If you’re anything like us, you’ve got a speaker or two (or 8) rolling around your house or garage somewhere. You may not use them anymore, but damned if it isn’t impossible to get rid of them. But what if there was a device that could make a speaker — any speaker — a self-powered wireless sound system that streams from your phone via Bluetooth? That’s the promise of a funky new device out of the UK called The Vamp.
After a successful run on Kickstarter, in which The Vamp garnered over 100,000 British pounds, the device is now ready for mass distribution.
Carved into the form of a futuristic block, the Vamp includes a Bluetooth chip, amplifier, and rechargeable battery with a claimed 10 hours of juice — pretty much everything you need to get the party started. Device operation is devilishly simple: At the back is a brilliantly succinct interface composed of a micro USB charging port, a 3.5mm input, and the familiar red and black connections you’ll find on an ocean of speakers, allowing you to connect the system to your speaker via the included speaker cable, pair your mobile device, and rock out.
The Vamp can sit on top of any rogue speaker you choose, or stick to a specified speaker thanks to a magnet on the bottom, which connects to an adhesive disk placed on the speaker.
The little block is the epitome of the “reuse” aspect of the green mantra “reduce, reuse, and recycle.” And creator Paul Cocksedge says that’s exactly the idea behind The Vamp. The device not only aims to find a new use for old gear, but also to resurrect their aging sound signatures, like some sort of sonic museum of natural history.
“For me, reusing perfectly good technology makes sense. Hearing the rich sound coming out of these older speakers in a new way is a delight. They are a part of our music history.”
At £50 — or around $80, plus shipping — The Vamp is also extremely affordable. That could be a positive or negative (no pun intended) depending on the kind of performance you’re after. At that price, we don’t expect this little cube to boast top notch amplification and Bluetooth streaming all under a single tiny roof. But then again, we haven’t yet heard The Vamp, so we can’t discount its talents. And for many applications, the limitations may be more prevalent in your aging speaker’s worn out surrounds and voice coil than the device itself.
Either way, The Vamp is an extremely handy addition to the Bluetooth landscape, offering a multitude of applications. The one that comes most to mind for us is, again, the garage idea. Just grab one of those old speakers gathering dust, connect The Vamp, and you’ve got a wireless mono audio system ready to blare a soundtrack behind your next table tennis (or beer pong?) game. Perhaps you’ve already thought of a few uses of your own.
We hope to get a Vamp for ourselves soon for review, but if you can’t wait, you can order your own from The Vamp’s website today.