Smartphone cases aren’t new – in fact many eschew using one because it covers up the esthetic “look” they paid so much for their phone to have. But as smartphones get more attractive they seem to also become more vulnerable to damage. Hence the need for a case to protect them. So what makes Vibe Audio’s a different kind of smartphone case? Because the Baserox Modular Phone Cases are modular, adding two highly prized features that can be added at a moment’s notice: a battery backup and a self-contained Bluetooth speaker.
One of the Baserox Modular Phone Cases is designed to fit the iPhone 6/6S/7/8 while another works with Samsung Galaxy models S7 Edge, S8, and S8 Plus. Each case has the expected dimensions and cutouts for camera and the like. Plus the all needed drop protection. A two piece construction better grips the phone even as the much needed raised front lip (i.e., raised bezel) keeps the touch screen from impacting a surface directly. So that’s good but certainly nothing all that special — until you look at the back and see the silver rimmed insert that obviously is waiting for something to be attached. Which is where we go next.
The Baserox itself doesn’t use any electricity, but the phone inside it certainly needs recharging on a regular basis. Probably at the most inconvenient times too — like when traveling and using GPS or at a party when showing off a lot of pictures and the screen has been lit up continuously. So rather than going into a corner to sit by a wall outlet (or putting the phone away with a sigh), out gets pulled the Voltrox Power Bank. This snaps onto the Baserox’s back and stays there until released. Then just use the attached cable to plug into — in the case of an iPhone — the iPhone’s Lightning Connector so 3000mAH of power can be pumped in (there’s a similar process for the Samsungs). There’s a LED battery indicator as well as an on/off switch, but the best part here is that it barely adds any overall weight or changes the “balance” of the phone as handled. And for sure you can take it off and put it away once it’s done its thing or use it to give somebody else a bit of “juice.” That’s up to you.
The final add-on is unusual, but not in what it does but in how it does it. A bit heavier than the Voltrox (and coming in a box at least 5x the size), the Vibrox Sound Engine is a Bluetooth speaker of carbon fiber construction. With its own rechargeable battery and power indicator, it pops onto the back of the Baserox in the same manner as the Voltrox did. But the Vibrox works in a different fashion than a conventional speaker because it uses vibration to generate sound waves — not sound waves going through a coil being generated by electricity as found in a common BT speaker. This makes for a more focused sound using vibrations (just touch the front grill to feel it in action ). One which sounds good (bad pun, ouch). And even with all this and 10-12 hours of playback from the rechargeable battery, a 150 hours of standby and the music features (play/pause, track forward/back), it still comes in at less than 4 ounces being added to the phone and not sticking out so far as to make it unable to fit in a pocket. Plus when being left at home, it can be used as a portable BT speaker for your laptop or desktop or tablet by using a built-in kickstand. Or bring it along on a bike or otherwise using the optional Sticky Mount Base Plate to hold it in place separated from the Baserox (why else have Bluetooth?).
Now the Vibrox needs to be waterproof so it can function no matter how the weather reacts. So it meets IPX7 standards (you can immerse it in water for up to 30 meters at a depth of 1 meter — though why would anyone want to do that is a nutty). That also means the embedded microphone is just as waterproof — being used to make/take calls and letting the Vibrox function as a speakerphone.
Probably the best thing about the Baserox Modular Phone Cases is that you’re not forced to toss those accessories away should you get a new phone. Just get a new Baserox that fits the phone because the Voltrox and Vibrox will fit on its back as easily as it did the previous case. Building in obsolescence protection is good, but having your phone in a protective case that takes a battery pack and a Bluetooth speaker is even better. The Baserox retails for $29.99, with the Voltrox retailing for $49.99 and the Vibrox for $149.00.