Griffin AirCurve Play review: Why oh why?

I am suspicious of anything that promises to improve sound quality or volume without the use of electricity or some kind of external power. So when I received the AirPlay for the iPhone 4/4S to review I gave it back immediately and said it does not work. That was my personal review. It won’t work. But I was told to give it a go anyway.

What is it?

Basically you get a neat Perspex holder that through intelligent use of sound channelling, will get you an increase of the volume you get from the iPhone’s one little speaker. It is neatly made with a very sophisticated look. Your iPhone sits neatly in it, although without instructions I did put it in the wrong way first. My first thought was that if it didn’t work properly at least I would have a very nice display holder for my phone.

Is there a volume increase?

The packaging itself makes a lot of promises. 10dB increase in sound? But how much is 10dB? And all that much volume with no power requirements? What basically is supposed to happen is that through sound channels the music gets directed towards you instead of downward from the iPhone’s little speaker. So in fact there is no real increase of volume. You just hear the sound a bit better.

There was not much else to do but start up my music library and play a song. To give this metro looking Perspex display cabinet a fighting chance, I choose a song that I personally mixed and listened with pitched ears. Is that what 10dB increase sound like? OK, so there IS a volume “increase”. Just barely. While it will make calls on speaker phone a little better it sure wont impress the girls at a beach party. The increase in the volume is minuscule, and completely pointless.

But wait! There’s more! You can also turn this gimmick around as the AirPlay has an adjustable foot. This at least lets you charge the phone while it is in use. That is of course if you are really going to buy it.

The verdict

It’s a gimmick. And a pointless one at that. The increase in volume is minuscule. You would be better off buying some cheapie earphones or a knock-off Chinese plug and play set of mini speakers. But at least I now have a cool mini display cabinet for my iPhone.



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