Belkin’s Thunderstorm handheld home theater now available for iPad 4


Accessory maker Belkin back at January’s CES 2013 unveiled a handheld home theater system for Apple’s iPad, the Thunderstorm. The amplification system docks your iPad with integrated front-facing speakers and air channels for the powerful bass sounds. The speaker case was initially limited to older 30-pin iPad 2 and third-generation iPad devices. Today, Belkin announced Thunderstorm availability for iPads outfitted with Lightning I/O, namely the iPad 4…

The Thunderstorm for iPad 4 is a “truly portable speaker case that seamlessly integrates with the iPad 4 to create a unified experience whether you are at home or on the go”.

Check out the promo of the 30-pin version.

The $199.99 ($156 on Amazon) MFi-certified Lightning version features low-distortion, high-efficiency amplifier, integrated front-facing stereo speakers in landscape orientation (perfect for watching movies on the go) and ported speakers for rich bass and depth.

The mobile speaker technology is powered by Audifi.

Its magnetically attached folding soft cover allows for multiple stand configurations. Of course, there are holes for the iPad’s rear camera, headset jack, microphone, speaker, charging, lock switch, volume control and mute/rotation lock toggle.

A dedicated free app provides extended control of the speaker case, including different soundscape presets. The software was recently updated with the ability to automatically maintain the left and right channel audio output even when the Thunderstorm is turned upside down.

Unlike the 3o-pin variant, however, the Lightning edition has an updated chassis that integrates a new Sound Mode button letting you cycle between four different sound mode options: music, moving, gaming and conference call

The new conference call mode enhances voice frequencies when using Skype’s VoIP calling service. Previously only available through the Thunderstorm app, the Sound Mode button features an audible voiceover that informs users of the sound mode setting.

The device is available in select retail locations, through Belkin’s web store, or on Amazon for $40 cheaper.

If you buy it, Belkin will throw in a free month of Hulu Plus for new subscribers.