As you start making your adventure wishlist for 2013, audio brand BOOM are fueling the fire with a sneak peek of their newest product, the Urchin. BOOM is an audio line from the folks behind Polk Audio targeted at an active consumer who expects their products to keep up with their lifestyle. With the release of the Urchin, they've created a bluetooth speaker that falls in a category BOOM has identified as "R4A certified" or ready for anything. Their internal classification means it is IPX level 4 water resistant (5 minutes of direct spray with a hose), shock tested (50 drops at 10 feet) and dust sealed.
With a colorful removable silicone skin in 10 different hues, this little speaker is made to match any situation. The Urchin also ships with suction cub, custom designed carabiner and adhesive mounts in the box, so it really is R4A—beach sand, shower wall, back pack, or adhered to a dorm room window. The cuddly shape is defined by anti-sonic diffraction geometry producing clearer sound at louder levels than some boxier options on the market.
Above, the Urchin ships with a custom milled aluminum carabiner, suction cup mount and adhesive stamp.
The BOOM brand itself has been around for the last couple of years making colorful headphones sold on 400 college campuses across the United States. It was the brainchild of ASU student Ryan Minarik, who felt there weren't any consumer electronics companies making fun audio that could withstand the kind of lifestyle of a normal college student. BOOM was bought by DEI Holdings in 2010, parent company of Polk Audio, who has 40 years of experience in making things sound great, and Definitive Technology, an extremely high end audiophile speaker brand, so these guys are backed up by some serious audio pedigree.
In 2011, BOOM started collaborating with San Francisco-based frog design to hone their brand position and develop a line of innovative products. Frog kicked off the program with a multi city ethnographic research tour, spending extended amounts of time with groups of college students to observe the kinds of abuse users would put product through. The result was a design system language that will resonate on an emotive level and that defined the "R4A" build methodology. The Urchin, in stores February, is just the first in several 2013 releases based on the collaboration.