iPod Nano 6th Generation Player Review

We’ve owned the 16 GB iPod Nano 6th generation player from Apple for a few years now.  Bought it at Best Buy for $179, the standard price back then.

Over all, we very much like the 6th generation Nano. But some features that make this Nano so likeable also add to the hardships of using it. It’s a lot smaller than the older Nanos.  Perhaps this player is too small now. So, it’s easier to misplace.  But in spite of its little size, it sounds every bit as good as its predecessors.  Plus, it lasts about as long per battery charge as the older iPods.

iPod Nano 6th Generation Player: Benefits, Features, Advantages, and Pros

This iPod Nano 6 is Very Small

The much smaller size of this small iPod with Screen is not much bigger than many watch faces. Plus, the back clip lets this Nano fasten to a shirt cuff, arm, or wrist band.  This gives quick access while walking or jogging to the touch screen. It’s size and function remind us of the iPod Shuffle. The Shuffle may even dwarf this iPod 6 in fact.

Great Hi-Fi Sound

The Nano 6 sound quality is every bit as good on this player as in Nanos past. In fact, the ear buds that come with this Nano look the same as those shipped with previous models.

Full VoiceOver Version

Unlike the 4th and 5th generation Nanos, this Apple iPod Nano 6th generation player has a full version of VoiceOver.  Earlier iPods used a voice clip system that took up lots of extra time during syncing.  Why?  Because in that system, the computer created the voice clips for each song synced. This drawback does not exist in VoiceOver though, nor thus, in this Apple iPod Nano 6.

Apple builds the VoiceOver feature into the iPhones and iPod Touches historically. But as of this latest portable player in the iPod Nano generations, VoiceOver has now come to the Nano family. So this iPod 6th Gen Nano does not require computer generation of voice clips during syncing. This feature enables the blind and vision impaired listeners to operate the Nano without seeing the screen; a handy feature for a touch screen based user interface to have.

The iPod Nano 6th Generation Player Has a Built In FM Radio

This iPod Nano Gen 6 also has a sweet-sounding stereo FM radio. Pause it for some seconds without missing anything when you return to listening. It records into memory what the station broadcasts, when you pause playback. Plus, you can save songs you hear, to buy from the iTunes store later.

Looks Like a Watch

You can make a clock face appear when you press the home key.  Then,  this iPod looks just like a watch face. It even has a sweep second-hand that moves smoothly around the numbers.  Much like a true analog watch face.

Decent Battery Life

Battery life in our tests seems comparable to the 4th generation Nano; the internal battery lasts between fifteen and twenty hours roughly per charge.  This is highly variable though.  It depends on several factors.  How bright you set the screen backlight. The time the screen glows when touched. How loud you play the Nano.   And so on…

Online Manual Available

The online documentation provided on Apple’s web site   here,   is thorough, well-written, and easy to read.

Full iTunes Integration on the iPod Nano 6th Generation Media Player

Syncing and managing this iPod via iTunes works just as it did for the previous Nano generations.

Arrange your Desktop Icons

You can organize your “desk top” on this Nano easily (move icons around on and amongst the various pages).

Playlist Editing Feature

Edit existing playlists and create new ones as well right on this iPod Nano.  You need not plug it into iTunes to add and delete songs from a playlist. Editing playlists is a new feature in the 6th generation Nano.

Built In Pedometer

We like the idea of the built-in pedometer to measure how far one has walked. But we’ve not yet utilized this feature.

iPod Nano 6th Generation Player: Disadvantages, Problems, Limitations, and Cons

Very Small Player

Though the smaller footprint of this 6th generation Nano facilitates ease of use while exercising, it can irritate; especially if you forget where you last put this Nano. This tiny iPod Nano 6g can easily slip between pillow cushions or slide underneath couches and such. Thus, you can easily lose this Nano 6. And when you’re looking for it, it’s easy to miss due to its low profile.

No Function Wheel

We indeed miss the function wheel found on all previous Apple iPod generations of the Nano. This one offers a small touch screen instead. I like the touch screen well enough, but very much miss the wheel.

