iPlifier & Ampjacket: 2 Acoustic iOS Accessories Designed to Crank Up the Volume

The iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch are great music players, especially if you're using headphones, but the speaker placement in all of these devices is problematic. By directing sound straight down, it doesn't reach the user's ears as well as if the speakers were pointed forward. I've tried gadgets like SoundJaw, which uses physics to redirect audio towards the user, but that don't typically accommodate cases. Enter iPlifier, a Kickstarter project that plugs into the lightning dock. Even if your iPhone is in a typical case, the device directs audio to the user.

At just $8, it's a neat and affordable option. It will be available in multiple colors with a keychain to keep it handy. This assumes forward thinking benefactors back the project on Kickstarter. I backed it myself, so I'm putting my money where my blog is!

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Another option is the ampjacket by kubxlab, ($29.95 for iPhone 5) essentially a case made of soft silicone with acoustic redirection built into it. It uses an innovative baffling channel design to double the volume of your device acoustically – without external power or batteries. 

It's available for the iPad mini, iPod touch, and iPhone 5. It comes in black or white, and while it does add some bulk to the device, it adds protection and enhanced audio.

The folks who make the ampjacket used to be called iWatchz, and I've written about them before. They make a variety of fashionable wrist straps for the previous generation 'square' iPod nano, turning it into a watch. With their emphasis on fashion, it's no wonder that the ampjacket is available in a wide variety of colors.

The ampjacket does its job well, boosting the audio without any electronics. You probably want a case anyway, so why not consider a case that improves your audio experience?

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Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.