The sound experts at THX and i-BLADES, the original modular Smartcase maker, joined forces at this year's MWC 2018 to announce a brand new attachment for the i-BLADES Smartcase called Audio Smartblade. As its name implies, the add-on item is intended to amp up the headphone listening experience on any device for which Smartcase is available. For those who aren't already aware, Smartcase is a modular smartphone case that acts as a gateway to improving a handset through easily interchangeable add-ons that snap to the case. The most recent introduction to the series is the Smartcase lineup for Samsung's newly announced Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus.
With regard to the latest add-on, it effectively adds THX's Achromatic Audio Amplifier technology to any device using a Smartcase from i-BLADES. Users just have to snap the case on, snap on the THX Audio Smartblade, and plug in their headphones. So long as they aren't using the world's worst headphones, the accessory should provide the wearer with high fidelity audio with reduced harmonic, intermodulation, and crossover distortion by around 20-40 dB. At the same time, the attachment maximizes peak output and sound pressure levels to provide a higher dynamic range than what can be found inside of any smartphone out of the box. Meanwhile, the companies say this particular solution is also exceptionally power-efficient and even contains its own 1800mAh battery pack inside. So it shouldn't cause the massive amounts of battery drain that some high-fidelity, high-end handsets can experience when their advanced audio output drivers are used. Perhaps better still, this add-on is said to feature its own dedicated micro SD slot. That, of course, means that users can transfer files to and from the Audio Smartblade and could ultimately save a substantial amount of onboard device storage as well.
Unfortunately, with regard to cost and availability, neither company has provided any substantial details. For those hoping to add this to just any device, it should also be noted that there are only technically Smartcase available for Samsung devices or iOS handsets - at least for the time being. Cases for other devices may or may not be brought forward later on but, for now, users will need a Samsung Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9 Plus if they want to get the most out of i-BLADES case offerings.