When you are at a party or concert, or some other event where a lot of background noise is taking place, do you ever try to isolate one person’s voice by cupping your hand around your ear? That is the concept behind the Amplifiear. It is basically a cupped hand for your iPad.
I can speak from personal experience that the speaker on the iPad is way too quiet. I’m always turning the volume up when trying to show someone a video on YouTube or play a recording of my band’s new songs. I could track down my wireless speaker, turn it on, enable Bluetooth and hope that the battery is still charged. Or, I could reach for the Amplifiear.
This ABD plastic disc is small enough to fit into your back pocket, but was specially engineered to make the most out of the iPad’s speaker. Using basic frequency concepts, the Amplifiear reflects sound that would normally project outward from the iPad. It redirects the audio forward, where you are located, so that you get all of the sound.
It only increases the volume a little. This minimalist device is not going to make it so that you can project sound throughout a whole house. What it will do is push the sound toward where you are sitting or standing instead of letting it drift outward from the side of the iPad.
What it also does is help keep the integrity of the original audio. For example, while watching a movie trailer, you’ll be able to hear all the music and explosions and fantastic dialogue, but you’ll also hear the subtle footsteps from someone walking down an empty hallway, or the rush of wind as it blows past a young girl. These are the sounds that get lost without the Amplifear.
The device is 100 percent recyclable and comes in black and white so you can match your iPad. It even includes three different sized foam pads so that you can fit it onto a first, second, and current generation iPad. It doesn’t come with an iPad mini pad, but you can double them up to create a thicker pad, so you could probably get the Amplifiear to fit on the ultra thin 7.9-inch tablet.
What I liked: This clever device is so simple that anyone, including a small child, could increase the volume and quality of sound on their iPad. It doesn’t permanently stick to your iPad and you don’t have to set up your Bluetooth in order to get it to work. I also like that it kinda makes my iPad look like Mickey Mouse.
What I didn’t like: To be honest, the price surprised me. I was expecting it to run about $15, and was a little disappointed to see that it costs so much.
The Verdict: If you are looking for a clever gift to get someone for Christmas, this is the perfect gadget for someone who has everything (including an iPad). It is a little on the steep side for what you get, but in this new independent business world, companies can’t compete with the likes of WalMart anymore.
- Name: Amplifiear
- Manufacturer: NonLinear
- Price: $24.99