Almost every mobile device on the market these days gives you the ability to listen to all kinds of music wherever you are. The only problem is the speakers on most tablets, laptops, and smartphones were never intended to blow your hair back. Instead of enjoying music in a wireless setting, we often end up tethered to our devices by a pair of headphones. For the iPad and iPhone, the problem of low-output speakers is compounded by the fact that the speakers are pointed in the opposite direction from your ears.
That’s where the Sounder comes in. This natural amplifier captures and redirects the sound toward the listener, all without wires or need for a power source. The Sounder is both a genius idea and a labor of love. Created by New York-based designer Howard Fink, the device at first appears to be nothing more than a simple block of wood. The secret to its amplification power comes from the special slot designed to hold your iPad at the perfect angle. When you hit play on your favorite album, sound from the iPad speaker is directed into the horn, an inverted semicircle hollowed out into the Sounder’s base.
Although it was designed with the iPad in mind, the device also works well with the iPhone 4/4S and various e-readers. And the best part? The Sounder is made from 100 percent reclaimed wood, all of which comes from salvaged 19th century buildings, including some from the iconic Coney Island boardwalk.