I like to listen to music while I work. It can be motivational or calm me down if it’s a stressful day. Almost every mobile device on the market these days gives you the ability to listen to all kinds of music wherever you are. The only problem is the speakers on most tablets, laptops, and smartphones were never intended to blow your hair back. Instead of enjoying music wirelessly, we often end up tethered to our devices by a pair of headphones.
For the iPad and iPhone, the problem of low-output speakers is compounded by the fact that the speakers are pointed in the opposite direction from your ears. That’s where the Sounder comes in. This natural amplifier captures and redirects the sound toward the listener, all without wires or need for a power source.
The Sounder is both a genius idea and a labor of love. Created by New York-based designer Howard Fink, the device at first appears to be nothing more than a simple block of wood. The secret to its amplification power comes from the special slot designed to hold your iPad at the perfect angle. When you hit play on your favorite album, sound from the iPad speaker is directed into the horn, an inverted semicircle hollowed out into the Sounder’s base.
“You can compare it to the human voice box,” writes Fink on the device’s Kickstarter page. “iPad speakers are the vocal cords, the narrow slot feeding the horn is the throat. The horn is the mouth, and the rounded opening the lips. The Sounder has an uncanny fidelity when projecting the human voice.” Although it was designed with the iPad in mind, the device also works well with the iPhone 4/4S and various e-readers.
And the best part? The Sounder is made from 100 percent reclaimed wood, all of which comes from salvaged 19th century buildings, including some from the iconic Coney Island boardwalk. Check out the project’s Kickstarter page to learn how you can get one.