Harder to Work without Function Wheel

Skipping around in your music requires more presses and touches than previous incarnations of the Nano. The older Nanos only needed one wheel press to advance or move backward in the playlist. That’s even when the screen is off.

But this iPod wants you to first turn on the screen.  Do that by pressing the home button at the top right of the unit.  Then, you touch the screen once to bring up the player controls. Then, tap the right place on the screen to go forward or  backward. A bit awkward.

No Camera on the iPod Nano 6th Generation Player

They eliminated the built-in camera that they added in the last generation Nano. We can’t cry too much over this though.  All we ever used the camera for was to check our growing bald spots.

No Video Playback

Curious that Apple got rid of  video playback in this Nano iPod, though the 5th generation Nano could play videos.

Earphone and Charge Ports Too Close to Each Other

As in all previous Nanos, the charge cable and earphone cable connectors are very close to each other.  So, disconnecting the charge cable from this Apple Nano without first unplugging the earphone jack is almost impossible.

The New Gestures Less Intuitive than the Function Wheel

Learning the “gestures” needed to work this iPod 6 Gen proved a challenge at first.  These include swipes, taps, and presses. But they took little time to master. We’re still not as proficient with this as the wheel from earlier iPod generations of Nanos.

The iPod Nano 6th Generation Player Needs More Flash Memory

We would like more flash memory included (at least 32 GB; not just 16 GB) in this iPod Nano 6th Generation 16gb portable music player.  There is also an iPod Nano 6th Generation 8GB version too.

No Bluetooth or WiFi Support

Does iPod Nano have Bluetooth? No, not this one.  iPod Nano 6th generation Bluetooth support not provided.  So you cannot play this iPod Nano through a Bluetooth speaker.  Nor can you connect it to WiFi for internet access.  The only way to get music and other content onto this iPod, is via the included data charge cable.

iPod Nano 6th Generation Player: Our Rating

For our purposes, we’ve found no better portable players than the iPod 6th generation Nano; player except for perhaps the 5th and 4th generation models.

Apple made many counter-intuitive omissions on this Nano 6 (the deletion of the video playback and camera). Perhaps they thought people weren’t using these features much on the 5th generation Nano given the small screen size.

As mentioned, we’re also sorry to see the function wheel go. So far, as a result, this iPod seems harder to work than previous models. But perhaps with time, we’ll adjust. We’ll let you know.

Yet we still find ourselves grabbing the 3rd generation Nano for our walks.  Why?  Again, we just love that function wheel (and a big one at that).  The function wheel offers so much improved ease of use that it will be hard to give up. Thus, we must force ourselves to take the iPod Nano 6th generation player, which should not be the case.

But in terms of sound quality and overall performance, this iPod Nano 6th generation player is second to none. So we’d suggest buying it.  Why?  Because it offers an affordable means to get into portable digital music for novice listeners. Plus, its advanced sound quality will please even the most discriminating audiophiles. Remember though, that you need a computer (PC or Mac) to put music onto it. But computers are probably second nature to anyone thinking about buying an iPod Nano anyhow. So this is no big deal.  Thus, we’d rate this portable media player at 80 out of 100.

Where to Buy iPod Nano 6th Generation Player 

This iPod Nano square shaped player was available at Walmart, Best Buy, and numerous other electronics retailers in the day.  But nowadays, find used iPod Nano models, like this 6th gen, online at places like eBay and Amazon.

How Much is an iPod Nano 6G? 

The Apple iPod Nano 6th generation price these days is between $40 and $150.  Plus, Apple made a lot of these.  So there are lots of these iPod Nano 6th gen players for sale.  Still easy to find, thus.

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iPod Nano 6th Generation Player References

  1. Apple iPod 6th Generation Nano Users Guide

Revision History

  • 2019-02-26: Added tags.
  • 2018-04-18: Revised post title and content for better keyword targeting.
  • 2015-11-27: Added appropriate tags.
  • 2014-11-23: Adjusted ad placement. Updated content to reflect the three years more writing experience.
  • 2011-08-08: Originally published this article.