It should only take a brief glimpse around the bus on your morning commute to see that music has become an integral part of our lives (Show me one headphone-less ear. I dare you!) so it’s no wonder that speakers are being integrated more and more into everyday objects, making the streaming experience more ubiquitous. Like the shower head that streams tunes and water, or the picnic blanket that comes with a fully packed sound system, now there’s a light bulb that turns your lamp into a boombox.
AirBulb is an LED light bulb and wireless speaker in one. It looks more like a light bulb than a speaker, sleekly shaped to conceal all of its smartphone-controlled doodads inside of its curved white shell. Screw it into a standard socket just like any other light bulb and that’s where the “just like any other light bulb” comparisons end.
Six high-power LEDs provide the bright white or warm yellow-y light that can be switched on and off with your smartphone and programmed to flash disco-style to alert you when it’s time to wake up, if you’re receiving an incoming call or even if someone commented on your Facebook status. AirBulb doesn’t include color changing features like Hue or Lumini, but what it lacks in visual vividness it makes up for by bringing the beats.
Once your music-packed device is synced with AirBulb via its iOS or Android-compatible app, it’s ready to pump out the jams — three watts of ‘em, to be exact, which seems like enough power to keep your room or studio apartment at cafe levels of loudness. Double up on AirBulbs to hack your very own stereo system: That means your desk lamp can be the right channel, and your floor lamp could be the left while you play Game of Thrones catch up on your tablet. Plus, those light alerts we mentioned above? They can also be accompanied by audio.
Overall, mood lighting and mood music in one compact device seems like a pretty cool concept. We gushed over Tlight before — a desktop lamp, speaker, and charger in one that could really up your organizational game, but we’re left wondering if this 2-in-1 is too niche (ahem bacon-scented phone alarm, I’m looking at you). At $69 a pop — more expensive than a single Hue bulb — it seems like an exceptional investment in novelty, unless you really DO need to be clever about your small space set up, of course. Then, you can look forward to up to 40,000 hours of partying with the lights on.
Would you invest in an AirBulb? What other speaker+ gadgets do you swear by? What sound system tricks do you have up your sleeve? Tell us in the comments below.