Review: ampjacket, Sound Boosting Case for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad Mini

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The ampjacket is a protective case that’s available for the iPhone 5, iPod touch 5G and the iPad Mini.  I first spotted it while at CES and did a quick video about it here.  If you’re someone who uses their Apple iOS device as a portable music player, sans headphones, or someone who struggles to hear when alerts are being played by your device, you’re going to want to check this review out.  The ampjacket is more than just a case.  It’s also a sound amplifier.  The case uses a special channel to boost the sound that comes from your device’s speaker by up to two times.  If you’re often listening to your device in a crowded area or just find yourself unable to hear it, then this might be the case for you.  Want to see more?  In this review we’ll examine not only the ampjacket case for the iPhone 5, but for the iPod touch 5G and iPad Mini as well.

Read on through for my full review.

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Inside the packaging you’ll find just the case.  No extras come along with it.

Here’s what kubxlab has to say about the ampjacket.

How it Works
The ampjackets patent pending audio channels are precisely tuned to guide and amplify the output from the speaker, enhancing volume and clarity… no power needed

Common Uses
iPhone  - In the car (hands-free), listening to music, gaming, conference calls.

iPod touch – Listening to music,  playing games,  FaceTiming,  watching movies.

iPad Mini - Listening to music, gaming, conference calls, music production.

What it’s Made Of
iPad and iPod touch – Soft-shell TPU with matte finish.

iPad version Integrates with Smart Cover
ampjacket for iPad mini is designed to not only work with the Smart Cover, but make it even better. Using the ampjacket and Smart Cover, you can stand your iPad mini in three different ways: portrait, landscape and incline.

Screen Shot 2013-03-24 at 8.19.50 AMThe iPhone 5 and the iPod touch 5G versions of the ampjacket are available in 8 different colors.  You can choose from white, black, gray, red, orange, green, blue or pink.

Screen Shot 2013-03-24 at 8.20.43 AM

 

The iPad Mini version of the amjacket comes in three different colors.  You can choose from gray, black or white.

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The iPhone 5 version of the ampjacket is made from polycarbonate while the iPad Mini and iPod touch 5G versions are made from softer, more flexible TPU.  Each has a matte coating or finish that feels very good in the hand.  I’m not sure of the reasoning behind the different materials being used.  However, I prefer the TPU cases as they are easier to remove and less likely to scratch the device they are protecting.

Note:  In all the photos in this review the iPhone 5 version (gray) of the ampjacket is on the left, the iPod touch 5G version (red) in the middle and the iPad Mini version (white) on the right.

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The insides of each case are completely bare.  There’s no liner, just plastic.  However, since the back of your device actually never comes in direct contact with the back of the case this shouldn’t be a concern.

Take note of the ampjacket’s special channel inside each case.  It’s this channel that guides the sound coming from your device’s speaker and amplifies it up to two times the normal volume.

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To place your device in the case simply start with the top, or button side and snap in.  The TPU version (iPod touch 5G and iPad Mini) is much easier to install than the more rigid, polycarbonate iPhone 5 version.

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Once installed inside the ampjacket you’ll still have access to all of your device’s ports and controls.

iPhone 5 – On the bottom you’ll find a single cutout for the lighting port and headset jack.  There’s also a small hole for the phone microphone.  Along the side a large cutout yields access to the volume buttons and mute switch.  On the top another cutout leaves the sleep/awake button fully accessible.

iPod touch 5G – On the bottom you’ll find individual cutouts for the lightning port and headset jack.  On the side a single cutout reveals the volume buttons.  The sleep/awake button also gets its own cutout.

iPad Mini – On the bottom a single cutout allows access to the lightning port.  On the side another single cutout leaves the mute/orientation switch and volume rocker accessible.  Along the top three individual cutouts reveal the sleep/awake button, microphone and headset jack.

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All three versions of the case have a different cutout for their respective device’s rear facing camera.  The iPhone 5 version is key holed shaped for the camera, secondary microphone and LED flash.  The iPod touch 5G cutout is pill shaped shaped for the rear facing camera and microphone.  Finally, the iPad Mini cutout is a single, round cutout for the camera.

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Each of the cases offers a decent amount of lay-on-the-table protection.  The case’s lip comes up, onto the glass screen of the device, insuring that should you place your device down onto a flat surface, screen side first, it’ll be the case that comes in contact with the surface first, not your device’s screen.

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The iPad Mini version of the ampjacket has a long cutout along the side so that you can use an Apple Smart Cover with it should you desire doing so.

So now on to the most important part of this review.  Examining the ampjacket’s claim that it can boost the audio coming from your iOS device by up to 2 times.  Does it?  For the test, check out my video review below.

Check out my full video review and sound test below…


So does the ampjacket work as advertised?  In a word. yes.  While the case might not be the most stylish case I’ve seen, what it lacks in style it more than makes up for not only in sound boosting functionality but ergonomic grip as well.  The ampjacket is one of the more comfortable cases to hold in the hand that I’ve personally tested.  If you’re often cranking the volume up on your iPhone 5, iPod touch 5G or iPad Mini to the top and wishing it could go higher than the ampjacket is the case for you.  Not only is it helpful for listening to music, video and other multimedia but for me even more so for general alerts, text message notifications and phone calls.  The ampjacket basically helps make sure you don’t miss anything that’s important coming from your device.

You can learn more about the ampjacket by visiting the kubxlab web site here.

MSRP:  iPhone – $29.95 , iPod touch – $24.95, iPad Mini -$39.95

PROS:  Boosts audio.  Multiple colors.

CONS:  iPhone 5 version tough to remove.  Sound can lose quality.

Four

 

 

 

Larry

Larry has always had a passion for gear and gadgets. It all started for him with the release of the very first Palm Pilot. He has always had an interest in handheld electronics. From handheld PDAs, to cell phones, Mp3 players, watches and other products, Larry is the first person his friends, family and colleagues call when they need advice on tech.

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