely use headphones with my iPhone, so keeping the iCatchi Plug plugged in all the time isn’t a problem. I’ll be more excited about this device when more themes become available (I’m particularly looking forward to the Che Guevara model), but there are still a nice handful to choose from right now. So, if you’ve ever worried about voiding your Apple warranty by accidentally getting water in your device (what, you didn’t know that voided your warranty?), the iCatchi Plug is a perfect solution.
The iCatchi Plug (with included iCatchi Clip) is available from the iCatchi website.
MSRP: $6.95 (future licensed styles TBD)
PROS: small, lightweight, customizable, completely seals off headphone jack
CONS: may not work with your case and/or headphones