== Griffin AirCurve Play ==
Last year I finally got rid of my rubbish HTC phone and got myself an iPhone , too tight to pay a huge contract fee for the 5 model I went for the iPhone 4. My main use for the phone after calls and texts is to listen to music and watch programs through the Sky Go app. Getting slightly annoyed at trying to balance the phone on its side to watch television or propping it up while listening to music I decided to look for a little stand to use which lead me to finding this gadget. I can across this on Amazon and paid the amazingly cheap price of £3.28 with free delivery , to be honest for this price I was expecting a cheap plastic stand which was fine as that was all I wanted.
== The AirCurve ==
The AirCurve is not just a stand but also an amplifier it claims to acoustically amplify the built in speaker of your iPhone without batteries, cables, or electricity; engineered waveguide requires no batteries. It claims to increase the volume by 10 decibels.
The reviews on Amazon were pretty positive but I still wasn't expecting much especially considering the price I had paid . The first pleasant surprise was the packaging, not that you buy something for the box , but it does come in a nice looking, good quality box and looks a lot more expensive than it was.
Inside the box the Griffin does not disappoint, it looks very strong, made of thick chunky plastic that has a weight to it.
My Griffin differs to the one pictured and holds the whole phone rather than just docking it. I think mine is the newer model than the one pictured and suitable for iPhone 4 and 4s .
The Griffin measures 11.5 cm x 12.5 cm and has a thickness of 3 cm excluding the stand . You can use in both portrait and landscape and the stand is adjustable.
The phone is cased in the stand fully and you have access to the pins so can still charge your phone if necessary.
== So Does It Work? ==
Yes it does ! I'm not sure how considering it needs no batteries or electric but its does work and does a great job. Similar to have megaphones work it really does applify the sound and enough so that you notice .
As a stand its great, easy to use, and the adjustable stand at the back means you can put it anywhere. You phone fits really securely and its easy to carry from room to room which is what I tend to do when I have music on while doing the housework.
The sound quality is really good, I personally think the speakers on the iPhone are fine on their own and if home alone I don't really need the louder volume but I still use it as it gives a more richer sound or a fatter sound is how I like to describe it. There is no crackling or distortion as it is not another speaker you are plugging into, but more like playing your iPhone through a megaphone. It wouldn't be loud enough to play at a party for example, but plenty loud enough to be heard over the usual day to day noises of children, television and other gadgets being playing with.
I use it for music and television, but you can use it for anything that has sound , so FaceTime, calls and your alarm clock could all be louder if you wish.
If you need to charge your phone while watching or listening you can as the bottom of your phone where the pins are is easily accessible whether in portrait or landscape.
== Thoughts ==
Wow I'm still amazed a at how great this little gadget is and so glad I took the chance and ordered it. I really wasn't expecting it to be such good quality and for it to work as well as it does. I have nothing bad to say about the Griffin and everyone I have showed it to have been really impressed with it.
If you have an iPhone buy one, if your friend has an iPhone buy them one and they will think you very generous, as it easily looks like something you would pay £20 for in the apple shop.
5 out of 5
Although I am quite a gadget enthusiast generally, I do like to save as much energy as possible (mainly so I can spend the extra money on more gadgets), so when I saw this product for sale in my local Tesco Home Plus I thought i was on to a winner, and it did not disappoint.
The product is made from solid polycarbonate and has a clever internal design, kind of like a trumpet, which amplifies the sound from the iPhone, which sits at the top. And it does a pretty good job of it too. I mean don't get me wrong, you couldn't use it for a party or anything like that, but just for casual background music while doing work or being on Facebook, its ideal.
There is also a channel through the middle which means that a charging cable can go through it and plug into the iPhone in order to charge it. This is a great feature, although the product does not come with a lead for this function, so that has to be supplied. But there is a cable routing system in the design of the product, meaning that it can still sit flat against the desk even with a cable plugged in.
It must be remembered, however, that this speaker requires a fairly tight fit in order to amplify the sound, and therefore is designed just for the iPhone 3g and 3gs and will not for for the iPhone 4. Although there is a new iPhone 4 model out it is fairly annoying to have to buy a new one when you get a new handset. But for only £12ish, it's not a huge problem.
Generally this is a very good acoustic speaker for casual music, and also makes a very good charging dock for the iPhone.
The iPhone - life organising, web surfing, app playing, call making, text sending, map reading - genius, oh, and it plays music too. It's no wonder that the ever-expanding range of accessories available on the market, far outweigh the range of Apple iPhones available to the public. In terms of musical ability, the iPhone is second to none, with the incorporation of Apple's beloved iPod. With that in mind, when searching for a music aid for my iPhone I ran into problems whilst trawling through the vast array of products available that all claim to be the best thing since the iPhone itself in terms of ability.
Since my aim wasn't to spend the earth, nor was it to buy an all-singing, all-dancing product, I set out to find something that would charge my iPhone and play my music, and that's what I got - sort of.
I ended up with the Griffin Aircurve 6261-AIRCRVC Accoustic Amplifier, bit of a mouthful isn't it? So from now on I'll just refer to it as the Griffin. This unique little product doesn't charge my iPhone, nor does it play music. Now you're probably scratching your head and wondering why I bought it as I doesn't tick either of my criteria boxes, but, before I lose you so early on, let me just tell you what this *does* do.
The Griffin is simply an amplifier - nothing more, nothing less. The iPhone sits comfortably in the little indent with a gap for the small, left hand side speaker, the music then is played into the amplifier and the Griffin then - amplifies it. I'm sure a scientist could give you a much better explanation, but that's all I've got I'm afraid! It may not sound all that exciting, but what I love about the Griffin is it doesn't need batteries, or a power socket for that matter. The Griffin works all by itself and for the eco friendly among us this could quickly become your most prized possession.
