This Tiny Gadget Turns Any Old Speakers Into a Stereo System
A few years ago, Paul Cocksedge began noticing something odd on his walks through his East London neighborhood. “I kept seeing these old speakers on the street with little post it notes on them saying, ‘Please take me, I’m still working,’” he says. Cocksedge, a designer known for his high-end objects, was intrigued by the discarded devices. So he started stashing them in his studio.
His unusual collection inspired him to design the Vamp, a small, seven-sided cuboid that turned any speaker into a portable bluetooth sound system. Cocksedge crowdfunded its production, and went on to sell more than 10,000 of the little heptahedrons.
That was two years ago. Today, Cocksedge launched a Kickstarter for two new products. The first is the Vamp Stereo. Like the original Vamp, it contains a bluetooth chip, an amp, and a battery—but the Vamp Stereo, as its name implies, packs enough juice to power two speakers, supplying you with up to ten hours of portable, stereophonic sound. The second is the Vamp Speaker, a speaker made out of recycled materials that, when combined with a Vamp Stereo, can link up with two additional speakers to deliver three-channel audio.
The Vamp ethos is all about uniting the old with the new. Many people don’t toss their old speakers because they’re broken, Cocksedge says; they get rid of them because they no longer fit their lifestyle. As the way we listen to music has changed, so have our expectations of what a speaker should do—and for a lot of people, those expectations include portability and wireless playback. As evidence, Cocksedge points to his local electronics recycling shop, which he says receives more than 10,000 old, but otherwise functional, speakers a month. “You can imagine the quantity the US is seeing,” he says.
The entire Vamp lineup is meant to prevent unnecessary electronic waste. The Vamp Stereo helps people make use of the speakers they already have. As for the Vamp Speaker, its housing is made of sustainably farmed wood, while all of its electronics—and even parts of its cones—are made out of recycled materials. Neither of these products can match the convenience of a Jambox, or UE Boom—but they might soothe your consumerist conscience by sparing your cool vintage speakers a trip to the curb.
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