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The Koostik wonderfully lo-tech iPhone dock

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November 24, 2010

The Koostik iPhone dock utilizes the smartphone's own speakers, and channels the audio int...

The Koostik iPhone dock utilizes the smartphone's own speakers, and channels the audio into hollowed out, hemispherical sound chambers where the sound is amplified by up to four times

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There's no denying that the Zeppelin and Mini from Bowers & Wilkins are handsome and powerful ways to dock your iPhone. While the Koostik dock can't hope to compete in the amplification stakes, there's something about the simple design and natural wood finish that makes it just as pleasing to the eye – and more than a little cheaper, too.

To project the sound from an iPhone placed in the central cradle to any assembled admirers, the Koostik dock channels the output from the smartphone's own speakers into left and right hollowed out, hemispherical sound chambers. This is said to acoustically amplify the audio by up to four times, the effect likened to the sonic difference between playing a solid-bodied and a hollow-body guitar acoustically.

The upside to being a completely acoustic delivery system is that there's no power requirement. That being the case of course, the Koostik dock won't be able to charge an iPhone while it pumps out the tunes. In fact, there's no hole cut out for a charger's cable either, as this would interfere with the channeling of the audio to the sound holes.

Koostik iPhone dock

The designers do point out that the 8.5 x 3.5 x 2-inch (215.9 x 88.9 x 50.8mm) Koostik dock wasn't designed to compete with the amplified power of electrified systems (so if you like loud heavy rock then this probably won't be for you) but "if you like intimate vocals and instrumentals in relaxed settings, Koostik will blow you away (gently of course)."

The wonderfully lo-tech Koostik acoustic iPhone dock is hand-made in six different solid wood combinations – Cherry face and body, Walnut face and body, Cherry face and Walnut body and Walnut face and Cherry body for US$85, with a couple of Birdseye Maple fronted versions being a little more expensive at US$90.

Those at Koostik say that whatever finish you choose, the sound produced should be about the same, so your choice is entirely down to which version you find most aesthetically pleasing.

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.   All articles by Paul Ridden
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5 Comments

It's very good, and actually unless you are part way to being stone deaf, a DECENT set of speakers running at 2W to 5W is plenty loud when your close by and in a reasonably quiet room. Especially if you listening to a recording of a person speaking... loud enough to listen to while you work and to make some people type back ground noise, and not enough to distract you.

Mr Stiffy
24th November, 2010 @ 05:03 pm PST

the sound is only coming out of one side of the phone. do both "speakers" amplify that one side or have they made two channels (right for iPhone4 and left for the rest) depending on model? Only one side of the phone is actually putting out sound. If you look at this photo on their site (http://koostik.com/styles/images/not.jpg) you can clearly see a groove on each side going to one "speaker." The other one is useless.

Tony Rodriguez
24th November, 2010 @ 08:55 pm PST

Dionisio is partly correct. Actually, the cradle design allows sound to transfer into both chambers although it is slightly louder coming from the chamber fed by the speaker. On the 3G and 3GS, the phones' speaker is on the left. On the iPhone 4 it is on the right. I designed the koostik specifically to accomodate all generations of iPhone- but sound definitely comes from both "speakers" while in use. It is not stereo, but it is definitely richer and fuller than what can be gotten from a single speaker- I actually went through over 50 prototypes to get to the best overall balance which this design represents. Thanks for your interest

James R. Simon
24th November, 2010 @ 09:36 pm PST

James, thanks for the detailed response.

Tony Rodriguez
24th November, 2010 @ 11:42 pm PST

I like the idea, and find the product attractive in its minimalism---although it's something of a misnomer to describe this as "amplifying" the sound. It's performing an acoustical impedance transformation which better matches the iPhone output to the listener's space.

Swami Poindexter
25th November, 2010 @ 10:32 am PST
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