*** Availability ***
The Griffin is currently available from Amazon for the extremely reasonable price of £6.35 with a minor delivery charge of around £2, although, at the time of purchase I managed to snap this up for the bargain price of £4.50.
*** Setting Up ***
This paragraph is rather redundant, as there actually is no setting up required. The Griffin amplifier comes out of the box in its complete state and is immediately ready to be used. All that's included apart from the box is a little seat that clicks neatly into the indent which then houses the iPhone and a little cable clip. Personally I've never bothered with the cable clip as I find it pointless, however, the iPhone seat is vital, as without it, the iPhone will not sit in place. There are two clips included - both identical, both incredibly easy to insert.
Now, although I mentioned that the Griffin doesn't charge your iPhone and lets face it, with a lack of batteries or power supply it would be nothing short of a miracle if it did, however, the Griffin does give you the option to charge/sync your iPhone if you so desire. This is all ingeniously done through the hole in the middle of the Griffin. Below the iPhone seat there's a tiny hole for the USB end of the iPhone charger to slip through, you of course then plug the USB in as normal, before slotting the majority of the wire through the hole, only to leave the iPhone adapter sticking out, the phone of course sits on the adapter and charges away. The bottom of the Griffin includes a little wire gap, enabling you to slide the wire out of the back of the Griffin to cunningly conceal it.
*** Aesthetics/Durability ***
The Griffin amplifier could almost be mistaken for a precious glass box with it's striking transparent looks. However, despite its fragile looks, there lurks a hardwearing little accessory just begging to be taken out on a camping trip or such outdoor antics that this Griffin would thrive in. The iPhone sits in place comfortably and most importantly, firmly, there's no danger of knocking the iPhone accidentally and having it fly out of its place. Infact, I've knocked it on several occasions and it ends up tipping the entire amplifier backwards before returning safely back down to the surface and as it's not connected to anything (apart from when it's charging) there's slim chance of knocking it and snapping the adapter off from the phone.
The lightweight frame is lifted by four pillars with non-sliding pads attached to the bottom to prevent the unit from moving unless provoked. Unfortunately - yes, there had to be one somewhere didn't there? The only downside to this superb amplifier is the fact that the space for the iPhone is very thin and only big enough for the iPhone itself. It makes perfect sense, of course, therefore I won't dwell on it too much, but this does mean that you will have to remove any cases that you may use before placing the iPhone onto the amplifier. Due to the Griffin's unassuming frame, functionality isn't reduced in the slightest. While the iPhone is in place, you're still fully capable of sending a text, playing on an app and even making a phone call utilising the amplifier in conjunction with the built in loud speaker. The only reason you'd need to remove the iPhone is to take a picture, unless you don't mind carrying the amplifier around with you, or of course if you'd like to make a private phone call.
*** Functionality ***
There are many uses for this Griffin, besides the obvious of playing music. I now use the Griffin as my wake up call, utilising an alarm app with the amplifier is fantastic because you wake up with deep quality sound every morning in conjunction with my iPod playlist. Not only that, if you strip away everything from the Griffin what you're left with is a stand, which in itself is a handy little asset. Again, this aids me in the morning as it means I no longer need to pick up my phone in the morning to check the time as it'll be staring right at me. One of the more quirky uses of the Griffin, but my personal favourite is the ability to watch movies. Anyone who owns an iPhone will know that movies automatically take a landscape view, therefore the portrait position of the stand isn't ideal, however, when I'm in bed and fancy some light entertainment I love nothing more than lying down with the Griffin on my bedside table and enjoying an episode of Gavin & Stacey in the perfect viewing position.
*** Sound Quality ***
A somewhat misleading subheading, as in essence you're just listening to your iPhone, but on a louder scale. The Griffin comes up trumps though, providing a rich and deep quality to your music whatever genre you listen to. I've always been impressed with the iPhone speakers, they give out an excellent sound quality, brilliant if you're playing tracks with a strong bassline. The Griffin enriches that experience threefold. To be fair, the Griffin doesn't exactly enrich the sound, it merely makes it louder, but at such a simple task, it does a superb job.
At such high volume, it's thoroughly impressive that the sound emitted from the amplifier is not crackly, nor is it distorted and the Griffin really does succeed in making the iPhone as loud as it possibly can. Infact, on full volume the Griffin can just about be heard all around the house. Ok, so it's not something that could be used at a party because it would simply be drowned out, however, as aforementioned, for a camping trip, the volume and lack of batteries become a real selling point for the excellent amplifier. The volume reached is truly admirable and as soon as the iPhone is slotted into its place you can hear a distinct difference and this is what makes the Griffin so truly superb. Infact, on highest volume it becomes so loud that you may need to turn the amplifier around so it's not facing you, or even turn the volume down as it can occasionally be a little too much to bare - never a bad thing, I hasten to add.
*** Overview ***
As a cheap alternative to an iPhone speaker, the Griffin comes up trumps in every aspect, its versatility clear for everyone to see. Not only is it versatile, it gives excellent sound, without losing clarity, whilst being a beautiful looking accessory with its glass like frame and curved features. The Griffin is suitable for all iPhones, including the iPhone 4 and when the only negative is that it doesn't have room to accommodate a case, (which isn't really a downside, as it would be useless to many if it did accommodate) you know you've got a gem on your hands.
Give into Griffin and get the party started.
Faultless - highly recommended.