As you all may know, the iPhone case world is a vast sea of choice, perhaps too overwhelming. And yet here we are with more options to consider when purchasing an iPhone case compliments of Musubo. What can we say. We love iPhone cases, probably to an unhealthy level. That said, who is Musubo? Musubo is a new (to the U.S.) Hong Kong based iPhone case manufacturer with what they hope is a winning combination of protective and stylish cases, and today we’re taking their “Retro” and “Sneaker” cases for a spin.
Designed after a classic microphone from a 1920′s era, the two-piece Retro case by Musubo presents a unique (and ergonomic to a point) design. On the eye candy front, the Retro is heavy on the contours and ridges to really pull off that microphone look. Colors are vivid and the thicker, more contoured design makes our iPhone within the Retro case much easier to hold.
On the protection front, a tag-team of soft + hard cases make for a robust shield. The first piece of the Retro’s protection is a soft, flexible silicone sleeve that protects the phone against shock and drops. The second, larger outer piece is the stylized plastic wrap that transforms the Retro case into the microphone-looking figure as well as completes the protection image – harder drops and sharp objects will have to work much harder to get through both layers.
While the overall fit & finish and protection ability of the Retro is pretty easy to like, we’re left worried that certain headphones and docks will present users of said case with a difficult choice — removing the case to fit a pair of headphones or dock. It happens with a lot of iPhone cases that are overly thick or feature restrictive cutouts. While we didn’t have any issues with our various earphones, our larger plugged Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro full-size headphones didn’t want to work properly when our phone was in the Retro.
Overall, if you’re looking for a case that is both strong and visually unique, Musubo’s Retro is definitely worth a look.
More: Musubo Retro Case ($34.99)
Gadgetsteria’s Rating: 7/10
Where the Retro is more about harder core protection, the Sneaker takes things down a notch. While it is still very much a decent case for the more clumsy-prone human being, it’s overall softer construction means it won’t the lumber jack’s first choice.
If the “Sneaker” name didn’t immediately give it away, you’re looking at a case designed to mimic a shoe. The bumper piece that wraps around the outside of your phone consists of a hard rubber — not too soft as to suck up lint and not too hard as to shatter when dropped. The backplate is a similar material, though we’d say it is even harder rubber than the bumper piece, though ultimately still a good option for shock/drop protection.
Cutouts on the bottom of the case are wide and generous — No clearance issues here! — and the overall bulkiness added to the case is actually quite minimal. If you thought the Retro case above was “too much” in terms of bulk, you’ll find the Sneaker more to your liking.
As a thinner case, we like how the Sneaker offers up good drop/shock protection as well as a more unique design. Those of you out there in internet land who love customizing your cases will be pleased to know there are additional back plates in varying colors for the Sneaker case. By default, two are included in the package. At $34.99, it’s a tad on the high side (we consider $19.99-$29.99 to be the sweet spot). Still, we have no doubt that a fair number of people will find it’s protection + design worthy of such a price.
More: Musubo Sneaker Case ($34.99)