Vintage Soundbox Desk doubles as an amplifier, no power requiredView gallery - 5 images
If you like your audio equipment with a vintage feel, there's a whole host of devices blending new technologies with an old-school aesthetic. Then again, if you're going to cast your mind back, while not go all the way back? Herein lies the thinking behind Korean metal art and design student Jina U's Soundbox Desk, a unique design that uses a phonograph-style horn to amplify the audio from your smart phone, without the need for electricity.
Built for U's graduate exhibition at Seoul's National University of Technology, the Soundbox Desk and accompanying chair is crafted from acacia wood, copper and steel. While the design is stunning in itself, the truly innovative feature is hidden away in a square-shaped cabinet on the right-hand side.
With a groove carved into the top surface in which to rest your smartphone, the phonograph horn carries the sound from its speaker to the front side of the cabinet, much like the piping beneath your kitchen sink.
We have seen this no power approach to mobile amplification before, in devices such as the eco-amp and Horn Stand Amplifier, but the U still wins some points for originality. That said, given the 19th century technology at play here, we're guessing the Soundbox Desk might not appeal so much to the audiophiles among us.