We all cup our hands behind the iPad when trying to hear our favorite music or videos. I often found the speaker on iPad to be lacking and I even backed a project on Kickstarter last year trying to remedy this problem. Unlike the product I backed last year, the Sabine is anodized aluminum to match Apple’s design aesthetic. Additionally, aluminum is a more reflective surface and amplifies sound at a much higher rate. Today, I take a look at 7decibels’ Sabine final production prototype…
Design and Performance
Sabine is laser cut to precision from T6061 aluminum, which gives over six times better reflectance than plastic. The angle curvature and clear anodization process ensure you are not making your iPad ugly by attaching this product. Most importantly, it uses a non-adhesive attachment to prevent left over goo when it is removed.
I am personally excited about the lack of adhesive because any skin I placed on my mini or iPhone 5 left terrible residue. To reapply the Sabine after the pad gets dirty, simply wash with water and dry. To test the repeated stickiness, I took the Sabine on and off multiple times trying to denote any lack of attachment. It seemed fine to me, even on the mini’s more raw anodized back. Note, however, this product is designed for use with iPad, not the mini. The mini uses stereo speakers and the Sabine does not enhance the mini’s speakers in a noticeable way.
With a goal to prevent hand cupping and create an elegant product in the process, 7decibels hit their mark. The reflection clearly amplifies sound and the aluminum curves compliment the iPad. Amplification does work a lot better on the higher frequencies. Do not expect this device to turn your living room into a club dance floor. As you note in my unprofessional video below, the higher pitch noises do pick up much easier, which is especially apparent during the music at the end of this trailer.
At a buy-in option on Kickstarter of $25, I think it is an easy investment if you watch a lot of shows on your iPad. With 33 days remaining, 7decibels already enjoys $7,051 of $10,000 in pledges and hopes to ship in May if completely funded.
The price is a little high, but I would be willing to pay extra for the clear anodization, matching curved angle, and precise curved edges. Is this going to replace wearing headphones or using AirPlay speakers? Absolutely not. It is however a quick fix to a long term Apple problem.
To get 7decibels’ take on their own product, check out their official launch video. There is a brief history and some details about the complicated design process included in their pitch. If you are wondering about the teaser trailer in my video, check out The Digressions web series.
Do you own a speaker amplifier? Would you even consider buying one?