A speaker for the RCA Dog, if he had an iPod

The "Phonofone II" amplifiers through earphones, without power.a

Unica Home

If retro is indeed the future, at least where design is concerned, then this item may be destined for immortality. The "Phonofone II" amplifier--excuse us, "sculptural audio console"--is a ceramic rendition of the gramophone done in iPod white, GeekSugar says. That's no coincidence, as it's been designed specifically for use with said media player (though we suspect it'll work with other MP3 devices as well).

What's even more unusual, however, is that it works by way of "passive amplification" through the player's earphones and therefore requires no external source of power. Instead, according to Unica Home, the Phonofone "inventively exploits the virtues of horn acoustics to boost the audio output of standard earphones to up to 55 decibels."

If you believe all that, you probably won't have a problem paying $500 to find out if it really works--which, amazingly enough, is more than 40 percent cheaper than originally estimated last year. And if it doesn't live up to its billing, you can always stick some flowers in it and use it as a vase.

About the author

    Mike Yamamoto is an executive editor for CNET News.com.

     

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