OtterBox Defender Series Case for iPod touch 5G - Coal
Size: *32Color: BlackChange
Price:$32.99+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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223 of 239 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2013
2/26/13 - Watermark Fix
4/08/13 - Quality Issues Update
6/20/13 - Review Organization Update

Updates to this review can be found at the very end. I intend to update my review regularly in an effort to help others make the best decision.

After opening the packaging, to my surprise, the Otterbox felt a lot cheaper and lighter then I expected. In fact, I was rather disappointed with the seemingly cheap material.
However, after I installed my iPod, the case felt much better, and not quite so flimsy. The silicon felt nice to touch and fortunately was not a lint/dust magnet. The plastic looked much better when the case was fully applied as well.
The case feels very durable and true to the Otterbox slogan, it very much "inspires confidence."
The design is also nice, although those who love the iTouch's thin design may disgree with me. I feel that it adds some welcome bulk to the iTouch, making it feel much more like an iPhone 5. The added bulk gives a sense of strength and durability, and I definitely feel like the case can fully protect my iPod when dropped or crushed.
Even better, the Otterbox covers up the Apple Loop button on the back of the iPod touch, something most cases don't offer. I don't have much use for the loop, and it's annoying to me how everyone who sees it wants to give it a press. Now since it's covered up nicely.
I chose the Coal version, and coupled with my black iTouch, makes it seem like a stealth plane. Love it.

Always install in a dust-free room!
After I installed mine, I noticed dust and lint particles trapped under the screen protector. These particles are really annoying. I ended up removing the case several times to clean it. Which brings me to my next point... it is extremely difficult to remove the case. It took me near a solid 5-8 minutes struggling to remove the case with the iPod in it. The silicon can be easily removed, but the hard plastic shell underneath with the safety locks is very hard to pry open. The safety clips make it quite a struggle to remove the case, which is also a good thing, as you know the case is built very well and will definitely protect your iPod when the case makes impact with the ground. However, this does prevent a hassle when you actually want to remove the case to, say, clean the iPod.
If you ever need to remove the case, I'd recommend you be careful and do it over something soft, like a couch or bed, so the iPod doesn't fly out and make a suicide jump towards the ground.

You may also experience the infamous watermark (rainbow-effect issue), like I did. A lot of people don't actually know this term, so I'll explain it here.
Watermarking is not actually moisture or water in the case, but is actually light refracted as it passes through the transparent built-in screen protector. The result is a rainbow "blob" that looks unsightly on the screen. The effect can be seen whether the screen is on or off and is especially noticeable when the screen is off or white. I already have a TechArmor screen protector on my iPod in an attempt to mitigate the watermark effect, but to no avail. Those who are very picky with screen quality and those who are OCD may be very annoyed with this issue.
However, I've found a fix. All you need to do is spray the built in screen protector with some eye glasses cleaning solution and wipe it down with an oil-free (meaning it must be clean) microfiber cloth. Then immediately apply the screen protector and the problem should resolve itself. You can also try washing the screen protector with soap and water, which I've found to also work.

The Otterbox is still one of the best choices for ultimate protection of your device. It is unmatched in this regard, even when compared to the Griffin Survivor case or cheaper knockoffs (such as the ones made by i-Blason).
However, the Otterbox does suffer from a few minor ergonomic issues and that troublesome watermark, which may make some think twice before purchasing this case. I however, would definitely recommend this case to you, especially if you love to keep your electronics in pristine shape.


After less than 2 months of living with the Otterbox, I am generally pleased with its performance. I have dropped my iPod several times on hard floors, and my iPod suffered not even a scratch. In fact, my iPod looks exactly like when I first opened it.
However, I do have a few complaints.
First off, the silicon coverings over the Power On/Off and volume buttons can be easily "scratched." The black silicon coverings are now full of white marks from my nails pushing down on them from everyday use. Before I go any further, I'd like to note the reason I've grown to use my nails to push down on the buttons is because the Otterbox button coverings are quite thick and don't sit directly against the iPod's buttons, and simply pushing them down with your finger often doesn't register a response. In case you're put off by the thick coverings, I'm going to add that it feels quite normal, and you definitely will barely notice it. Now I'm just a normal guy with generally clean, clipped nails, and I don't do anything ridiculous with the buttons, just press them normally as anyone else would. Thus, I'm a little disappointed to see signs of wear on the button coverings already.
Secondly, I've come to realize that despite being advertised as "dust-proof," the Defender is actually quite prone to dust if you are in a high-dust area. If you're in a dusty environment, gunk may easily drift through the small openings in the partially covered headphone jack and lightning connector ports, and it will slowly build up behind the screen protector. You will eventually get to the point when a cleaning is necessary. You can easily mitigate this by simply popping out the built-in screen protector and add something like an InvisibileShield to the iPod itself. I've seen a few reviewers here that have already done this, though I haven't done it yet - not sure if it is necessary for me.


