It’s tough to beat wireless speakers when it comes to portability and ease of use, but even with multiroom systems like Sonos or Denon’s HEOS, actual stereo sound isn’t always a given. The Duoecho, now on Kickstarter, aims to solve that problem by offering a Bluetooth speaker that is actually two speakers in one.
At first glance, the Duoecho looks like a cylindrical Bluetooth speaker similar to Ultimate Ears’ UE Boom series, and it certainly can operate that way. Take a closer look, and you’ll see that the Duoecho is actually separated into two halves which are magnetically connected. This gives the speaker two use cases: all-in-one for easily portable use, or dual stereo speakers for more immersive listening.
The Duoecho uses an aluminum casing, as one of designer Nathan Chan’s original goals was to design a speaker that looked nice when placed next to a MacBook. Available colors are Minimal Grey, Future Silver, Rose Gold, and Champagne Gold. Despite actually being two speakers in one, the weight is still fairly low at just over one pound.
Each speaker uses a kevlar woofer, passive radiator for enhanced bass, and silk dome tweeters, not often found in portable speakers, but fairly common in higher-end speakers. Speakers this size often have a hard time reproducing bass frequencies, but the Duoecho team says this speaker has a frequency range of 110 Hz to 20 kHz, while many competing speakers have trouble with frequencies below 200Hz. Power is claimed as up to 18 watts total continuous output.
Looking at connectivity, the Duoecho uses Bluetooth 4.1 with aptX, and speakerphone functionality is included. Range is listed as the standard Bluetooth range of roughly 33 feet, though this will obviously be lower if walls or other signal-impeding objects are in the way. Battery life is claimed as up to 8 hours, and users can keep track of how much juice they’ve got left via the built-in battery indicator.
The Duoecho is planned to eventually retail for $250, but Kickstarter backers have a chance to get it much cheaper, though the usual Kickstarter risks are obviously present here as well. Early Bird pricing has already run out, but the pledge level for a single Duoecho is $160, while a three-pack is available for $450.
The campaign has already made major progress, quickly surpassing its initial goal. At the time of this writing, the campaign had raised nearly four times its $30,000 goal at over $110,000 raised. The campaign comes to a close on November 5, and if everything goes according to plan, rewards are expected to begin shipping in January 2017. For more information, see the Duoecho campaign page on Kickstarter.