Watching movies on the iPad can be an enjoyable experience no doubt – just so long as you’re not relying on its terrible speakers. Even the ones on the iPad mini sound significantly better, thanks to the stereo speakers onboard. So how do you create the perfect accessory that makes the film sound great on-the-go AND not require you to carry around separate peripherals (i.e bluetooth speakers)? Enter ORA, a unique case that literally puts 8 speakers around your iPad, delivering 5 times the loudness you’re accustomed to hearing.
To achieve a compact and light weight design, ORA uses an array of speakers around the display. The 8 speakers are facing the listener and deliver more than 5 times the loudness of the iPad. This configuration reduces the harmonic distortion level (THD) well below competitive designs and brings clarity to voice and instruments.
The optimized speaker placement coupled with a Digital Signal Processor control the 3D stereo expansion in both orientations (portrait and landscape). This results in a wider stereo image delivering a full immersive experience.
With a full charge, the ORA’s rechargeable Li-Ion battery provides up to 10 hours of play time, all without having to dip into the iPad’s own battery. It’s even smart enough to know whether it’s in portrait or landscape mode and adjusts the stereo sound accordingly. As for how much it weighs (392g vs 652g for a wifi only iPad), it’s rather reasonable considering that it packs 8 speakers and an integrated battery. The one big caveat though is the ORA’s 30-pin connector, meaning the speaker case is only compatible with the iPad 2 and iPad 3. According to the ORA team, they’re currently working on a an 8-pin ‘lighting’ version for the iPad 4 and iPad mini.
As the Kickstarter campaign just started today, there are still plenty of “early bird” specials. A $99 pledge will net you one ORA Stealth (black), and for $129, an ORA Pop + Case/Stand (it’s similar to Apple’s Smart Cover in that it covers the screen and folds into a stand). Assuming its target of $450,000 is met by Dec 30th, the first batch of ORAs will begin shipping in June 2013. Check out the intro video, screenshots and tech specs below. For the complete lowdown, head over to their Kickstarter page.
ORA Technical Specs:
Unique 8-speaker configuration for a full immersive stereo field
Provides 5x the loudness of iPad while maintaining crystal clear sound.
Stereo sound automatically adjusts to portrait and landscape mode
Digital Signal Processing, hand-tuned for ORA enhances:
- 3D stereo expansion for wide stereo sound
- Parametric equalization for balanced highs and lows
- Dynamic range control to maximize volume
- Integrated rechargeable Li-Ion battery for up to 10 hours of play time without using your iPad battery
Standard iPad 30-pin connector, including pass-through dual charging of iPad and ORA simultaneously
Private listening with 3.5mm headphone jack
Easily check your charge with battery indicator button and LED
Easy access to volume and power buttons
Easy insertion and maximum protection with four quarter-turn fasteners
Outside dimensions and weight:
9″ 1/4 (235.1 mm) x 11″ 3/8 (288.9 mm) x 0.7″ (17.9 mm)
ORA STEALTH and ORA POP: 12.8 oz. (365 g)
ORA Limited: 13.8 oz. (392 g)