I still firmly believe I made a good decision in buying this case. While it may not have showstopper looks, it protects my iTouch akin to a suit of armor, and at the end of the day, that's what a case is for.

Thanks for reading!
If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a comment. I'll be happy to help if you have any questions.
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133 of 151 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2012
Another winner from Otterbox (albeit late to the party). It has a 2-piece poly shell that snaps together around the iTouch, including a built-in screen protector which needs no applying. After snapping together, it goes into a grippy rubber outer casing. It makes the iTouch look and feel like an iPhone, just about the same size and weight.

Very elegant, especially compared to its competition, the Griffin Survivor.

The downside is that it makes the iTouch lose its slim profile. If you want the slim profile and don't care about awesome protection, skip this (and REALLY skip the Griffin Survivor, it's a boat anchor). I treat mine with kid gloves but it still has been dropped a few times (I have kids). It's definitely worth the piece of mind knowing a clumsy kid won't break my favorite toy.

Another downside is the "bouncy" screen protector. It's built-in to the poly shell, so there's no need to apply it, which is nice. The problem is that it's not a tight fit, so you can feel a little gap between the screen protector and the screen. It's annoying, and may be a deal breaker for some.

Edit: I finally tired of the loose screen protector, and popped it out. I then had the Geek squad install a Zagg Invisible Shield HD screen protector. Problem solved.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2014
This is thin and light. Our son has dropped his ipod several times and it is completely safe! I only let him take this to school because of the case.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2014
I just purchased the OtterBox Defender to go with the new iPod Touch 5 we got my granddaughter for her birthday. Over the years I've had a total of 6 OtterBox Defender cases for 3 iPhones. Not b/c the first 3 wore out, they were perfectly good, but in the earlier days OtterBox only came in black and our phones were always getting mixed up. With 3 phones in the family, when OtterBox came out with colored trim, I wanted the color differentiation.

The OtterBox descriptions don't appear to mention it anymore, maybe b/c of liability issues or maybe this one is a little different, but the OtterBox Defenders I had were water **resistant** (NOTE: NOT waterproof!). And...I seemed to have a need to christen both of my OtterBoxes to test the water resistance almost immediately after I started to use them. I dropped my first one in the toilet (fortunately at work 1st thing in the morning when they were spotlessly sparkling clean and disinfected...I knew our custodian pretty well!). None-the-less, I was in a panic the first time this happened. I rushed back to my office and stripped the rubber casing a hurry and I couldn't remember at first how to open the plastic inner case. But I got it open and much to my relief there were only a couple small water droplets on the phone and I think those occurred as I removed the case. I wiped the phone down, examined it and it was flawless, still looking brand new. I was in such a panic I didn't think to turn off the phone, but that would have been a good idea. Later I got my new color-trimmed OtterBox, so of course within a week of putting it on my phone I repeated exactly the same sequence (again, 1st thing in the morning)! This time I wasn't quite as panicked so I remembered to turn off the phone. When I disrobed it, there were maybe 2 tiny water droplets on the screen, again likely occurring when I removed the case.

The phone fell in "la toilette" both times b/c it popped off the belt clip. Bending, stretching, and twisting could cause the phone to pop out of even the much improved second-generation belt clip. Otherwise the belt clip was pretty reliable, as long as the phone was inserted correctly (screen faced in, phone right side up). And when you wear skirts, not many are made with suitable pockets, so the belt clip was important to me. The point is, even though the microphone ports and speaker were only covered by a thin membrane and the rubber over the headphone jack and charging port covers weren't a perfect seal, the phone survived, safe and sound.

Long story...short point...If I'd removed the screen protector I **know** my phone would not have survived the dive. (Our daughter dropped her brand new iPhone 4 in la toilette...naked!!! Such a brief swim, but the poor phone drowned anyway! No amount of resuscitation saved it.)

Others might also be happy to know that I even slammed mine in the car door once and all I got was a tiny little crease across the OtterBox's front colored plastic edge. And heaven only knows how often my husband dropped his...that OtterBox Defender should have gotten hazard pay!

As for dust, my husband is a custom cabinet maker...sometimes I think he walks with a cloud of dust around him just like that Charlie Brown character. We had two without the case and expose the phone to even more sawdust (the fine airborne dust from orbital sanders permeates everything!!!) and let him put a slippery thin expensive phone in his pocket, or worse yet in his shirt pocket, and bend over to drop it on the concrete floor or pavement or some client's tile floor (or ours!). OR put up with the dust that gets in the OtterBox case. I got a medium-stiff bristle brush (like artists use) and dusted out the ports every few days, and removed the case to clean it maybe once or twice a month. The case was caked with dirt and fine sawdust in every nook and cranny, but the phone was pristine...just like new. Think about all that dust getting in the phone instead of being trapped by the case.

