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Sound Systems

Sony Glass Sound Speaker

You’d be forgiven for thinking this glass cylinder is some sort of lantern, for it certainly looks like a sleek little light. However, it packs a punch in sound quality. Crystal-clear sound is reverberated through the glass cylinder, the vibration giving a unique “lifelike sound experience.” Lightweight and portable, the Glass Sound Speaker is ideal for use both indoors and out. And, yes, of course, it connects to your device via Bluetooth.

Purchase Information:

Price: $799.00
Available from: MoMA Store

UMA Sound Lantern

We all know you’ll be making the most of the warm weather evenings (once they arrive), so let’s prepare and consider the UMA Sound Lantern. It’s both speaker and lantern, made for portable use.

There’s a touch sensitive volume control and full-range light control dial, so it’s easy to operate, and it connects to your device via Bluetooth. A durable (impact resistant) polycarbonate shade will withstand a few bumps and bruises and a couple of interchangeable handles will make it a breeze to carry around wherever you go. Set one or two on the table (or next to a sitting area) for a warm glow and just enough music for a conversational atmosphere. You’ll be all set for a enjoyable evening.

Purchase Information:

Price: $431.10 - 479.00
Available from: MoMA Store

Gramovox Floating Record

A floating record? What is this, a magic show? Nope, it’s just a simple rethinking of the record player. This turntable plays records vertically- allowing you to enjoy and showcase your records “as both art and a medium to produce analog sound.” If you’re thinking that sounds gimmicky, you’ll be reassured hearing about the dynamic, full-range stereo speakers (two Tymphany 2″ neodymium speakers, to be exact) and a choice between 33-1/3 or 45 RPM (record clamps for both included). More info over at Gramovox.

Purchase Information:

Price: $399.99
Available from: Gramovox

Berlin Boombox

Remember the boombox? If you don’t, congratulations, you’re young. If you do remember, then you might have a few fuzzy feelings for the old school stereo and speaker style and you’ll want to know more about this cardboard version. That’s right, cardboard.

The black and white graphics by Berlin-based designer & illustrator Axel Pfaender are printed on heavy corrugated cardboard with a strong carrying handle and a one big knob for power and volume. You’ll enjoy listening to your playlist (at the correct volume) via the D-class stereo amplifier.

Purchase Information:

Price: €65.00
Availability: Buy Berlin Boombox here

Ceramic Subwoofer by Joey Roth

Joey Roth completes his Ceramic Speaker sound system with the addition of this subwoofer. Made in stainless steel, porcelain and Baltic birch plywood, the Ceramic Subwoofer extends your system’s frequency response down to 40 Hz, adding a balanced yet not overwhelming bass response to your speakers.

Purchase Information:

Price: $695.00
Available from: Joey Roth

Source: Materialicious

table top concert hall

Here’s an excellent alternative to the iVictrola ($650 to $1000). This particular audio device by Seth Ellsworth utilizes salvaged phonograph horns to acoustically amplify the music from your device’s internal speaker, and it has a much friendlier price tag of $300. More info below.

Purchase Information:

Price: $300.00
Available from: [lhooq] design shop


Hmm, an AudioBulb. It’s pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a light bulb that has a speaker in it. It’s an LED light bulb, of course, so it’ll last for years (as it should be if you’re shelling out a Franklin for it). Music plays wirelessly from your iPod/iPhone/auxiliary input source and installation is simple. Twist in the AudioBulb in a lamp or a light socket and then connect your device to the standalone base. You can have up to 8 bulbs and 2 different zones. Sounds like a pretty good idea, doesn’t it?

Purchase Information:

Price: $299.00
Available from: GiiNii

Rubik’s Cube Speaker

Not proud to admit it, but I’ve never solved a Rubik’s cube. Wthh this on my desk, I could at least pretend I have when co-workers walk by, and also have a cool looking speaker to boot. Powered by USB and connects to audio sources with a standard 3.5mm audio jack.

Purchase Information:

Price: $38.00
Available from: Fred Flare

TDK Boomboxes

Bringing up the name TDK to music lovers who didn’t grow up with an iPod is  sure to warm their hearts in some way. I’m still a bit young myself, but I certainly have great memories of dubbing  songs off the radio and creating mixtapes with handwritten liner notes. TDK is a storage media company, but has recently branched into the home audio market with these fantastic boombox-inspired stereos.


Purchase Information:

Price: $$299.00
Availability: Buy TDK Boomboxes here

Phonofone III iPhone Speaker

The Phonofone III is the third iteration of a completely passive, non-electric ceramic amplifer designed specifically for the iPhone. (Check out our previously posted Koostik for a similar product done in wood). Using only clever acoustics, the iPhone’s volume is amplified up to four times. The Phonofone is handmade in Canada and only available in limited quantities. For such a unique and handmade product I would naturally assume it would adorn quite a lavish price tag, but it is actually quite reasonable. I’ve never seen any of these in person so if there any readers out there who can vouch for the sound quality please chime in with comments.


Purchase Information:

Price: $195.00
Available from: Science & Sons


Hmm, this is pretty neat. Using natural acoustics (specially designed sound channels), this dock amplifies the iPhone’s built in speaker by 2 to 4 times. While not intended to replace electronic amplifiers, the size and style might suit your needs for low to medium volume music. All of the external buttons and controls of the phone are easily accessible while the phone is docked and there’s several different wood bodies to choose from.

To learn more, visit

More information:

View KOOSTIK here

Zikmu Wireless Speaker System

Hmm. This slim profile speaker system is a result of Philippe Starck and Parrot, a Paris-based wireless device company. Able to stream music directly from any Blutooth enabled device (phone, computer, etc), the Zikmu transmits 360 degrees of immersive sound while allowing for portability not usually found within the home sound systems market. A docking station is built into one of the two columns, giving you an option to charge your device while listening to your music.

Purchase Information:

Price: $1,600.00
Available from: DWR

Eklipse Music System

I swear, make a music player with an iPod dock, paint it shiny black (and keep it minimal) and you have yourself a willing audience waiting to send you money. It always helps if it sounds good, of course. There’s a bunch of Sonoro Systems on sale through Gilt Groupe, so if you’re one of those willing, you might want to take a look.

Eklipse Music System, $499.00 $365.00

Purchase Information:

Price: $365.00
Available from: Gilt Groupe

Lacie Sound2 USB Speakers

I swear by my Lacie Firewire Speakers. They’re self-powered, sound good, and look like little smoke stacks. I won’t think twice about buying another set if they ever break. But this new, updated version looks very tempting:

Purchase Information:

Price: $100.00
Available from: digitalfix

Pig Speaker by Idea

Too cute. Not only do I eat pork, but I think they’re totally adorable as inanimate objects. Conflict of interest with earthy-crunchy types? Maybe, but I’d rather this than a talking carrot. Barry White’s “Never, Never Gonna Give You Up” just took on new meaning.

Material: Ceramic
Designer: Idea
Dimensions: 3.5 x 7.25 x 4 inches
Available in black, white, and gold

Purchase Information:

Price: $49.00
Availability: Buy Pig Speaker by Idea here