By Andrew Liszewski
When I first came across these Trash Amps, which were recently shown off at the 2011 Maker Faire in San Francisco, they seemed like a great way to upcycle old cans or Chinese food takeout containers. But after reading up on the product, I’m less excited about their eco-friendly potential.
At first I assumed they used old cans as a resonance chamber, boosting the performance of the Trash Amp speaker which sits on top once the can is beheaded. But it turns out the can is really only used as a decorative sleeve for the self-contained speaker unit that slides inside. In other words, by itself the Trash Amp works just fine as a compact speaker without the need for a can or other container. The inventor, who shows off the product in the video below, even encourages you to switch things up when you get tired of one can design, so in a way you’re not even really giving a used can a permanent home.
Admittedly the speaker sounds like a vast improvement to the built-in speaker on your smartphone as demonstrated in the video, but for $49.99 it better!