Carrying around a giant boom box is no way to jam out to your favorite tunes. People just don’t do that anymore. Vifa, a leading Danish manufacturer, offers a discreet solution to the nostalgic practice for individuals who are concerned about offending others with their playlist selection.
The group released the Helsinki, a savvy, petite handbag equipped with a loudspeaker. Following the minimal functionality trend that’s plaguing tech designers worldwide, you won’t know that the accessory is capable of dishing out music unless you own the bag. Aesthetically, this is one of the best looking portable speakers on the market. The company does a great job of preserving the feminine qualities of the piece while pushing the limits of what most people think a speaker should look and feel like.
“The Helsinki completes our series of wireless loudspeakers. It is smaller and more sassy than the Copenhagen and the Stockholm products, but it shares the same distinctive quality and philosophy in terms of materials, craftsmanship and sound performance,” highlighted Mikael Ankersen, engineer at VIFA, who was responsible for the development of Helsinki.
Standing at six inches tall and measuring eight inches lengthwise, you could easily bring the device out to picnics and light camping trips. Supporting the bag is a one-piece molded solid aluminum frame – a feature hardly noticeable due to its light weight of 3lbs. The thick, leather strap is manufactured by Tärnsjö Garveri, which boasts a smooth, quality finish. Using the strap, you can lug the bag around with confidence, or even hang it on a doorknob if you have your hands full.
Covering the speaker is a special fabric from Kvadrat. The cloth does not muffle the sound and allows it to pass through seamlessly. Surprisingly, the cover also contains water repellent properties, so you don’t have to worry about using the bag around coolers, swimming pools and sunny beaches.
Under the hood, you’re treated with powerful speakers that can probably blow a straw house down. “Inside, two 50mm full-range aluminum cone and neodymium magnet drivers do double duty as mid-range and tweeter, with left and right channel full range drivers spaced apart as far as possible and angled slightly backwards to separate stereo output. Two 60mm Vifa woofer units take care of the low-end,” wrote Gregory Han, tech editor at Design Milk.
Connecting to the accessory is as simple as pairing it with your handheld device via Bluetooth. You could also directly plug into it via AUX. On the bag, you’ll find three controls: two circular volume buttons are conveniently located in the lower right corner, while a mode selection with LED display is available for real-time status monitoring. Those who are interested in ordering the sleek music player can get one from the Vifa website or at the Nordstrom Opening Ceremony Pop-In Shop. Prices start at $499, which includes the speaker, power supply, AUX 3.5mm mini jack cable, travel bag and warranty.