iPhone Acessory Review: Griffin Aircurve Play for iPhone 4 Editor's Rating (1-5): 4 Reviewed by Tom Slayton
---------- What's Hot: Significantly amplifies your iPhone 4's internal speaker without electricity. Supports both portrait and landscape orientation. Charge/sync cables (not included) can be used with the amplifier.
What's Not: Cases and bumpers are not supported. Too bulky to carry around in your pocket.
Aircurve Play is an acoustic amplifier for your iPhone 4. It works by collecting the sound coming from your phone?s speaker, amplifying it by channeling it through a series of ever-expanding channels, and then pushing it out toward the front of the phone. It uses no batteries and does not require you to plug it in. In short; it uses no electricity whatsoever. While this technology is certainly not new; however, this is certainly a creative and novel application. If you?ve ever used an old school megaphone, or even rolled a piece of construction paper into a cone and shouted through the small end to annoy somebody, then you were using the same principle. The design of Aircurve maximizes this effect to perfectly amplify the sound coming out of the iPhone 4. According to Griffin, the Aircurve Play increases the output of the iPhone?s speaker by 10 decibels, and after handing it to my son and watching him, for the first time, turn DOWN the volume on the phone, I?m a believer.
Size and Fit
The Aircurve Play will fit quite comfortably on your desktop, or even your nightstand. Don?t expect to thrust it in your pocket and haul it around with you easily though (unless you have overly large pockets). At 4.5 x 5.0 x 1.5 inches (including the stand) it?s just a bit too large for pockets, but perfect if you?re carrying a backpack or large purse.
Your iPhone 4 will install in seconds, and the soft, rubberized lining will hold it firmly and not scratch it. It?s a snug fit; both a plus and a minus. On the plus side, once installed, your phone isn?t going anywhere unless you turn it upside-down and shake it. On the minus side, if you keep your phone in a case, you will have to remove it first. Then again, I completely understand that the principle under which the Aircurve operates necessitates a snug fit.
Features and Quality
The Aircurve Play is sturdily made of clear, impact resistant polycarbonate and its handy kickstand supports both portrait and landscape orientations.
Audio through Aircurve Play has good acoustic and all sound amplify equally. The volume is quite loud for playing music, movies and FaceTime video via the Aircurve Play. Don?t expect normal speaker level of acoustic transformation since this isn?t meant to be used to replace speakers, but for a portable amplifier without power requirement you are getting a big sound.
The Aircurve Play is a refreshingly new and clever implementation of a very old phenomenon. Griffin?s ability to capitalize on this means you won?t be needing any batteries or power cables in order to amplify your music, movies, apps and phone calls. Its ability to amplify the sound coming out of your iPhone 4 is truly surprising, although the fact that you must remove any case or bumper in order to use it makes it somewhat less useful for some.