iFrogz Boost near-field amplified speaker for smartphones by Zagg Inc.
$24.66 at Amazon.com
Some external smartphone speakers make you plug the phone into a connection dock; others require you to set up a Bluetooth link. But the newest idea from iFrogz is a speaker that’s even simpler to use. Just drop your phone on top of it.
It’s all based on a technology called “near-field audio.” Start the phone playing music through its built-in speakers, then put it on top of the Boost. The device picks up the sound from the phone’s speakers, amplifies it and pumps it out through its own built-in pair of speakers. I have no idea how it works, but it does. The Boost runs on three AA batteries and can spend months in “standby mode.” It starts cranking out sound the moment you put the phone on top, then drops back into standby when the music ends.
It’s a slick idea, hampered by the Boost’s mediocre speakers. To my ears, the music sounded muddy and undistinguished. I’ve gotten much better results from Bluetooth external speakers.
Still, this gadget is cheap, easy to use, and reasonably loud. It may be just the thing for low-budget listeners who’d like to give a boost to their favorite music.
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