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AirCurve Window Mount iPhone’s natural megaphone

Aug 24, 2012

By Greg Gazin - Apple Gazin’ - G4 Canada

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AirCurve AirCurve Window Mount iPhone’s natural megaphone

There is quite an abundance of gadgets that allow you to use your iPhone hands-free in your car while driving, but most of them would require some sort of power, whether AC or battery, to operate. Griffin Technology has come up with the gadget for your iPhone (4/4S) that allows you to accomplish this task plus amplify the sound, without any electrical power or even cables.

It's called the AirCurve Window Mount. In essence, it acts like a natural megaphone so you can carry on a hands-free conversation while driving and at the same time give you the ability to actually hear the person at the other end loud enough. If you prefer to just listen to music, AirCurve acts like a mini amplifier to boost your volume.

It’s designed like a cradle. So when you insert your iPhone (4/4S), the waveguide that's built into the swivel mounting base takes the sound coming out from the iPhone’s bottom mount speakers, then acoustically amplifies it, according to the company, up to 25 decibels louder. Plus, it still keeps your dock connector clear.

AirCurve Mounts on Dashboard or Windshield

The swivel arm comes with 2 mounting bases. One is designed to attach to your dashboard or car’s console and the other has a slightly different configuration with a super-cling base much more suitable to attach to glass, i.e., your vehicle’s windshield. While they do secure nicely, for now, I’m not sure about its continued stickiness in either extreme cold or hot environments, especially on the dashboard over a long period of time, given the weight of the iPhone and the compactness of the base. Perhaps a suction cup might have been better.

The sound, while not as crisp as electronically aided amplification, like pumping it through your car’s sound system, still sounds amazingly good. The loudness and fidelity relies heavily on how it travels through the waveguide and of course the source of the sound.  Also, if you mounted it on your windshield and had it set at a good angle, the sound would resonate off the glass adding additional volume.

For the most part, I found that it worked well cranking up the volume to about 80%. You could push it if you had CD quality sound to begin with. Beyond that, I noticed that it would begin to distort, if the sound quality was poor. For example, if the sound came from a call with a weak signal. Your results will depend on the quality of the source, how and where you mount it in your car and of course the ambient or existing noise in the vehicle.

Overall it does the job that is supposed to do, that is, amplify your sound without ever having to worry about remembering to have fully charged batteries or AC power cord – if that’s what you need but keep an eye on the mounts. Make sure they stick. Of course, you’ll also need to ensure you keep your iPhone charged or plugged in, but that’s beyond the scope of this review.

The Griffin Technology AirCurve Window Mount, retails for $39 and is available directly through their store.

PROS:
-No batteries, power or cables needed
-Amplifies sound up to 25db higher
-2 mounting options

CONS:
-Questionable stickiness of base in extreme conditions
-Poor audio source or excessive car noise could muffle sound

Rating: 3.75/5

Greg Gazin can be reached at  gadgetguy "at" telus "dot" net , GadgetGreg.com , or on Twitter @GadgetGreg

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