I don’t hate the iPad’s speaker as much as I used to. The rear-firing grille on the iPads 2 and 3 doesn’t sound that bad if you lay the iPad face down and let it blast its vibrations straight at you. But as most of us use the iPad to watch movies, or to listen to music while reading, this adequate-sounding speaker simply sends its sound off into the nothingness, hoping that a nearby wall might reflect a little of it back to your ears.
My current answer is a battery-powered Bluetooth speaker, but that’s battery powered. And heavy. The Amplifiear, on the other hand, is lightweight and requires no power.
The Amplifiear is an ABS plastic dish that looks like a single Mickey Mouse ear. It clips onto the corner of the iPad and reflects back the sound that would otherwise disappear off into the distance. I have used a similar but much-smaller widget before, and the difference it wade was quite surprising. This video shows the Aplifiear in action:
The Amplifiear is yet another Kickstarter project, and you can get your hands on one for just $15 (plus another $15 for international shipping if you live in a country with free healthcare). Or you could do what I’m about to try, and that’s take an X-Acto blade to a plastic camping plate. You never know…