In a marketplace crowded with wireless speakers, the Om/One has a design edge that makes it stand out. The latest product from Oakland-based Om Audio is a Bluetooth-enabled speaker built into a lightweight levitating orb. Opposing magnets allow the speaker to hover gently over a discrete base while it plays audio. And although presentation is the Om/One's main appeal, its 1100-decibal output makes it more powerful than many of its competitors Available for pre-order for $199. (Read about more modern speakers here.)
Wireless speakers are everywhere now, and it takes a lot to stand out from the Jambox by Jawbone and all the speakers trying to beat the Jambox. Most of them sound decent enough, particularly for low-fidelity streaming audio files, so novelty can make a product remarkable. That’s the idea behind the OM/ONE, a speaker housed inside a 3.5-inch diameter levitating ball.
Opposing magnets keep the 3/4-pound black sphere floating above the base, and the speaker unit housed inside is rechargeable—pull it from the floating base and plug it in, and a full charge gets 15 hours of playback.
At three watts and an 1100-decibel output, it’s plenty loud—for comparison, a Jambox puts out 85 dBs—but its main appeal is in the presentation. The charging method is slightly inelegant, but at $199 for a pre-order, it’s priced competitively, especially when you consider it has speakerphone functionality.