Cut down on cable spaghetti with TMI's split Bluetooth speakers
By Paul Ridden
July 9, 2013
Though wireless speakers are certainly suggestive of music enjoyment in glorious stereo without getting tangled up in cables, the reality is often less than satisfactory. Take my trusty JBL Jembe Wireless speakers, for instance. Although Bluetooth-enabled, the two speakers are connected to each other by a cable, and there's yet another for power. There are speakers like the Dash 7 which pack a battery to offer extended periods of cable-free use, but such units house all of the speakers in one block. The TMI Stereo Speakers from Too Much Innovation take the best bits of both systems for what are claimed to be the only split wireless Bluetooth speakers (shortly to be) available.
While battery-powered wireless stereo speakers are something of a rare commodity, they do in fact already exist. The recently-released 32 W SuperTooth Disco Twin speakers, for example, wirelessly connect with each other, and to the source device. More comparable to the TMI speakers are the iharmonix Q-i-sound Stereo Bluetooth Speakers from Qmadix that debuted at CES 2012. They can throw out 2.4 W of power, feature a built-in microphone for handling phone calls, and each unit is home to a 950 mAh Li-Pol battery for eight hours of continuous playback time between charging. That said, the TMI speakers still appear to be an attractive option.
The TMI units have the look of miniaturized Bubble Chairs with a 2-inch, 3.2 W speaker driver in place of a seat. They have a frequency range of 50 Hz to 20 kHz, SNR of (-95) ±2 dB, and less than 1 percent distortion. Each packs a 1,200 mAh Li-ion battery offering around 10 hours of continuous playback, and features a new chip that allows for 3-way Bluetooth audio connection (speaker to speaker, and from a source device).
The included Bluetooth 2.1+EDR technology offers an operational distance of 10 m (33 ft), and each speaker can be used independently or paired for stereo. The speaker grille is surrounded by touch buttons for device and playback control, there's a built-in microphone for taking calls from a paired smartphone, and a 3.5-mm audio input is included for devices lacking in Bluetooth technology.
Too Much Innovation has launched on Indiegogo to move from final prototype to production model. Early bird specials are pitched at US$99 for a pair of speakers, which gets bumped up to $119 when the first 100 pairs are gone. Delivery is currently estimated for August.
Have a look at the pitch video below to see exactly what's on offer.