Two more handy iPod/iPhone add-ons

Who says gadgets have to be expensive? Here are two simple and effective iPhone/audio accessories that will enhance your ownership of portable audio devices.

The scoop: AirCurve, by Griffin Technology, about US$20

What it is: About the size of a small brick, the AirCurve block is made of translucent polycarbonate (Griffin's fancy word for plastic), and includes dock connectors for attaching an iPhone or iPhone 3G model. Using a "coiled waveguide" within the base, the AirCurve can magnify the sound from the iPhone's built-in speaker, delivering as much as 10 decibels of amplification.

Why it's cool: iPhone owners know that the built-in speakers don't provide much audio amplification (in other words, they stink). The AirCurve amplifies without requiring a powered speaker source, so you can get the audio effects of a speaker system. The best usage for the device would be in an office, or a bedroom if you want to use the iPhone as an alarm clock without having to buy a separate speaker system. The device succeeds in its stated mission of amplifying the iPhone's speaker without needing a powered speaker, and the price seems right for that task.

Some caveats: The amplification is probably not enough for noisier environments (you wouldn't want to use this as a speaker at a party, for example). In addition, while the device includes space to attach a charging/synchronization cable, there were no instructions on how to snake the cable through to allow for this option.

Grade: 4 stars (out of five).

The scoop: RockStar, by Belkin, about US$20

What it is: A star-shaped device, the RockStar includes five audio input jacks for headphones, as well as one input jack to connect to an iPod, iPhone or other audio device. With headphones connected to any of the other prongs on the device, the RockStar lets multiple users listen to the single iPod device. For kids (or spouses) who want to share their iPods with others, this is a cool and simple way to share the music without resorting to a speaker system.

Why it's cool: An extra audio jack cable lets you connect a second audio player to the "network", which then provides for two new functions: You can share two devices among four other headphones (alternating songs if you so desire), or you can play both devices at the same time, creating some on-the-fly "mashups" of audio content (apparently, all the cool kids are doing this). You can also use one of the headphone jacks to connect an external speaker to the system, which would let you broadcast your mashups to everyone in the room if you wanted.

Some caveats: No real negatives, other than there's not much more to the device than the headphone extension. It is what it is.

Grade: 4 stars.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags iphone appsipod

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Keith Shaw

Network World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2018

Secure and Save before time runs out with Bitdefender Exclusive Clearance Offer! Get Bitdefender Total Security 2018 Now!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?