An essential part of my travel kit is my digital music player. I also carry a small set of speakers in case I want to share some tunes with those I meet along the way, but I'm forever having to worry about batteries and, despite their size, it's all extra weight to have to lug around. I need some fold-away, lightweight, power-free amplification, and that's precisely what the Tembo Trunks speakers offer. The creation of brothers Scott and Mike Norrie, the horn speakers are said to have been born out of frustration in not having an external iPod speaker that was small and light enough to travel with them around Africa.
If Mark Henry Barraud had owned an iPod instead of a cylinder phonograph, there's a good chance that Nipper would be captured on canvas staring down into a Tembo Trunks speaker. Well, maybe not, but the collapsible earbud speakers work very much like the old horn speakers the famous terrier listened to so attentively. They're said to triple the volume, which probably won't raise anyone's roof but should be enough for some intimate sonic sharing.
Like the Koostik wooden iPhone dock, the Tembo Trunks don't require their own power source. The earbuds that come with an iPhone/iPod are secured to the bud holder (which will no doubt also take most bog standard earbud type phones – though not the ear-canal kind) and the sound from the tiny drivers inside the phones is amplified as it travels through the horn.
The Tembo Trunks are made from waterproof/washable silicone rubber, are light and flexible, and are also stackable for storage. They fold in on themselves when not in use and can be popped out when needed.
The Tembo Trunks project is currently doing well on the Kickstarter funding platform and looks set to go into production, at which time the Norries say that four color options will be available. They're expected to retail for US$39.