With both California and Washington requiring some sort of hands-free device for all drivers as of July 1, 2008, a large percentage of iPhone owners need a viable hands-free solution. Many of the hands-free options are considerably cheaper than the Etymotic hf2, but all those options also sound awful. I dread talking to anyone using a Bluetooth speakerphone because there’s always an unnecessary amount of repeating involved. Bluetooth wireless headsets are better, but they don’t play to the iPhone also being an iPod. Etymotic gets it right, offering a wired headset with inline microphone, for stereo listening to music, or receiving and placing calls as they come in. When you’re driving, simply remove the second ear bud and stay connected to safely answer phone calls. You’ll shout less while wearing the hf2 headset because it blocks noise just like other Etymotic headphones. If you don’t have an iPhone, the Etymotic hf2 headset works with any device with a 3.5mm plug.
When I first saw this iPhone Case, with built-in battery and a light on the back for assisting with low light camera shots, I thought it was genius. The concept certainly is genius. You get double the battery life from something that doubles as a case and still fits in the iPhone dock. A light for the camera is a nice to have and the whole package adds almost no additional weight to the iPhone. As Nate later pointed out, this is not entirely perfect. The case currently covers both the microphone and speaker on the iPhone, which doesn’t render them unusable, but certainly reduces their effectiveness. Hopefully when this arrives in the US market, it takes this shortcoming into effect because it’s certainly something many iPhone users could benefit from. The video shows a good demonstration of the case and how it works.