Ringtones suck. Not in theory but in practice. They exist for one reason and that is to notify; this however, doesn't stop everyone and their grandma from using screechy loops of "Ice Cream Paint-Job" instead. Enter Cleartones by Hugo Verweij.
Verweij makes his living as a sound engineer so you can imagine how much it hurts him to hear your average teen's ringtone. These "hand-made, minimalist ringtones for the serious user" consist of short, clean bursts of unobtrusive sound designed specially for the iPhone's speakers. In his own words:
As a sound designer I pay a lot of attention to the sounds of our everyday life and what they communicate. We are surrounded by electronic devices, almost all of which make sound. But many times, the sound is not as well designed as the device itself. That's one of the reasons why I created Cleartones. A ringtone is oftentimes rude and annoying, while it should be unobtrusive yet functional. It should be clear to it's owner without disturbing anyone else, that's the essence of a good ringtone, says Hugo Verweij, founder of Cleartones.
There are 4 sample tones available for your listening pleasure on the product site with artsy names like "Persistence" or "It's Time." The whole set of 50 tones is available now for $10 or you can get 4 for the price of a tweet. He'll also do custom requests by email. I wonder if he can whip up a bite of "Born this Way" for me! [Cleartones via David Report and Another Something; Photo from Joachim Baan]