Scosche Unpacks New iPhone, iPad Gadgets

The Scosche switchBACK surge g4 protect your iPhone while offering a backup charge.

John Scott Lewinskiby John Scott Lewinski

While some gadget makers focus on one particular area (cases, speakers, charges, etc.), Scosche is one of a handful that takes all of those categories – a few more to boot. (No, they don’t make boots, too.)

This summer, Scosche introduced a pile of new products across that spectrum, and CraveOnline had a chance to try out a cross section. We took in a speaker dock, headphones, an iPad mount and an iPhone case.

That doesn’t even remotely poke the surface of the Scosche line, but the idea was to test overall build quality of the company’s products in a limited sample size to see how it all hangs together.

switchBACK surge g4: This is a backup battery case with a kickstand for iPhone 4 – regardless if it’s for Verizon, Sprint and AT&T. It comes in three pieces – a two-part hard plastic shell and a thin outside layer of plastic that wraps around the main case. The battery segment resides in the bottom half of the shell. Once charged, a simple flick of a switch activates a an internal lithium-ion battery lending up to an 80% charge on a dead phone.

I gave this unit a serious tryout during the 2012 London Olympics. During the Games, my iPhone was doing multiple duties as a phone, online research center, email collector, camera and voice recorder. The surge g4 came in handy when I needed that extra boost to get me through a day of reporting.

I also like that it’s hard plastic shell provides more hardcore protection than rubber-based recharge cases. It runs around $80, but it does its job well.

Scosche RH1056MD Over-The-Ear Headphones: Retailing for almost $230, these over-ear headphones need to be well-made and audibly better than cheaper, more common units. Fortunately, these do.

In sleek, metal-appointed black, the RH1056MD phones combine copper with magnets and high tension plastic for a functional, yet striking design. For comfort, the phones come in genuine soft leather and memory foam.

The sound quality is powerful, wrapping the audible senses in a their own womb. The only possible complaint is that the phones leave your head and ears overheated, but that’s simply a downside for over-the-ear units. These are indeed top shelf consumer headphones.

Speaker Dock for iPad, iPad2 and the New iPad: This table-top speaker connector rotates for horizontal and vertical viewing angles and best audio angles. It also charges the tablet while it plays music or videos. It includes dual 1.6-Inch stereo speakers and a 3-inch subwoofer.

The sound quality was adequate for a small, tabletop unit. The charger connect worked fine. Its rotating hinges seemed durable.

The only complaint with this Dock is its clunky aesthetics. That’s a picture of it below. There’s no design flare there. It’s purely mechanical – if not a bit ugly. So, it works, but no one’s eyes will be drawn to it with admiration. For $150, it’d be nice if had a little more visual flair.

backSTAGE pro II: While the speaker dock lacks sophisticated mechanical design, this headrest mount for new iPad and iPad 2 packs plenty of clever function. It’s essentially an iPad case and display that securely clips onto the back of a car headrest.

Viewers in the backseat of any decent side vehicle can watch an iPad’s video screen or interact with it in safety and security. Adults can watch a movie without having to hold the screen, and kids can interact with the tablet without damaging it in a moving car.

And the iPad charges while its in use with the backSTAGE’s connecting cable. It could be a lifesaver for parents on long road trips – keeping the kids in the back entertained while the $600 tablet is out of the reach of sticky fingers.