Sure the older OtterBox defender cases (be sure it's the defender, not the other models) were bulky, not especially attractive, and the rubber outer case would make it hard to remove from a pocket, but that was a small inconvenience in exchange for huge peace of mind! These devices are too pricey not to protect. With our newest iPhones we splurged and got the sleeker waterproof LifeProof cases and love them, but they're more than twice the OtterBox price! But now I see the Otterbox has become slimmer and more attractive and still has a reasonable price point. The appearance has come a long, long way.

Indeed, all six OtterBox cases did suffer from that very slight gap between the phone's screen and the OtterBox screen protector, but I never found that it affected performance...I tested it under varying circumstances and performance was more than acceptable with little, if any, loss in sensitivity. And, being a trained research scientist, my "experiments" for testing were probably more rigorous that most.

Yes, as others mentioned, all six of our OtterBox cases had mildly annoying "rainbow ring(s)" that are the result of the screen protector touching the phone screen in some places but not others. BUT! No machine or technology denies me what I want...I will triumph! So I searched for a solution and finally happened across one that worked pretty well. I took off the case, cleaned the inside of the screen protector thoroughly with a damp (water and a light spritz of window cleaner...sprayed **on the cloth** before wiping) lint-free microfiber glass cleaning cloth followed by dry wiping with the other end of the same cloth. I did the "tilt toward the light" examination for smudges and dust. Then I dipped my finger in talcum powder (I put a little pile on a piece of paper) and used my (clean) finger to lightly smoothed a *very* small amount of talcum powder onto the inside of the screen protector. Lastly, I used the dry microfiber cloth loosely folded so one edge was slightly rounded and I lightly dragged it across the powdered area a couple times to remove any excess (no pressing on it, that would wipe off all powder and defeat the purpose). And I used a very, very soft bristle brush to give it a light once over and make sure there's no powder left in the recesses of the case. It worked impressively well. Just remember...clean hands, clean work surface, clean microfiber cloth, and clean medium stiff and very soft brushes (get at any craft store). And lastly, clean the front of the iPod or phone thoroughly before returning it to the case.

For the price, OtterBox is unbeatable...if you've got kids or grandkids with an iPod Touch or iPhone (I even got OtterBox cases for our other grandkids iPad Minis), or your kids like to play with (and...oops!...drop) your phone, or if you have a large bumbly "husband-kid" who's always harried and hurried, you cannot go wrong with the OtterBox defender series. The benefits ab-so-lute-ly outweigh any minor inconveniences!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2015
I like the case a lot but i have one complaint, there is just a tiny bit of space between the iPod screen, and the protector screen, which makes it slightly less responsive. I would not recommend using a touch pen with this case as it won't be very responsive, even when using a high quality one, but its ok with just your fingers.
Over all its a good case and very protective, also its has a loop to put around your wrist, (I have it hanging out of my pocket as it makes it easier to pull out) the loop is fully removable which is nice, and the case looks good, and is grippy to the feel.
Also this case is slightly overpriced as 30$ is too expensive, i would say it should be 20$-25$.
Good Case
review image
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2014
This case is amazing! I dropped my iPod down cement stairs by accident with this case on it. Nor the case or iPod was damaged
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2013
I love the sleek look, dropped it a few times already and my iPod is still flawless. Definately will recommend
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2013
I love Otterbox but this case doesn't quite fit the new lower cost iPod. There is a slight gap between the screen protector and the actual screen. It still is functional but around the edges it is a problem. The gap is a nuisance all around. I love Otterbox and will buy them again but it does not fit correctly on this newer sligthtly slimmer model of the of the iPod.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2015
Have had the case for 2 years and it's still working great! Love it! Fits well. Very protective. No bumps or scratches to the ipod. Looks good. All the holes cut for the headphones, charging port, speaker and camera are great. The bevel for the camera and screen are protective. Great for heavy duty use. Has a loop if you want to use it though we chose not to.

The buttons are a little difficult to push. The built-in screen protector made it hard to touch the edges of the screen (but we were able to easily to remove the screen protector that came with the case and installed another screen protector made specifically for the to be applied directly to the ipod screen which worked well.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2015
This case fits on my ipod perfectly. I can still access the touch screen without a problem with either my fingers or my stylus. The openings for the charging cord and the headphone jack are aligned perfectly so there is no trouble when attaching the cords. I would definitely purchase again.
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