SRS says its iWow 3D adapter will surprise you by how fantastic it will make your music and movies sound from your iPhone, iPad or iPod.
The company claims its Apple 30-pin audio dongle can basically rescue buried sound detail and enhance bass.
You couldn't be blamed for thinking "snake oil," and I was skeptical. But not for long.
Actually, it does pleasantly enhance sound. Bass is richer, but not sloppy. Highlights are brighter and I heard aspects I never really noticed before. Don't expect surround sound, but the audio is appreciably more dimensional and layered.
The magic is not just in hardware, but in software.
After you plug the adapter into your iOS device, a message appears prompting the download of the free companion app. Not required, you can decline the app, and the adapter will use its built-in audio post-processing firmware.
If you download the iWow app you'll gain additional options for listening modes and equipment types. Presets include selections for speakers, car and headphones. And you don't have to have super-high grade audio components experience the difference.
There are some compromises to make though:
iWow does use power and SRS estimates a 18% additional draw. Obviously since iWow uses the 30-pin port, you cannot charge while using it.
During silence, a slight background hiss can be heard, but I never noticed it interfering with the audio quality.
The mic and remote buttons on headphones or earbuds do not function using the adapter.
The 30-pin connector can't port voice audio from a phone call. So when you get a phone call, the adapter goes into bypass mode. To take the call, you'll need to put the phone to your ear to hear and speak.
These are fairly minor quibbles especially if you're using it primarily on something other than an iPhone. I found myself still drawn to using the adapter despite. $45.99 at Amazon was the lowest price I found so the price is no small consideration, but the iWow does deliver big sound improvement in a variety of environments. If your current audio equipment is under whelming you, then the iWow could be a bargain.