Meredith & I went to Nuit Blanche in Toronto over the weekend and came across Science & Sons‘ installation on the grounds of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health on Queen Street West. They welded together a series of trumpet horns with mouthpieces into which you could plug iPod earphones. I knew this looked familiar, so I visited their website – to discover that they are the ones responsible for the Phonofones exhibited this year at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition (TOAE)!
For those who weren’t able to attend TOAE this year, Science and Sons have crafted iPod “phonographs” out of ceramic, into which one can plug earbud headphones. Thus, by using solely passive amplification, the output of one’s iPod can be boosted to up to 55 dB. Phonograph horn technology is, thusly, born again.
Right now the Phonofones, starting at CAD $450, are slightly beyond our budget, although they would definitely make a fascinating and practical conversation piece (no pun intended). I’m hoping that Science & Sons can reach some sort of licensing deal with a manufacturer to produce them on a larger scale.