Wave Cradle iPhone Accessory Review and Video by Andy Boxall
Sometimes you find a product that fits a need you didn’t even know you had, and that’s exactly what the Wave Cradle has done for me. After many months of sitting face up on my desk, my iPhone 4 now has its own pedestal in the corner, allowing me to see new messages, notifications or who is calling at a glance. Plus, it does this while enhancing the sound from the phone’s speakers!
The Wave Cradle is a made from strong yet lightweight aluminum with an anodized black finish, and the sleek angled front panel is only broken up by two chrome supports. This is where your iPhone rests. Below this point is where the Wave Cradle gets clever, as the panel curves outwards in order to amplify the sound from the iPhone’s downward-facing speakers and project the audio towards the listener.
It’s claimed this will give your iPhone’s speakers an 8dB boost in sharpness and you know what, it really does work. Although I’m not in the position to verify the decibel gain, my ears don’t lie when it comes to hearing a considerable difference in clarity and resonance, with the iPhone producing a much fuller sound than when it’s being held upright or just sitting on the table.
While all audio was improved by putting the phone on the Wave Cradle, it was vocals that had the most noticeable gains, losing that slight ‘distance’ created by the speakers firing towards the ground. It wasn’t just music either, as spoken-word podcasts also benefited too. Instrumental tracks produced the least noticeable improvements, but still sounded better than they had before. The iPhone 4′s speakers are actually rather good, and the Wave Cradle does a great job of helping them overcome the design-enforced limitations.
The Wave Cradle’s design is good too, with the curved front panel appearing to ‘float’ over its shapely base from some angles. To make sure everything stays where you put it, the stand uses two pieces of very grippy plastic – which reminded me of the material used to securely hold items on the dashboard of a car – both on the base plate and on the top of the front panel.
This grips your iPhone to the extent that the stand reaches a 45 degree angle before it slips, and holds the stand steady enough that you can use the touchscreen without the it tipping over. Having my iPhone at this angle on my desk, and being able to use the screen without picking the phone up, was almost as beneficial to me as the improvement in audio performance.
There is little to say against the Wave Cradle, as it does exactly as advertised, has great build quality and is reasonably priced at $28.50; but if pushed I’d note that if you want to charge your iPhone when it’s sitting on the cradle, the cable spoils the looks slightly. I presume incorporating a hole in the panel so the 30-pin connector can slip through – thus hiding the cable behind the stand – would negate any audio gains though.
Tiny nit-picking aside, the Wave Cradle is a superb purchase and I’ve been impressed not only at the audio improvements, but at just how easily it has integrated itself into my everyday life; as almost without fail, I take my iPhone out of my pocket and put it straight on to the Wave Cradle – something I consider to be a big recommendation!