iPhone Life magazine

Belkin Thunderstorm Delivers Home Theater Sound with iPad

The Belkin Thunderstorm Handheld Home Theater ($199.99) is a rechargeable case for the iPad 2 and 3rd Generation that packs enough sonic punch to knock you out of your seat. Admittedly pricey, this audio accessory from Belkin offers quality and intense portable sound through Audifi digital signal processing, making movies and games immersive fun. This product can also solve the dilemma of buying a separate case, stand, battery and speaker.

The Thunderstorm delivers an impressive audio experience, not only in terms of loudness, but clarity at high volumes. In place of a more expensive audio system, or for portable sound boosting, the Thunderstorm fits like a glove. The Audify app (Free) allows you to adjust the stereo separation and test out sound settings.
The design of the product is very sturdy. The case itself is much bulkier than a normal case, and to be honest, is not ideal for carrying or even comfortably holding it for a long time. The case allows for all external port access, save for the 30-pin required to route sound to the speakers. It includes a charging adapter that will recharge the internal battery, which also charges the iPad when docked.
 
Belkin cleverly engineered the Smart Cover to fold into a Tri-fold shape (think triangular hats during the American Revolution), which allows viewing at a more relaxed angle. The cover has another added feature: an open slot by the speaker to allow sound to continue to pass with the screen off. Also, a small section of the case surrounding the dock connector snaps in and out, providing lift assist for stable device removal (see above). The case also has full external button extenders that work perfectly.
 
You can answer all your accessory needs in one fell swoop with Belkin's Thunderstorm. The sound experience was great during my testing. I found I could hear things I was not aware of previously, particularly with games. I give it my personal recommendation although I'd like to see the price come down a bit.
 
Pros:
  • Excellent sound boost for music, movies and games;
  • All-in-one design concept (case/cover/battery/speaker);
  • Superior construction.
Cons:
  • Bulky;
  • Price.
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Nate Adcock's picture

Nate Adcock is a system and integration engineer with experience managing and administering a variety of computing environments. He has worked extensively with mobile gadgets of all shapes and sizes for many years. He is also a former military weather forecaster. Nate is a regular contributor for the iphonelife.com and smartphonemag.com blogs and helps manage both websites. Read more from Nate at natestera.drupalgardens.com or e-mail him at nate@iphonelife.com.