I seem to have an obsession with 1970s sci-fi because once again a new gadget has immediately reminded me of them and for that reason alone I want to get it. Anyone who has seen a futuristic movie from any era will know that one of the main forms of communication is through video communication. We do of course have that now but in a very modern form. I mention the 1970s specifically because a new Bluetooth-based speaker has hit the shelves and it has an appealingly chunky, retro-futuristic design that brings to mind films from that period. Of course there is no point recommending a product if all it does is look good, but fortunately it is also excellent on a practical level. The Invoxia AudiOffice is available now, although it does not come cheap and you can expect to pay around $300 for it.
The Invoxia AudiOffice provides a very modern function but combines it with an appealingly old-fashioned design. Using the power of Bluetooth, it takes the form of a landline telephone handset that improves the quality of your iPhone conversations and, better still, FaceTime calls on your iPad. The AudiOffice is essentially a glorified docking station for your iOS device, providing some decent stereo speakers to enhance the audio quality. The main function it provides is a vastly improved speakerphone conversation but you can also choose to play music through it between calls. This is a secondary function though and if music is your aim then you need to look elsewhere but if you need a way to improve your calls, this is a very professional gadget designed for that very purpose. In addition to that there is a clip-on stand that allows you to connect your iPad to it for a superior FaceTime conversation.
All you have to do is connect your device to it via Bluetooth and it is good to go. If someone calls you then a simple switch allows you to answer, while four broadband speakers and two digital microphones ensure that you get clear, decent audio on your end and your own voice comes through nice and clear as well. If you really want the retro experience you can opt to use the handset, which is more than just a decoration.
The AudiOffice is far from perfect however and there are flaws. First of all, it has been designed with the older 30-pin connector in mind, making it more inconvenient if you are using a newer device. Those with a Lightning connector are compatible but cannot be charged by it. However, a Lightning version is due for release in March so it may be worth waiting if you plan on buying one of these.
The other problem is the price, which is a little higher than the average consumer would comfortably stretch to for such a gadget. However there is no denying the quality of the product and it does its job incredibly well. If you use your iPhone a lot in one place, where a landline would do just as well, this is a great way to consolidate the two.