The Gramophone for iPhone and iPad certainly isn’t the first horn-speaker we’ve seen for our iOS devices, but it might be the most beautiful. The speakers, which run from $200 to $300 depending on size, is fashioned from wood and metal and will boost the sound output of your device by 3x.
The base is made from walnut and walnut veneer, and the horn from brass and iron. The specs don’t list the product’s weight, but my guess would be that it’s pretty frickin heavy.
How does it work, without any electricity? Horn speakers take the sound from a small source (in this case your iPhone’s speaker) and stretch it. In the words of Wikipedia, they “convert large pressure variations with a small displacement area into a low pressure variation with a large displacement area.” In practice, the higher efficiency of a horn speaker means that it will be louder for a given input, but unless you make it huge, you lose out on bass frequencies. The Gramophone gets around this by being huge.
There’s something pretty neat about streaming your music from the other side of the world and sending it to your iPhone via Wi-Fi, and then amplifying the result with such simple technology. It’s like the hot apple pie and cold ice cream of music. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to eat pie and ice cream for breakfast.