iPod touch Buying Guide: Essential Tips and Accessories

8 Things to Consider Before Buying an iPod touch

There's no hotter – or cooler – iPod than the iPod touch. With its light weight, small size, powerful features, and lovely touchscreen, it's a compelling package.

Buying an iPod touch isn't as simple as just leaving the store with the device itself. You'll also need to consider buying accessories, extended warranties, and other items that can make the device more enjoyable to use. 

Let's look at some of your options and their importance. As you read through the list, you will notice that each item has a recommendation: from Required to Recommended to Optional. Some of these will definitely make your iPod touch experience better, while other are simply luxuries that are not essential but that you may want to consider in the future.

6th Gen. iPod touch
6th Gen. iPod touch. image credit: Apple Inc.

You have a few decisions to make about the purchase of the iPod touch itself.

Generation. The 6th Generation iPod Touch was released in 2015. While older models remain available, there's really no reason to buy anything but the latest. It will give you the fastest processor, the best camera, and other up-to-date features. Sure, you can save a little money buying an earlier generation of the iPod touch, but you'll be giving up valuable features and getting something pretty outdated. Buy the 6th Generation model.

Color. The iPod touch is available in a great array of colors, so you're sure to find one to fit your style.

Storage Space. Possibly the biggest consideration for any iPod is its capacity, since this determines how many songs, games, and apps you can get on the device.

Most newer generations give you the option of 32GB or 64GB of storage, and the 6th Generation also comes with a 128GB option that's available exclusively through Apple stores.

The best advice is to buy as much storage as you can afford. The more storage you have, the more fun you'll have and the longer you'll be happy with your iPod touch.

iPod touch case

J-West Tech

Do you have a case for your phone? Then you should get a case for your iPod touch as well.

Cases cost $20-$40 or so and that's a pretty small amount to spend to protect a device you just spent hundreds on. Let's face it: Even the most careful among us drop these things from time to time.

Get a case to prevent scratches, absorb shocks from jostling, and prevent serious damage during one of those accidental drops. It's a small investment that you will not regret.

  • Be sure to get a slim case because part of the joy of the iPod touch is its slim, trim frame.
  • Make sure that the case is designed specifically for your generation of the touch. There are subtle differences that can impact the usefulness of the case.​
where to download itunes
The latest iTunes icon. image copyright Apple Inc.

The iPod touch is first and foremost a media player and that means you need to load it up with music. After all, it is an iPod! 

  • Begin with your current music library and rip CDs that you already own.
  • Create an Apple ID and take advantage of the millions of songs available on iTunes. The cost is minimal and it's much better (and safer) than illegal downloads.
  • Consider an Apple Music subscription. For about $10/month, you get unlimited access to millions of songs and can even download them to listen to when you're not connected to the internet.
App store logo
image copyright Apple

One of the benefits of upgrading to the iPod touch is that it is not just a great media player. Unlike other iPods, this device can run games and apps from the App Store, too. 

If you're not using these third-party programs, you're not getting the full iPod touch experience. Download some apps – most range from free to US$9.99 – and join the fun!

iPod touch screen protector

SPARIN

The iPod touch sports a beautiful touchscreen. Like any screen, it picks up dirt and smudges from the oil on your fingers pretty easily, so the screen often looks dirty. The screen can also get scratched.

Protect your iPod touch's screen with a thin overlay screen protector. It is another small investment that will improve your iPod experience.

  • Some cases include a built-in screen protector.
  • Screen protectors often come in a pack of two or three. Be sure to stash your spare someplace where it won't get lost and you won't forget it.
  • Again, make sure the screen protector matches your iPod model.
AppleCare +
AppleCare +. image credit: Apple

The iPod touch comes with a 90-day phone support, 1-year hardware support warranty. You’re probably going to have your iPod touch longer than that and it may be a good idea to add an extended warranty to your initial purchase.

  • The AppleCare extended warranty covers up to two accidental damage claims, though there is an additional service charge for each claim. Still, it's far less than paying the full repair price.
  • Includes priority phone and online chat tech support.
  • If you change your mind, you can get a pro-rated refund on the warranty.

You may not end up using that warranty, but if you do, the cost difference will be worth it.

Apple AirPods
image credit: Apple Inc.

When you purchase a new iPod touch, a set of Apple EarPods are included. These are great for listening to music on the go and they sound good, but you do have other options.

  • If you enjoy the portability of earbuds, consider upgrading to Apple EarPods with Mic and Remote. This gives you volume and playback control right there on the earbud cord.
  • Does your iPod Touch run iOS 10 or higher? You might consider going wireless with AirPods. They work off Bluetooth and do require charging, but you won't have to worry about cords getting in your way.
  • Consider third-party earbuds or headphones from a company that specializes in headphones like Bose or Beats. 

You don't have to listen to your iPod by yourself. A good speaker allows you to share your music with friends and enjoy your tunes in a room without being attached to the device.

Portable speakers have improved greatly since they were introduced and the sound quality is amazing in many of your options. Some even deliver sounds equal to the average home stereo. 

  • You can find portable speakers at all price ranges, from inexpensive models to high-end speakers.
  • Many speakers will connect with your iPod touch via Bluetooth. 
  • Some of the least expensive speakers use a cord that plugs into the touch's headphone jack.
  • Most speakers can be charged and run without a power cord. The amount of time you get on a single charge will vary from one model to the next.
  • Speakers can also be used with your phone and many other devices, so the investment extends beyond your iPod.
verizon jetpack wi-fi hotspot

Verizon Inc.

Unlike the iPhone, the iPod touch can only connect to the internet when it has access to a Wi-Fi hotspot. You may have Wi-Fi in your home or office, but what about when you're out and about? 

Many phone companies – such as AT&T and Verizon – offer subscriptions to their hotspot networks, which can be found in places like Starbucks, hotels, and airports, or hotspot devices (like the ubiquitous Jetpack). These monthly subscriptions aren't cheap, but they can be useful, depending on your needs. 

Check with your mobile carrier about your options. Who knows, it may even be included in your current plan.

Your other Wi-Fi options include:

  • Connect to public Wi-Fi networks. This is a free option you can use with many Wi-Fi networks in retail locations, though security is always an issue and the connection is not always the best.
  • Use your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot. This may affect your data plan and you need to remain aware of your usage. Not all phones offer this capability, though iPhones do.

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