With the popularity boom of mini Bluetooth boomboxes, we’ve all been suckered in to adding yet another gadget to our tech travel bags. California startup Peri, however, wants to spare us from packing that and a charger with its new Duo smartphone speaker case.
Offering both stereo sound amplification and a built-in external battery, the hard-shelled Duo case could become the most useful smartphone accessory you own.
Duo can receive sound from your phone by way of Bluetooth or direct Wi-Fi transmission (it works with Apple’s AirPlay, too), so you can pop the case off your device and still enjoy music or podcasts. Additional peer-to-peer Wi-Fi multicast functionality also allows for a single device to broadcast simultaneously to multiple Duos at once, perfect for tailgating or group workouts, the company says.
The Duo’s power supply is a solid 2,500 mAh (about 1.4 times the size of the iPhone 6’s battery), which provides about four to six hours of audio playback. While the Duo is attached to your phone, you can tap into that power reservoir for an emergency charge by simply pressing a button on the case.
The quality of sound offered by these early versions of the Duo was short of the Beats Pill or JBL Flip Bluetooth speakers, but the company says there is still some EQ fine-tuning to be done before the product hits consumers. It was certainly loud; that much we can attest to.
And since these prototype Duos, which we saw in three color options for both the iPhone 5/5s and iPhone 6, were individually 3D-printed, we can’t say too much about the build of the cases themselves (though they were surprisingly light). The retail versions will be mass manufactured differently.
Duo Android smartphone cases, as well as other wireless speaker accessories by Peri, are all in the works, the company says.
The Indiegogo campaign for Peri’s Duo was launched just before the holidays but has already met more than half its funding goal. You can still pledge a contribution on the company’s page to get a Duo for at early-bird rate of $79 when they ship this spring. Projected retail price for the case is $139.