Griffin Technology Amplifi

Griffin Technology Amplifi

Remember to put your iPhone in Airplane Mode when using it with an iPod speaker like the Amplifi.


It’s getting harder and harder to find a simple iPod speaker: one that doesn’t have a clock, a radio receiver, a CD player, or a space-age design. But we found one in the Amplifi, and for $150, we like what it has to offer: great sound for your iPod tunes, and not much else.


The Amplifi measures 14 by 5.5 by 8.5 inches, making it a nice size for a bookshelf, a desk corner, or maybe even nestled inside your entertainment center. The iPod dock doesn’t conform to the Universal Dock specifications, but it still works fine; it just means you use the supplied rubber pads to ensure a good iPod fit. Griffin says the Amplifi’s front volume dial was inspired by the company’s PowerMate USB knob controller, but the Amplifi’s knob-adorned front grill reminded us of Logitech’s portable AudioStation Express (4 out of 5 stars, May/07, p48). Unfortunately, the Amplifi doesn’t have a USB port so you can’t connect to your Mac and sync your iPod, nor does it have a video-out port for watching your iPod videos on a TV. The Amplifi does have a line-in jack for connecting other devices or a dockless iPod.


Behind the grill is a pair of 2.75-inch neodymium drivers. There’s also a 5-inch downward-firing woofer. These three components combine to produce sound that’s rich and full - you don’t feel like you’re missing anything. We thought that the downward-firing subwoofer might be a problem, since it’s aimed at the surface it’s resting on, possibly causing unwanted vibration. But this didn’t happen. Still, the Amplifi produces heavy-sounding bass that’ll please hip-hop fans, but might not suit others. Bass and treble controls would’ve been nice, but the Amplifi doesn’t have ’em.


The bottom line. Sometimes you just want an iPod speaker that simply works. The Amplifi is such a speaker. Not only does it work, it satisfies.


COMPANY: Griffin Technology


PRICE: $149.99

REQUIREMENTS: iPod with dock connector

Compact design. Excellent sound.

No USB port for iPod syncs. No video out. No bass or treble controls.





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First saw this fantastic speaker on a Gizmodo showdown where it came out as the very best speaker for the price.
After searching other sites and seeing generally great reviews, I decided to purchase it although I was going to use it with an iPhone and hadn’t seen anyone post up any experience with one.
First off, the speaker looks great. It has a clean manly look to it and feels solidly built. It’s a little on the beefy side, but perfectly portable and I often move it around the house depending on which room I’m going to be in. The knob has a very solid feel with a nice “clicking” when you turn the volume up or down. Cnet said in their review that they thought the front knob was wiggly and I’ve seen another review state that they had a hard time turning the volume up without turning off the unit. I’ve haven’t experienced this at all so perhaps Griffin has adjusted the unit since earlier reviews. The lowest volume setting doesn’t get whisper quiet as some others had mentioned so it might be tough to go to sleep with if that’s something you’re interested in.

Sound played through my iPhone sounds fantastic. Full, solid bass that you would swear a speaker set this small just wouldn’t be able to produce. The highs are clean and the vocals really stand out. With strong bass, other systems often get a muddy, overwhelmed sound to the vocals and that’s not the case with this unit. Even though the speaker doesn’t come with bass and treble adjustments, just picking a different EQ setting tweaks the sound for personal taste.

The phone works extremely well with the speaker and far better than I had anticipated. This isn’t a shielded speaker so you can get interference if you don’t switch to airplane mode. Having said that, I’m running in normal mode now and after five hours of listening, I’m not hearing any of the usual crackle and blips. Through extended testing, I’ve managed to finally hear it during quiet sections of a song, but the sound is more subdued than I’ve experienced in other speaker units. Because of that, I plan to leave the phone in normal mode so that I can still receive calls.
The phone immediately starts playing music when you turn on the speaker set which is pretty cool. The phone is also charged while plugged in, but only when the speaker is turned on. If you leave the phone in the iPod mode, the screen will stay on and you can see the album art. After a while, it dims down, but still remains on. If you track forward or backward, the screen will come to full brightness again. The remote lets you play and pause the music, and as just mentioned, it allows track control. This allows you to easily jump forward and backward a track as well as fast forward or reverse through the track by holding down the button. This is something I didn’t expect to work with the phone so it’s really cool that it does. There’s a blue ring around the center control knob which flashes when it receives a command from the remote. This is a great way to visually see that the speaker is getting the commands you are trying to send it, especially if you’re further away and stretching the limits of the remote’s range. I’ve tried the remote from about 20-25 feet and it works fine.
In summary, I think this is an outstanding unit that has a really great sound and surprisingly strong integration and control over the iPhone. If I were to ask for any additional features, I would like to have a digital radio tuner with presets. Otherwise, I would say this is a nearly perfect speaker set.

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