TechnologyTell

Kickstarter Find: The Vamp Bluetooth receiver and portable amp

Sections: iDevice Accessories, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, iPod, iPod Accessories, Speakers and Headphones

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The Vamp

Wireless is clearly the wave of the future, but there are millions of perfectly good older speakers out there capable of delivering fantastic sound, only they lack the ability to stream music. The convenience of an integrated Bluetooth speaker that doesn’t require any wiring or complex amplifier-to-speaker connections is a clear winner, even if it can never deliver the rich sound of a conventional speaker.

Enter the Vamp (so named because it revamps speakers, not for any dental, sunlight, or sanguine issues). A combination Bluetooth streaming point and amplifier, the Vamp can revitalize any speaker and enhance it with modern streaming capabilities, instantly making it a portable Bluetooth speaker.

What Does it Do?

The Vamp combines a 4-watt amplifier (to drive your speaker) with both Bluetooth streaming and a line-in cable for non-Bluetooth devices.

The Vamp

The diagram above labels all the important features of the Vamp, including:

  1. LED status light
  2. Aux Line-In/-Out
  3. Red/Black Speaker cable connector
  4. On/Off Switch
  5. Micro USB port for power, which can charge the internal 8-hour battery or be used for continuous power

Using a magnetic disk, you attach the Vamp to whatever speaker you wish to power, then hook up the appropriate cables to send sound from the Vamp to your speaker.

The Vamp

From there, you stream music from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, computer, or whatever you happen to have on. The Vamp delivers mono sound, not stereo, as do most Bluetooth speakers (especially the tiny ones that only fit a single speaker), but if massive stereo imaging is what you’re after, you’ve probably already paid to wire your house for optimal speaker placement anyway.

Pledge Levels

Since this is a UK-based Kickstarter project, all prices are in pounds sterling, meaning they’ll be higher for those of us on the western side of the pond (and international shipping will be a £10 additional charge). £35 gets you one of the first Vamps off the production line, while £55 gets you a personalized and numbered edition. If you feel like traveling to London, you can pledge £100, which gets you a personalized Vamp and an invite to the launch party in September 2013 at the London Design Festival. If you really splurge and go in at the £1,500 level, you get the personalized Vamp along with a paid journey to the launch party where you will collect your Vamp. Some people will go to the ends of the earth for fantastic sound, so revitalizing your favorite speakers to bring them into the wireless 21st century is surely worth a trip to London, no?

For more information on The Vamp, check out the product’s Kickstarter page.

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