We keep old speakers either because they simply sound better than their newer and plasticky counterparts, or simply because they have some sort of emotional value for us. Beep is one of those little gadgets that breathes new life into old speakers, so we don’t have to throw them away.
When I was around 5 years old, my mother bought a turntable made in Czechoslovakia and a bunch of vinyls. In time, that turntable broke, but the speakers that came with it are functional even nowadays. I may be subjective, but they sound much better (mind you, I don’t mean louder, just clearer) than the speakers you can find nowadays in stores. Sure, the technological advancements that were made in the past two and a half decades cannot be denied, but there’s something about the build quality and the overall sound that makes them better than any other, at least to me. Even though I no longer use them on a daily basis (I made the switch to headphones and to a surround audio system), I would never through them away.
For people in my situation, Beep, the little gadget that turns dumb speakers into smart ones, represents an excellent excuse for wiping the dust off the old speakers and putting them to good use, again. Still, to use Beep with my old speakers, I would have to make some small modifications, as they don’t have aux-in port.
Daniel Conrad, co-founder and CEO of Beep, mentioned in an interview with NBC News that “We really wanted to bring back that experience of people sitting around their hi-fi and listening to music together. Today, people listen to their music on their smartphones or their laptops. It’s a very individual experience.”
Basically, to make your speakers smarter, all you have to do is plug the Beep device in the aux-in port and start streaming music from your smartphone, tablet or computer via Wi-Fi. The company explained why it chose this type of connectivity over Bluetooth, for example, the main reason being the longer range of Wi-Fi.
Beep faces a lot of competition, but with Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh as supporters and investors, this gadget has the potential of reaching a greater audience. Too bad that it cannot convert just any dumb speaker into a wireless one.