Review of Speck CandyShell AMPED Case for iPhone 5

For today’s review we will be looking at one of the latest iPhone 5/5S cases from Speck. The CandyShell series is one of their best selling lines and features several variants deriving from a general form factor and design. The Speck CandyShell AMPED has the appearance of a regular Candyshell case with a slight increase in bulk.

This new model is devised for sound amplification by using the body of the case as a sound chamber. By using the case as a sound amplifier it doubles the volume of the iPhone without causing any extra battery usage. In addition the Speck CandyShell AMPED still meets or exceeds military standards for falls and drops.




The Speck CandyShell AMPED ships in a cardboard package with a clear plastic window revealing the case inside. On the back of the package is a list of features. Speck cases are one of the most counterfeited ones on the market, so be sure to check for the hologram sticker to verify you did not get a phony Speck case.



Inside the package we find the CandyShell AMPED case. This model is currently available in Raspberry Pink/Shocking Pink, Bubblegum Pink/Flamingo Pink, Cadet Blue/Caribbean Blue and Black/Slate Grey. Today we look at the Cadet Blue/Caribbean Blue version.



The CandyShell AMPED has a hard polycarbonate plastic outer shell with the inside composed of soft TPE (thermoplastic elastomers). It measures 2.50 x 0.58 x 5.13 inches (6.35 x .9525 x 13.0175 cm) and weighs 1.2oz (34 grams).

The external appearance and composition is similar to the vanilla CandyShell with openings for the headphone jack, camera and Lightning connector. The volume controls and the power button are covered by TPE material.


The back has an opening for the camera with Caribbean Blue accents around it. On the corners are these same colored grips to keep the case from sliding on surfaces. The Speck logo in seen in the middle of the back.



One difference between the regular Candyshell and this model is that the AMPED has only one opening for the speakers on the bottom with the other speaker opening along the upper and mid left side of the case. This layout allows this case to be twice as loud as the naked iPhone 5/5S.



This audio magic occurs via the inner design of the case. Speck placed a “horn” shape that takes the sound from the right speaker and funnels if out to the left side of the case amplified. Bose has been using this type of sound amplification in several of their speakers for years.



The main difference between this case and the standard CandyShell is that the AMPED adds 0.28” of depth due to the internal horn design.

Once again the build of this case is designed to withstand most drops and falls as it meets or exceeds MIL-STD-810G standards.



Specifications and Features


CandyShell AMPED

CandyShell AMPED makes it easy to spontaneously share music, videos, GPS directions, podcasts, and more. It’s also great for speakerphone calls, and because of its acoustic design, there is no need to sync Bluetooth, fumble with extra parts, nor worry about battery drain.

CandyShell AMPED, using patent pending licensed technology developed by FISH Innovation, uses an advanced acoustic technology that channels sound waves through a horn shape to amplify and equalize the iPhone sound output. The result is clearer sound that enhances and maximizes the full frequency range. It also minimizes distortion, making voice and music richer and fuller.

CandyShell AMPED delivers all the military-grade protection for which the Speck CandyShell is known. It’s a sleek dual-layer case that features a hard outer shell to guard against impact and a soft, rubbery interior to absorb shock from bumps and drops. It also features a raised bezel to protect the screen and rubberized covers to shield buttons. At the bottom of the case, the microphone has a grill cover to protect it, yet allows normal functionality.

Sound is over 2x louder + clearer

Exclusive Horn Design amplifies and equalizes the sound of your iPhone 5/5s for fuller, richer sound

Sound power tested to ISO 3745:2021 acoustic sound quality standard

No extra battery power required

Acoustic amplification produced by horn shape

Sound is redirected from phone speaker to side speaker grill

No hassling with syncing, cables, or external speakers

CandyShell military-grade protection

Meets or exceeds MIL-STD-810G standards

Dual-layer design provides uncompromising protection without the bulk

Horn design adds a minimal 0.28” depth to iPhone for a sleek and slim profile

Price: $44.95 (from Amazon at time of review)


Testing and Usage:


Placing the iPhone 5/5S into the CandyShell AMPED involves pulling down on one of the corners of the case and wrapping it around the Apple phone. Removal is just as simple. Press the back Speck logo and pull the sides off the iPhone.



The CandyShell AMPED is slightly more bulky than the standard Speck Candyshell for iPhone 5/5S. It adds some weight to the iPhone 5/5S but nothing terribly noticeable. Here are some side by side comparisons of the two Candyshell designs with the original one on the left and the AMPED on the right.




The case is solidly built with the front bezel raised, which means the phone can sit face down on a flat surface without harm coming to the screen. Ironically this is my daughter’s favorite way to keep her iPhone away from prying eyes.

All of the ports and openings are easily accessible. The TPE covered buttons keep the device safe from moisture exposure.




The Candyshell AMPED is a nice looking case although the slick material can feel a little slippery in the users hands. It’s glossy exterior does tend to attract fingerprints and smudges. This smooth surface also picks up scratches very readily.

Of course the selling point of the CandyShell AMPED is the ability to play sounds at higher volumes from the iPhone. In this regard, the CandyShell AMPED is very successful. As soon as the case was put in place the change in volume was noticeable. The audio chamber amplifies the sound as described and makes the volume almost too loud at times.

This case is ideal for the car when you don’t have Bluetooth and wish to use the speakerphone or need GPS directions from Google maps. Watching video with several people is also greatly improved using the CandyShell AMPED.

Music playback varies from genre to genre, some songs played back with minimal to no distortion while others definitely sounded harsher. Songs with lots of reverb or bass made the case vibrate in my hands.

Obviously the speakers on the iPhone 5/5S are not the best way to playback one’s music but if you need to use them and want to boost the volume then the CandyShell AMPED is a great way to achieve this.



Speck’s Candyshell AMPED is a well-designed case that excels in terms of protection as well as sound amplification. It does currently retail in the $45 range making it a bit more expensive than other iPhone cases.

For those looking boost the volume of their IPhone without adding additional battery drain then look no farther than the Speck CandyShell AMPED.





+Solid design
+Easy to put on and remove
+Increases volume dramatically
+Louder volume does not impact battery
+Quality build and construction

-Fingerprint magnet
-Scratches easily

Grades: 9 out of 10
Overall score-9-10
Design / Aesthetic score-9-10
Value / Price score-9-10
Performance / Usage score-9-10

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