The new handcrafted Legato iPhone dock from Chinon provides a 6 decibels boost to iPhone audio output, without any powered amplification. The passive horn speaker organically boosts the volume of sound collected from the iPhone’s external speaker. However, it is the graceful curves and swirling wood grains that make the Legato an object of natural beauty and an instant conversation starter.
“While the Apple iPhone is widely regarded as one of the world’s premier smart phones, what is less known is that its speaker is capable of reproducing excellent sound quality,” explained Jensen Fong, President of Chinon Dynavison. “Although the speaker is very fast in transients and mid-region response, its small dimension weakens low frequency and mid-high response. In order to bring out the best of the iPhone’s audio – specifically for use as a casual listening device – a very old concept was employed in the Chinon Legato: a wooden horn speaker that both increases and equalizes sound.”
According to Fong, several different horn approaches were explored, considering the length of the horn, the mouth to drive the unit ratio, the compression chamber, and the flare of the horn mouth, plus many other factors. Various designs, such as tractrix horns and exponential horns, were tested. Eventually a combination of designs was incorporated into the Legato.
Plastic audio horns have proven to be very disappointing and were never considered by Chinon for the Legato. Metal horns provided good mid and high frequency but lacked the required improvements in the much needed lows and mid lows.
Finally, a wooden horn was selected because wood has particular characters in the mid-low and low regions, which is preferred by serious audiophiles. The only downside of wood is that, unlike metals, it can only be machined to a certain degree of tolerance. In order to maximize the performance of the Legato horn, every piece is hand-crafted to overcome wood’s tolerance limitation. Ash hardwood was used due to its stable quality and excellent sonic performance.
Technically, the Legato is designed to improve and increase the mid, mid-low and mid high region, namely from 150 Hertz to 8500 hertz with an amplification factor of 6db or more. These are important primary notes of musical instruments and human vocals. A precisely calculated horn path located under the iPhone speaker brings the sound wave to the horn where it propagates along the channel and to listeners as superior music.
The Chinon Legato comes with an attachable base compatible with iPhone 4, 4s, 5, 5s and 5c models. An electrical connector in the base permits re-charging of the iPhone while in use.
Price and Availability
The Chinon Legato will be available early December 2013 for $249.00 (USD) at www.chinonshop.com.