Oftentimes you’ll find that small portable speakers have worse sound quality than iPhone, the advantage is that they can get a bit louder. That’s no longer the case with the iPhone 5 Kubxlab AmpJacket, which can almost double iPhone 5′s speaker without any additional technology. The AmpJacket is an awesomely funky looking protective iPhone 5 case that passively enhanced and boosts iPhone’s native speaker.
Honestly, the unique design of the AmpJacket is enough to really grab anyone’s attention, but the passive amplifier is the real selling point. Passive means that it doesn’t require any technology; it works similarly to how your voice is amplified from talking through a cone. The case creatively funnels iPhone 5′s speaker output through a curvy tunnel out the back of the case making the audio louder, and arguably better. No batteries or magic required.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell, what’s louder, iPhone’s speaker or the appearance of AmpJacket. It’s available in a bunch of wild bright colors and it has a curvature unlike any case you’ve ever seen, promise. The case smoothly juts out in the back of the case, which feels surprisingly ergonomic and comfortable. Think of this as a highway overpass: under the overpass is a tunnel that leads from iPhone’s speaker straight out the top and sides of iPhone’s back. AmpJacket’s kind of like a tanktop for iPhone, it shows off iPhone’s back sides.
The shape of the AmpJacket is strangely comfortable, but so is the material. It has a matte finish that’s like ultrasmooth clay. In the last week of use, the corners of the orange AmpJacket has slightly started to darken, which isn’t ideal. The case is surprisingly light, especially considering how much fatter it is than your standard iPhone case. There’s a nice large cutout for iPhone’s ports and buttons with really easy access. There’s even a hole on the bottom of the case for a keyring or lanyard tether.
The AmpJacket just exceeds iPhone’s face. It’s a little too close for our comfort, we’d be much happier with a little extra buffer especially if we’re going to be placing iPhone face down. The rest of the case seems pretty protective and durable. Just remember to take it off and clean iPhone as dust can easily infiltrate through the back of the case.
SO…how loud does it get? Pretty loud. It’s loud enough that on full volume you can just hear it in a loud and crowded environment, like a bar. It’s not going to power anything bigger than a low-key party, but it’s loud enough to work amazingly as your bathroom speaker while you shower, a feat that was never possible without AmpJacket. AmpJacket also makes speakerphone very loud, oftentimes too loud to put on full volume. iPhone’s speaker is pretty good in the clarity department as-is, I don’t find AmpJacket to do much enhancing as much as it does boosting. A neat little bonus is that you can play music lower on your phone and it will use less battery. For best results, iPhone should be face down, but it’s also fun to leave iPhone face up and spin it around like a spinning top.
Kubxlab AmpJacket is an especially nifty case because it provides an amazing feature in a quirky and strangely comfortable design that’s not afraid to show off a little skin. Considering AmpJacket is priced exactly the same as any other protective case, it’s a real winner in our book. The KubxLab AmpJacket for iPhone 5 is currently available in 8 colors for $29.95 from KubxLab.com.
The Good: Almost doubles iPhone’s speaker without any technology, comfortable, very light, neat design, great curves, colors, good port and button openings.
The Bad: Case could exceed iPhone’s face more, Orange model darkens around corners and let’s dust in through back.
Update 5/21/13: The ampjacket for iPhone 5 case has been improved with a new material build – a soft-shell TPU with matte finish, for enhanced performance, as well as visual appeal. The case is also now available for the iPhone 4.