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Vintage Soundbox Desk doubles as an amplifier, no power required

The Soundbox Desk and accompanying chair is crafted from acacia wood, copper and steel
The Soundbox Desk and accompanying chair is crafted from acacia wood, copper and steel
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The Soundbox Desk and accompanying chair is crafted from acacia wood, copper and steel
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The Soundbox Desk and accompanying chair is crafted from acacia wood, copper and steel
The Soundbox Desk and accompanying chair is crafted from acacia wood, copper and steel
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The Soundbox Desk and accompanying chair is crafted from acacia wood, copper and steel
The Soundbox Desk and accompanying chair is crafted from acacia wood, copper and steel
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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
4/5
While the design is stunning in itself, the truly innovative feature is hidden away in a square-shaped cabinet on the right-hand side
The Soundbox desk features a phonograph to amplify the audio from your phone, all without the need for power
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The Soundbox desk features a phonograph to amplify the audio from your phone, all without the need for power

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.

While the design is stunning in itself, the truly innovative feature is hidden away in a square-shaped cabinet on the right-hand side
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.

Source: Behance

5 comments
wle
it isn;t an ''amplifier'' it is a tuned enclosure/impedance matcher an 'amplifier' would have higher output power than input this does not it will just make it sound hollow and tinny wle
Jim Ronholm
"might not appeal so much to the audiophiles among us" ... or students of physics. A passive design like this cannot "amplify the audio from your smart phone, without the need for electricity." I know this is quibbling because it can indeed make it easier to hear - but it represents the same amount of total energy, so it's not amplification. Similar phenomenon - using a lens to concentrate light onto a smaller area isn't the same as using a brighter light.
Karl Dulle
I use a cigar box for my tablet.. takes the available sound and makes it audible.. No amplification needed.. yet it "sounds" 4x as loud..
Al Dutcher
Hmph, just mount a pair of real drivers to it and plug them into the head phone jack that all portables have any way. Still no need for external power. Way better sound quality than the acoustic horn matched portable speakers.
Riaanh
Ok, I agree with the previous comments that it is not an amplifier, but the energy produced by the speaker is more fully utilized - less loses. With a phone sitting on a table a large chunk of the energy is absorbed and dissipated in the thick slab of wood of the table. The same with the cigar box producing an "amplified" sound