The iPad is the ultimate consumer media machine. Even with Apple issuing ‘Pro’ versions of the world’s favorite tablet, it still is primarily used for watching content on its big screen (between sending mails). However, it wasn’t built with that sole intent. It has single-direction speakers (no stereo) which aren’t particularly rich in audio output, lending to a rather bland multimedia experience. The immediate solution? Fire up an external speaker via bluetooth or aux. The better solution? Simulate the cinema experience with a home-theater dock for the iPad.
The OIO Amp puts two incredibly sleek speakers on either side of your iPad in a format that seems like a TV and Home Theater set-up, but made portable. Unlike every external wireless speaker that is designed as an independent unit, the OIO Amp was built to integrate with the tablet, becoming a singular unit that can be opened out anywhere, and then folded and stored away for another Netflix binge-watching session.
Virtually as slim as the iPad it docks (it was built for the iPad Air and Pro 9.7″), the OIO Amp opens out into a docking space for the iPad that instantly pairs the device and speakers the moment it docks. The two flaps that open outwards are in fact electromagnetic speakers and vibrating acoustic panels (allowing them to be slim yet produce sound that is a literal “bang for its buck”). The speaker flaps go the extra mile by being covered with a microfiber cloth that doesn’t scratch the iPad screen, but rather cleans it, because the last thing you want is to try to watch a movie through fingerprint smudges.
The OIO Amp is built with a 900mAh battery, designed to give it 7 hours of playtime (that’s enough for half a season of Game of Thrones). While the Amp was created to uplift the iPad’s multimedia experience (bringing great sound and a great display together), it works with all Bluetooth enabled devices too, becoming a fold-to-open external speaker. And if you’re more of an iPad for work kinda guy, the Amp allows you to have the most audible conference calls on a 9.7 inch tablet. Me? I’ve just found the perfect mini-cinema that I can carry around with me, so color me satisfied!
Designer: Gregg Davis