There's no shortage of options for those looking to add some extra audio oomph to their iPad. From the multitude of docks on offer to Bluetooth or Airplay-enabled wireless speaker systems and more portable options such as the Logitech Tablet Speaker or iLuv iSP150. But none are as portable as the Sound Cover, which as the name suggests, combines stereo speakers with that most ubiquitous of iPad accessories, the cover.
The Sound Cover is the brainchild of Hong Kong-based Petur Hannes Olafsson, who is seeking to raise funds via Kickstarter. He has managed to cram a pair of rechargeable stereo speakers into a thin iPad case by relying on NXT speaker technology. Unlike traditional speakers that rely on a combination of coils, magnets and cones to generate sound waves, NXT speakers use exciters to vibrate a flat panel instead. Integrating these speakers into a thin, durable ABS case allows the Sound Cover to boost the volume of an iPad by up to 300 percent and improve the frequency response, Olafsson says, while providing protection for the device when not in use.
The Sound Cover is powered by its own built-in 1600 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery that boasts a life of up to 12 hours and is charged via USB. The standard Sound Cover connects to an iPad via a 3.5 mm jack and its volume is controlled via the iPad's controls, but there will also be a Bluetooth edition to provide a wireless audio connection. Like Apple's Smart Cover for the iPad 2, the cover also features in-built magnets to automatically put the tablet to sleep or wake it up when the cover is closed or opened.
The case itself consists of two flat ABS boards that are wrapped in leather and joined by a stainless steel hinge. Olafsson says the hinge has undergone 17,000 rigorous testings and allows the cover to be bent and folded a number of ways to act as a stand to suit a variety of circumstances - from listening to music, watching a movie, playing games, or to provide extra stability while typing on the iPad's onscreen keyboard.
The Sound Cover will only be offered for iPad 2 or newer, with pre-orders for the iPad 2 and yet to be released iPad 3 being taken now. At the time of writing the project had attracted just over US$6,000 of its $25,000 goal, with 28 days to go. If the funding goal is reached and the Sound Cover put into production, the standard unit is estimated to retail for $129 (or $110 including postage for those pledging $110 or more). The video below shows the various ways the Sound Cover can stand.