Do you believe in magic? Ok, well it’s not magic but it’s still pretty cool. Meet the Om/One, a bluetooth enabled speaker that actually floats in the air. Om Audio, based in Oakland, has developed a revolutionary speaker that they plan to begin crowd-funding for via their own website. The makers claim that their own of a kind design is not just a sales gimmick, the floatation makes the speaker sound better too.
The speaker is able to float via an electromagnet located in the base of the device. The ball is embedded with a Neo magnet. Both the ball and the base have the southern pole of their magnet facing one another. It creates an electromagnetic field and the result is a speaker that floats.
The ability to float is what gives the speaker an advantage that grounded speakers can not compete with. By floating, the speaker is virtually frictionless and is able to perform at 110 decibels with only a 3 watt amplifier. Speakers such as JAMBOX and the Beats Pill need at least 10 watts to play at that level. Co-founder David DeVillez told Yahoo Tech,
“The reason we can get away with it at 3 watts is because we’re not synced to a surface. So if I play the ball right now on the table, you can feel the table vibrating. But when the speaker is floating up here, all that is preserved. So we can get more audio output with less amplifier.”
The unique ability to float also preserves greater battery life. DeVillez explained the speaker is able to play for 15 hours at 70% volume. Most speakers transfer a lot of energy into whatever they’re sitting on, Om/One does not. And while everyone admits that the design is incredibly appealing, there are many who don’t believe that the floating results in superior sound. As Lauren Dragan, a writer at The Wirecutter, explained,
“The speaker is attempting to fill a 360 degree space. So unless you’re only looking to place it on the center of a room, you’re going to waste a lot of that power just throwing audio into places where people aren’t sitting. Or, sound will reflect off of other surfaces and affect the overall quality.”
Beginning on August 12, those interested in pre ordering an Om/One could do so. The speaker costs $179 and the payment is considered a contribution to the company’s crowd-funding campaign. The hope to raise around $100,000 for the project. If that goal is met within the next two months, pre-orders will begin shipping out as soon as December.