Griffin AirCurve Window Mount - car holder review: Griffin AirCurve Window Mount - car holder

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.7
  • Design: 8.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 8.0
Reviewed:
Updated:

The Good The Griffin AirCurve Windshield Mount securely holds an iPhone 4 or 4S in place while driving. The passive amplifier boosts audio output without obstructing the dock connector.

The Bad The semipermanent mounting options can be difficult to adjust once placed and limit intervehicular portability more than a simple suction cup.

The Bottom Line The Griffin AirCurve Windshield Mount is low-tech, but high-quality, noticeably boosting the volume of a cradled iPhone's speaker.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

The AirCurve ships in four glossy, black parts: the dock itself, a 3.5-inch plastic arm that connects to the dock with a ball-in-socket joint, and a pair of plastic mounting clips for windshield and dashboard mounting.

The AirCurve grips the iPhone with two, spring-loaded arms, which hold the handset in place over a pair of rubber hollow contact points. Between those lower contact points is space enough to connect the iPhone's dock connector for charging. One of the contact points (left) covers the iPhone's internal microphone, allowing sound to pass to the phone unmolested. The other (right) contact funnels sound from the phone's speaker into the AirCurve's passive amplifier.

The passive amplifier is old and low-tech -- almost 135-year-old low-tech. Essentially, it works like the horn on a 19th century phonograph, accepting the sound at the narrow end of a hornlike passage, snaking through the body of the AirCurve, and channeling it out of the wide opening just to the right of the phone mount.

One of the hollow rubber feet allows sound to pass to the microphone; the other sends speaker audio through the passive amplifier. Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Griffin claims a 4x boost in speakerphone loudness and a max amplification of 25 dB. I did a before-and-after test in the quietest vehicle on hand in the Car Tech garage, the 2012 Toyota Plug-in Prius. Measurements were taken using a second phone running the Smart Tools app for Android's Sound Meter function. The bare iPhone 4S output a measured average of 56 dB. When we placed the phone in Griffin AirCurve, the measured loudness jumped to 68 dB. So the AirCurve doesn't exactly make its 25 dB loudness boost claim, but to my ear it's still substantially louder. Griffin's not just selling snake oil here -- the AirCurve really works.

The plastic arm's ball joint is simply pushed into the dock's socket after unboxing and gives a fairly good level of adjustment and rotation at that single point of articulation. Where most mounting arms for windshield mount kits have a suction cup of some sort, Griffin's AirCurve features a flat clip that's meant to work with either the dashboard mounting base or the very odd windshield cling base.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4

    Starting at: $299.99
    4.5 stars

    Samsung's ultra HD powerhouse takes on the iPhone 6 Plus and LG G3 with some of industry's...

  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus

    Starting at: $249.99
    4.5 stars

    Bigger isn't always better, and for many the idea of a smartphone with a 5.5-inch screen...

  • Samsung Galaxy S5

    Starting at: $79.99
    4.5 stars

    The Galaxy S5 has once again proven Samsung’s ability to make an attractive high-end smartphone....

  • Apple iPhone 6

    Starting at: $149.99
    4.5 stars

    It's got a bigger screen and works with Apple Pay. It lacks a battery boost, but it's...

 

Discuss Griffin AirCurve Window Mount - car holder

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Where to Buy See all prices

Griffin AirCurve Window Mount - car holder

Part Number: GC22073
MSRP: $39.99 Low Price: $15.49 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • CE Product Type cellular phone holder for car