FrontRunners: Just in Case

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The iPhone’s limited audio capabilities inspired the V-Moda Vamp (, a $650 device that transforms Apple’s smartphones into high-fidelity music players without adding much bulk. Cradling the iPhone 4 or 4S like a standard case, the Vamp combines a 150-megawatt stereo amplifier, a digital-to-analog converter (DAC), a rechargeable battery, and an optical audio output in a package that weighs less than a third of a pound. The Vamp intercepts the iPhone’s digital audio signal and routes it through its own DAC and amp, the latter of which is five times more powerful than the iPhone’s amp.