Griffin’s new iPhone geegaws: Clarifi case, AirCurve “waveguide” amplifier

aircurve_amplifi.jpg

Griffin has announced two interesting iPhone accessories: the Clarifi iPhone case for the iPhone 3G and the AirCurve sound-amplifying dock.

The weirdest first: The AirCurve [pictured left] is billed as an “amplifier”, but there’s no electronics inside. Instead a collection of bends and turns in the acrylic — think Bose Wave radio here — directs the sound of the iPhone’s built-in monophonic speaker to make it louder (in one direction, of course). I’ll be surprised if the sound is improved to any degree that will provoke more than a “huh!” from me, but it’s also only $20 and sort of an elegant system. One that doesn’t charge your phone at night.

The other product, the Clarifi case, is pretty normal fare: industrial black rubber and plastic. Its big feature is a sliding camera lens that gives a sort of macro mode for the iPhone’s camera, allowing pictures to be shot from as close as six inches away but remain clear. It’s not inexpensive — $35 — and it’s rare that I’ve found an iPhone case that is worth increasing the physical size of the device, especially since I keep my phone in my pocket, not a belt clip or bag.

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8 Responses to Griffin’s new iPhone geegaws: Clarifi case, AirCurve “waveguide” amplifier

  1. Anonymous says:

    the AirCurve would probably work really well if they designed it correctly.

    something I have done a few times while working in our store room (pallet loads of new computers don’t image themselves) and wanted music but didn’t have my headset, or a pair of speakers…
    I take a 16oz plastic dixie cup, and after starting the music on my iPhone, I just place it speakers first into the cup …the amplification is quite remarkable…if not the cleanest.

  2. Various Cool dot Com says:

    I used to put some newspaper pages on top of my phone at work while playing music. You’d be surprised at the volume increase.

  3. Narual says:

    I’ve been really surprised at how many iphone owners I’ve talked to who haven’t grasped that if you cup your hand under the phone, the audio ends up going towards you instead of towards the floor. Only useful while you’re holding it and playing some tunes for other people, but better than complaining about how quiet it is.

    And I’d guarantee the sound on the dock is better than the sound on the dock would be if you didn’t have a channel for it to go through. :) I’d rather just plug the line out into some nice speakers though.

  4. doggo says:

    I used to carry my SLVR in my pocket, and I carry my iPhone in my pocket too. But my iPhone is much more valuable than my old refurbed L7, so I wanted some additional protection.

    I looked at all the available cases for the 3G iPhone with this in mind: as thin as possible to keep bulk down. No rubber or silicone so the phone slips in and out of the pocket without snagging.

    I’m using the Incase Slider. It’s not bad. I don’t like having to remove the bottom to dock, but I sleep better at night knowing that if I drop my tricorder, it’ll have some protection. It comes in gloss white & matte black. I have the white. (I shoulda got the white 3G…)

  5. doggo says:

    Correction, my local Apple Store only carries gloss white and matte black. Incase makes the Slider in pink, orange, red, white, and (gloss?) black. Don’t know what’s up with matte black in the store, and gloss black on the Incase web site. Oooh ooorangggeee…

  6. skeeter17 says:

    Not on is the AirCurve directing the sound towards you, it’s using a principle called acoustic coupling to make the speaker more efficient by matching the acoustic impedance of the speaker to the acoustic impedance of open air.

    The WaveGuide is an apt analogy, but an even more striking one is to a trumpet: if you know what a trumpeter practicing with just the mouthpiece sounds like, it’s pretty wimpy. But when you put the rest of the horn onto the mouthpiece, and properly couple the mouthpiece to the air, you get much better sound!

  7. Drew from Zhrodague says:

    I bought the black incase rubber thing for my 3G at the Apple store. I think I paid $35 for it. I was kinda pissed at the time, but now I’m kinda glad I have it — the rubber is quite nice, even though it doesn’t quite fit the 3G. I wonder if I got the wrong one.

    Also, I found that drawing a large ‘DREW’ on the back with a silver Sharpie makes it plainly obvious that it is my phone. I do have to touch it up sometimes.

  8. doggo says:

    Say, that Dixie Cup amp method works well. You can use any glass or cup, better if tapers toward the bottom and your iPhone wedges itself about 2/3s down. I’m using a pint glass right now. Drink the beer first though.

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