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I've tested several different Bluetooth speaker systems from companies like Jawbone, Logitech and Brookstone over the years. While I enjoyed the convenience afforded by such systems, they don't come close to offering the quality you get from a true powered speaker.
The idea of toting around a bookshelf-sized speaker may not appeal to everyone but even if you were willing to do so, you'd have no way to supply power and feed tunes to it... not unless you had The Vamp.
The Vamp is a small cube-shaped device that can turn any speaker into a self-powered wireless Bluetooth speaker. Simply connect your speaker to The Vamp using traditional speaker cable or 3.5mm audio jack, pair the system with your smartphone and let the internal 4-watt single channel amplifier work its magic. It's that simple.
The cube features a rechargeable battery that can offer up to 10 hours of playback on a single charge. When it's time to rejuice, simply connect the device to a computer or USB power adapter using the included micro USB cable.
The Vamp was successfully funded on Kickstarter in April of 2013 and is now shipping worldwide. Pricing is set at £49.99 (around $80) which seems fair enough for such a versatile gadget.
I'll reserve final judgment until I can hear it for myself but if you're interested in bringing along something more than an overpriced Bluetooth speaker on your next camping trip or day out at the lake, The Vamp could be worth a look.