The 10 Best passive speakers
Hook up your iPhone or iPod to one of these devices with built-in amplifiers and you'll be glad you followed our sound advice
Wednesday 11 September 2013
So simple you could probably make one yourself (if you happen to have a bamboo forest nearby), the SpeakaBoo is a hand-crafted speaker that merges the natural world with technology. Available in a range of sizes, with different patterns of bamboo, the hollow body allows you to connect your phone to its charger cable while it plays.
Taking inspiration from Edison's classic phonograph design, the iPhone Gramophone cuts a noble figure. Set in a solid walnut block, the metal horn can boost the volume of your iPhone by up to four times.
Capable of amplifying your external iPhone speaker by 13 decibels, the Horn Stand is a stylish speaker that won't break the bank. The design channels the sound through a silicon funnel, which should give you a louder, more focused sound.
Environmentally sound – as it were – and constructed out of FSC-certified, 100 per cent post-consumer paper, the Eco-Amp is an origami speaker that you can quickly construct yourself. The gadget's light weight makes it ideal for bedside listening on holidays, or picnics in the park.
Beautifully crafted from hard maple, makore, cherry or walnut, the Koostik range of passive acoustic amplifiers should perch nicely on any book case, side table or mantel. Handmade in America, the wood is carefully shaped to ensure optimum sound quality.
Elegantly designed and crafted from ceramic, the PH III is much bigger than the ArkCanary horns (see number 9), and with the size comes a much bigger sound. The speaker can increase in volume by an impressive 60 decibels.
A cheaper alternative to some of the more ambitiously designed pieces available, the Griffin Aircurve is a portable and reliable non-electric speaker. The transparent plastic speakers amplify your favourite music by up to 10 decibels.
Italian-made, this sleek, slender horn-shaped amplifier is a luxury item if there ever was one. Handmade from ceramic and shaped to optimise audio output, the stunning piece of design is as much a work of art as it is a speaker.
Available in a host of colours, these funky horn-shaped iPhone amplifiers are a fun and cheap way to carry around a speaker. The award-winning design clips on to the top of your iPhone to give you a smooth and stylish beats boost.
From the ambitious London-based design team known for some ingenious audio enhancements, a handmade iPod speaker for vinyl lovers. Playing on old and new, the speaker brings together two technological icons: the record and the smartphone.
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