Tripods: those evil killing machines from the tragically decommissioned BBC sci-fi series, or the thing you balance your digital SLR on to stabilise a shot? But now there's another definition. The Tripod pictured here is a set of portable iPod speakers that make up a three-way speaker system to blast your Dido-infested playlist out into the surrounding room. We've heard of stereo -- that means two-channel sound, but what is this? Three speakers!
It's clear to everyone except gardeners that the Tripod looks best when plugged into an iPod Shuffle, but none-the-less it will accept a standard iPod. This makes it look ridiculous though, like a very fat man balanced on spindly legs. The best MP3 player to plug into the Tripod is the Shuffle. Most people will assume you have some kind of advanced Japanese throwing-star on your desk, and they'll become more polite, courteous and cautious around you. This is one of those rare iPod accessories that takes the design principles of the iPod and actually improves on it.
The Tripod uses one AAA battery to draw its power and each leg is almost exactly the same size as the Shuffle itself. When its legs are stowed, it's barely bigger than a cigarette lighter. For £16 it's hard to fault this endearing podcessory. -CS