Review: Griffin AirCurve Window Mount
During our travels at CES this past January, we came across the Griffin booth to see what new stuff they could ‘wow’ us with. There were definitely a few things that caught our eyes and we couldn’t wait to get our hands on them. One in particular was the car mount that they had announced during the show.
We all know that every iDevice accessory manufacturer around makes a car mount. They come in all different shapes and sizes, some work really well, and some leave us wishing we went a different route.
The Griffin AirCurve Window Mount is as simple as they come. Not too bulky, so there really isn’t much taking up the view of the road. A simple piece connects to your window with a stem that finishes with a cradle for your iPhone 4/4S. The AirCurve combines the best features of the AirCurve waveguide and the popular Window Mount giving you a great product for your car.
Griffin doesn’t slouch with the options for attaching to your car. Not only are we given a cling for the window, but in the case of windshield mounting not working out, we have an adhesive piece made for dash mounting. I know that this is standard in the smartphone mounting world, but I am impressed with the minimalistic design from Griffin. Not much goes into the hardware, it’s sleek and doesn’t add a bulky mass in your line of sight.
A feature that really made this stand out was the AirCurve technology built right into the car mount. When I purchased my current vehicle, it came without a faceplate for the radio. Being the lazy nerd I am, I have yet to get around to find a replacement. So when I saw that AirCurve Window Mount, I thought not having a megaphone style listening experience is better than none. Until this product, I used BlueTooth devices to stream audio from my iPhone to my ears, but the AirCurve Window Mount offers a much cleaner sound that anyone can appreciate – especially those without a stereo.
The mount works exactly like a megaphone. Built into the side of the hardware is an amplifier that boasts up to 25 decibels louder than the current iPhone speaker. I was somewhat skeptical when I first attached this to my dash. I have always found the iPhone speaker subpar and to use this as my main source of entertainment didn’t seem like a good idea. But I was proven wrong. Even with the windows down, I could still get a clear sound throughout the vehicle. It wasn’t the heaviest or loudest, but I wasn’t struggling to hear what was playing.
Along with being able to blast my rocking tunes, the AirCurve Window Mount doubled as a great handsfree device. Both ends of the line produced a great sound that didn’t result in many “what did you say?” moments. The iPhone’s mighty microphone combined with the Griffin AirCurve Window Mount made for a great alternative to pricy BlueTooth devices.
As for design, simple. As I said above there isn’t much that goes into this little guy. With clamps on either side, adjusting to the size of your iPhone, even protected in case was no problem for this mount. I used it with a variety of cases, all of which I’ve reviewed on Gadgetsteria, and not one was too big for this mount. This is a feature I can really get behind. If you use any sort of protection on your iPhone, you’ll know that some accessories are rendered useless because of a case. Griffin thought that was bollocks and made sure the any sized case would fit. A slot is cut out at the bottom for proper 30-pin connection, in case you need to charge while on the go. And then on the right side is the amplifier, which only sticks out about 3/4 of an inch.
The cling part is really the only issue I had. As far as the window cling, it was extremely sturdy and no issues arose. The dash mount was another story though. I cleaned the dash, and made sure no dust or crap littered it before applying. But after a short week I noticed it starting to lean forward. I made sure to apply it to the flattest part of the dash, but it was still not match for the weight of the iPhone and car mount. Many issues could of gone into this failing, I just don’t have any other ways of troubleshooting to see which could be corrected to produce better results. But again, the window cling worked great. It was very strong and I never had to worry about my beautiful iPhone taking the plunge the to depths of my Subaru.
So, is it a good buy? At $39.99, I would have to say maybe. I think a $30 price tag would be an instant yes. You do get to ditch two different pieces of hardware (BlueTooth / Car Mount) and combine them to create 1 great accessory. The sound output is great, especially considering it is the iPhone speaker. But in my testing, if window mounting is out of the question, I would like to feel a little more secure in what I am placing my iPhone in. The window cling is a large piece of adhesive cling that makes no one worry. But the small adhesive sticker for the dash just couldn’t withstand the weight of my iPhone. After only a week of use, it was done for.
But like I said, if you are looking for a less bulky mount, but also want drive safely, Griffin has you covered, as long as window mounting is the way you can go.
Hop on over to Griffin’s internet domain and pick yourself up a handy little accessory, and check out all they have to offer during your stay.
Thanks you Griffin and Max Borges Agency for the review unit!