Melbourne design team Studio Proper is best known for its Wallee mounts for iPad and iPhone. (They're not terrible, either, according to you.) But they've branched out from cases and mounting systems, dipping their toes in the waters of technology with a novel, circular wireless speaker. It's called the PA2 — that's for Proper Audio, by the way — and it's actually the second Bluetooth stereo that Studio Proper has designed and prototyped.
The Studio Proper PA2 launched on Kickstarter yesterday, and it's already a quarter of the way towards its $40,000 pledge goal; not bad for the first 48 hours in the life of a $100 Bluetooth speaker. It's actually going to around $110 when the Kickstarter is done, but the first 500 pledgers can jump in for $89. As a Bluetooth speaker, it actually sounds pretty good for the price you're paying — I gave it a quick listen yesterday — but its real selling point is the fact that it'll connect with both of Studio Proper's wall, desk or car mounts for iPad and iPhone.
The original PA1 was a Kickstarter too, but it wasn't as successful as even the initial few hours of the PA2's currently-running campaign; Studio Proper's director Alon Tamir told us that was down to a few teething issues, like its constant requirement for a plugged-in power source, as well as its overall lack of portability — "We pushed too far towards permanence." The PA1 was shelved in December of 2013, while the team worked on a worthy successor.
Taking the original concept behind the PA1 and refining it over the last year, the Studio Proper team has re-Kickstarted the PA2 — a lower price, an internal battery, and a magnetic iPhone mount front and centre for Proper's M Lock cases are the big selling points. The justification behind using Kickstarter again, despite the studio's relative success with the X Lock and M Lock mechanical and magnetic mounts, is that it streamlines the production process as well as helping Studio Proper gauge interest early on.
It's a pretty nifty little speaker, and the mounts make it more attractive if you already have an iPad or iPhone with a Studio Proper case or other accessories set up. 8 hours of battery life mean it'll survive the occasional trip outside the office or your house's living room, while it'll double on conference call duties as a Bluetooth speakerphone. And, of course, you're helping out a bunch of Melbourne designers and keeping your precious dollars on Aussie shores. [Kickstarter]