Last week at Test Freaks we looked at the Pogo Sketch from Ten One Design. Today we are looking at another one of their unique offerings, the SoundClip. This product is a Passive Sound Enhancer for the iPhone 3G. It is supposed to provide a 10dB gain between 6kHz and 20kHz when attached to the base of the iPhone 3G. The conical deflection chamber makes the audio slightly louder and crisper.
To demonstrate the principle used by the SoundClip, cup your hand behind the behind the speaker portion of the iPhone 3G. This projects the sound forward instead of the usual scattered dispersal from the speakers. Using the same principle, the SoundClip increases the iPhone 3G’s volume.
The iPhone 3G speakers are pretty clear for small phone speakers and not as “tin-ny” sounding as other smart phone speakers. However at times they could be louder and that is where the SoundClip comes in. Games especially could use a volume boost, since the tendency for gamers to cover the speakers when holding the iPhone 3G. Using the SoundClip allows the audio to be aimed towards the game player and instead of ones hands.
The SoundClip arrives in a white cardboard box with the device seen in a clear plastic window. The back of the package offers a more detailed explanation of the product.
Once removed, we see the SoundClip is a small black piece of plastic with a cup like protrusion known as the conical chamber on the left side and two clips on the back for attaching the device onto the iPhone 3G’s dock connector. The Ten One and SoundClip logo are found on the front of the device.
It measures a little over 3 cm in length and weighs no more than a paper clip.
Own your Sound
SoundClip directs sound from iPhone toward you to increase the clarity and volume for movies and music. It also makes games easier to play without blocking your iPhone’s speaker.
A tuned conical deflection chamber designed to make the audio from your iPhone clearer and also slightly louder. Sound waves are reflected toward you, instead of away, so you feel more involved in your game, movie, or music.
SoundClip amplifies iPhone audio by 10dB between 6kH and 20kHz, resulting in a cleaner, more accurate response.
Storage is simple. A cord-gripping feature keeps SoundClip securely fastened to your charge cable during syncing and charging.
Simple and Useful
10dB gain between 6kHz and 20kHz
Focuses iPhone sound toward you instead of away
Keeps your dock connector free of dust
Prevents blocking of speaker while gaming
Handy cord grip
Ever find yourself cupping your hand over your iPhone’s speaker so you can hear it better? Or how about that video game thing where you turn left and then can’t hear your bandicoot crash?
SoundClip solves these small problems, and also improves the quality of sound coming from your iPhone. In our testing, SoundClip amplified the iPhone speaker by 10dB between 6kHz and 20kHz. This small small amplifications gives your iPhone a brighter sound and additional clarity. The frequency response is improved, resulting in a more linear output and clearer audio.
Gaming in landscape mode occasionally results in the speaker being blocked by your hand. Steering is hard enough without also worrying about the sound. That’s another small benefit you’ll notice when using SoundClip.
The way SoundClip works isn’t all that hard to understand. The iPhone emits a fair amount of acoustic energy through the speaker. Unfortunately, many of these sound waves are directed down and away from the user. SoundClip reflects them toward you so you can hear them better.
But how does it actually amplify? The dimensions and shape of the conical chamber create a resonance chamber facilitating the attenuation of some frequencies, and the amplification of others. The next part is the trickiest. We tuned the resonance chamber to actually improve the sound from your iPhone, resulting in a frequency response that is flatter, and more natural sounding.
The SoundClip snaps into the iPhone 3G’s dock connector, that’s the entire installation process. Initially I tried the SoundClip with some mellower music and did not notice any difference in the volume or sound quality.
However, once I tried the SoundClip with Super Monkeyball and Cowabunga games, there was a noticeable improvement in the volume and tone of the gameplay. Even with my hands over both ends holding the iPhone, the sound was more pronounced.
At this point I retested the SoundClip with some different musical styles and definitely noticed a louder crisper sound with the SoundClip in place. Rock music definitely benefited with the SoundClip in place.
Ten One Design states that the dimensions of the conical chamber creates a resonance chamber that facilitates the attenuation of some frequencies and the amplification of others. This allows the SoundClip to reflect the sound waves and project them towards the user. In addition, the tonal quality was improved over the sound output by the naked iPhone speaker.
At first I was skeptical about Ten One Design’s claims about the SoundClip. It appeared to be a gimmick, however after trying it; I was gladly proven wrong. The SoundClip is a cheap way to get a boost in volume for movies and music but especially for games. It also improves the sound clarity by aiming the sound towards the user and attenuating the frequencies within the conical chamber. For a minor investment, the SoundClip can provide a small gain in sound volume and quality especially if you play a lot of games on the iPhone 3G.
Offers slight volume increase
Improves tonal quality of audio output
Improves games audio quality
Does not improve all frequency ranges