Two new Bluetooth speakers offer a great reason to jet on over to Amazon and Kickstarter.
The NudeAudio Super-M (now on Amazon) offers great sound in a package thin enough to slip in a back jeans pocket. During my recent visit to the company's South of Market offices, a head-to-head comparison showed that the unit delivered deeper bass and higher volumes without loss of fidelity than the Jambox Mini and was more rugged.
NudeAudio is the same company that offers the delightful Move S, Move M (which I reviewed last year) and Move L speakers and the Studio 5 Lightning Dock with Bluetooth (found in hotel rooms at The W). How does the company manage to deliver attractive products at aggressive prices?
As chief design officer Peter Riering-Czekalla answered that question, I found myself distracted by the highly tactile silicon-sleeved speakers in pleasing yet subdued colors arrayed around his workspace. But in essence, his philosophy, honed by years of experience at design powerhouse IDEO, is to focus on acoustics rather than unnecessary features, keep product construction simple and cost effective, and defer from spending millions on advertising that positions the speakers as costly status symbols.
NudeAudio's home - San Francisco's SoMa distract - is an expected place to find innovation, but Kiev is not. Yet Kiev - yes, the one in the Ukraine - is the origin of another interesting speaker on Kickstarter, the SSSSSpeaker ($29, end tomorrow) from aiia. This one looks even more nude than the NudeAudio offerings: it's literally just a speaker mechanism and a silicon speaker cone. But there's a twist: the cone is collapsible like a those camping cups you might have had when you were a kid. Bright, collapsible, portable and light, the speaker produces enough volume for a pup tent and weighs very little.
Disclosure: The companies provided product for this review.Check out "The New Zealand Hobbit Crisis," available on Amazon in paperback, Kindle and audiobook. Visit my website (jhandel.com), follow me on Twitter or friend me on Facebook or LinkedIn. If you work in tech, take a look at my book How to Write LOIs and Term Sheets.