Speck CandyShell Amped for iPhone 5S Pumps Up the Volume

Speck CandyShell Amped for iPhone 5S

What if you could have all the good looks and great protection of a Speck CandyShell case for iPhone 5S and significantly improve the sound? That’s what the Speck CandyShell Amped for iPhone 5S promises — and delivers. Until you examine it a bit more closely, the case looks like any other CandyShell case. It, however, is hiding a secret.Gear Diary Speck CandyShell AMPED 31

I see more people using Speck CandyShell cases these days than ever before. They love the bright colors, the fun appearance, and the military-grade drop protection. This new CandyShell offering adds a new trick without taking away from the things people already love, so I expect it will be quite popular. The Speck CandyShell Amped for iPhone 5S is a bit thicker than the standard CandyShell, but unless you are specifically looking for it you won’t even notice the difference. Once you start to listen to a phone wrapped in this case, you will immediately understand what has changed.

So while the CandyShell Amped promises to protect your iPhone, it also looks to make the sound coming off the phone louder and clearer. Does it work? I think so, but you can decide for yourself.

Speck CandyShell Amped for iPhone 5S Video Look

The case does indeed do what it promises by way of enhancing the sound in terms of both volume and clarity. Hopefully those differences are readily apparent on the video. What is abundantly clear is that, while this is focused on the sound output by the iPhone, this case is still “all CandyShell”. It has the same bright look, the same shiny finish, the same great protection and, yes — like every other CandyShell case — it is a dust magnet, and it will likely show scratches before too long. CandyShell cases are great, but they aren’t perfect.

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Features of the Speck CandyShell Amped for iPhone 5S

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Sound is over 2x louder + clearer

  • Exclusive Horn Design amplifies and equalizes the sound of your iPhone 5/5s for fuller, richer sound
  • Sound power tested to ISO 3745:2021 acoustic sound quality standard
  • CandyShell military-grade protection

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No extra battery power required

  • Acoustic amplification produced by horn shape
  • Sound is redirected from phone speaker to side speaker grill
  • No hassling with syncing, cables, or external speakers

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Meets or exceeds MIL-STD-810G standards

  • Dual-layer design provides uncompromising protection without the bulk
  • Horn design adds a minimal 0.28” depth to iPhone for a sleek and slim profile

Unlike companies like HTC, Apple hasn’t really put any effort into improving the sound put out by the iPhone. It still has a single crappy speaker and I would be shocked if the electronics processing the audio had changed all that much since the first iPhone was delivered. Like Beats, Apple seems to be happy offering up great looking and stylish devices that don’t sound particularly good. Both companies (soon to be one company if rumors are correct) assume — correctly —  that people will be okay with mediocre audio. I’m not, and I often use a headphone DAC/amplifier to improve things. The Speck CandyShell Amped is a non-electronic attempt to improve things a bit; they actually succeed. The case’s design does increase both the volume and the quality of the sound. Is it a world of difference? No, but then you can only do so much. Is it enough of a difference for me to recommend this case? Absolutely.


If you are in the market for a new CandyShell case, and you like the current color offerings, then there is no reason not to buy this model instead of the traditional one. Other than it being a little bit thicker and a bit more expensive, there’s really no downside. You can learn more and order yours here.

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MSRP: $44.95

What I Like: Great look of a CandyShell case; Great protection of a CandyShell case; Does indeed increase the volume without electronics

What Needs Improvement: Only amiable in four colors at the time of this review; Improves sound but not as much as I hoped; A bit thicker than a standard CandyShell case; No screen protector included

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample of the Speck CandyShell Amped for iPhone 5S

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.