Smartcase manufacturer i-BLADES and motion picture industry giant THX Ltd. have teamed up at this year’s CES event to unveil their latest product designed to enhance the audio experience of smartphone users. As expected, the latest creation comes in the form of a Smartcase featuring a Smartblade snap-on attachment that integrates THX Achromatic Audio Amplifier technology.
i-BLADES’ Smartcases have been available for the Samsung Galaxy S series for a couple of years now, offering Smartblade attachments designed to expand a connected smartphone’s battery life and/or internal storage. However the latest Smartblade accessory was designed together with THX and provides superior audio quality for music enthusiasts, promising “the world’s highest fidelity” audio signal. Meanwhile, the THX Achromatic Audio Amplifier technology uses a patented feed-forward topology which contributes to reduced intermodulation, harmonic, and crossover distortion by 20-40dB, resulting in what the manufacturer calls the world’s “most linear amplifier.” No other details have been revealed regarding hardware characteristics, so it’s not entirely clear whether the latest Smartblade attachment acts as an external DAC and nullifies the smartphone’s volume controls and other potential enhancements such as equalizer presets. This is normally the case with any external DAC that bypasses a connected device’s on-board solution and uses it simply as a pass-through, and since the official press release mentions that the THX AAA-enabled Smartblade maximizes battery life, it’s very likely that the accessory acts as a dedicated DAC after all.
i-BLADES has yet to reveal a release timeframe for the latest Smartblade, and pricing details remain unknown at the time of this writing. It also remains to be seen whether the audio amplifier will be compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S6, S7, as well as the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, or if the product will only be reserved for last year’s Galaxy S8 flagship series. It’s worth mentioning that the previously-launched Samsung Galaxy S8 Smartcase featuring 16GB of additional storage, 12 hours worth of extra battery life, and a 4-in-1 Enviro Sensor currently costs $99.99, while the same product housing 64GB of on-board memory is now available for $119. Likely, the new audio amplifier created in partnership with THX will fit in a similar price range.