NuAns Cone: iPhone Charging Dock & Lamp in One

In 2014 iPhone Life awarded a best of CES award to the NuAns Cone ($269.99 at Amazon). A few months ago I received a review unit and it now sits on my desk to illuminate my workspace, and it also occasionally offers up some tunes.

Elegant and simple describe the Cone’s overall aesthetic. The Tent-designed, Japanese-manufactured lamp provides basic power and volume controls from the well-balanced base. A small disk near the lamp neck flips to unveil a Lightning charger and data connector. Connect a phone and it plays through the built-in speaker concealed in the lamp's “cone.” 

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An optional free NuAns app consolidates alarm clock, sleep times, music control, upcoming calendar events, and weather forecasts. The light and speaker can even be controlled via the Apple Watch.

The Lighting cable presents the single draw-back for the design: it only supports cases of 1.3 mm thicker or less. Any thicker and the connector won’t connect. For those who insist on enclosing their devices in highly protective sheathing, this isn’t the docking solution for you.

The built-in speaker isn’t going to blow away the neighbors, but it isn't meant to. The Cone is a personal device meant for personal spaces like one's desk or on the nightstand where the iPhone plays jukebox and alarm. The Cone presents itself well among modern decor, and its clean lines even fit with more traditional furniture.

But the Cone isn’t just for the iPhone. An iPad with a thin case also works just as well, with the support of an adjustable rubber disk along the lamp's armature that helps balance the device on its precariously small perch.

A USB port in the back support auxiliary charging for another device.

There really isn’t much else to review. Which is a good thing. The best accessory just works. No need for complex manuals: just plug in the Cone, and then plug in your iPhone or iPad. 

As for future versions, Bluetooth connectivity would add the ability to keep playing music when a device isn’t in the dock, or to play audio from multiple devices—perhaps from devices with thicker cases.

Pros

  • Integrated Lighting connector for charging, playing music through the built-in speaker and controlling the lamp
  • LED lamp with multiple illumination levels
  • Speaker built into lamp housing
  • Elegant design
  • Apple Watch compatible app

Cons

  • Speaker isn’t Bluetooth
  • Lightning connector doesn’t work with cases thicker than 1.3 mm.

Final Verdict

If you're looking for a sleek, modern, functional charging dock and speaker, look no further than the nuAns Cone. It's the perfect multi-functional dock for those who eschew clutter.

 

 

 

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Daniel Rasmus's picture

Daniel W. Rasmus is the Founder and Principal Analyst at Serious Insights. He is the author of Listening to the Future, Management by Design and Sketches of Spain and Other Poems. Rasmus teaches at Bellevue College where he teaches Social Media and Personal Branding.