As personal music players like the iPod become ubiquitous, there’s another developing trend that’s even more insidious: the desire to share that music with everyone else. Miini speakers are flooding the market at the moment, but a new product called the Kerchoonz K-box promises to make even more noise. A compact, mobile-phone sized device, the K-box turns any flat surface – wall, table, window, ceiling – into a giant speaker.
Gadget-watchers will know this isn’t exactly a new idea – there was the Soundbug back in 2002, the Qvoix in 2005, Nimzy Vibro Blaster in 2006 and the S3i sound drivers are still readily available. But while they all seem to share a penchant for silly names, the K-box differs in a few keys ways. For a start, the technology is different.
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While these devices all work on transduction – converting electrical signals into vibrations and then using the flat surface as a giant sound board – the K-box is the first to use a “hydro-gel” suspension system. And it does seem to have improved the dynamics The device has an average output of 95dB at 1m, with the bass performance averaging at around 40-20 Khz – pretty impressive, considering the unit only has 2W RMS.
There are a couple of other pluses, too. The K-box has a battery life of up to 20 hours, and is rechargeable via USB. It will plug straight into the headphone jack of almost any netbook, gaming device, mp3 player, mobile phone or laptop. And it’s not nearly as odd-looking as most of the older ones.
Why does that matter? Well, while Kerchoonz is pushing the K-box mainly as a personal music device, it could find its biggest market is business, where being able to turn a boardroom table into a speaker would easily overcome the audio tinniness of most laptop presentations.
At present, the K-box is only available from Kerchoonz, the revenue sharing musician’s site, for GBP44.99 (USD$73.80).