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Meet the $13,000 iPad Speaker You Sit In

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The SonicChair is one of the most expensive iPad and iPhone accessories money can buy. The iPad speaker surrounds users with crystal clear sound and vibrates to transmit bass tones.

The SonicChair is a personal music nirvana that can be cranked up to body-shaking volumes without disturbing others too much. The three 8″ speakers are placed very close to the listener’s head, which means they don’t have to play very loudly to have a big impact, the same way on-ear headphones deliver big noise with tiny drivers. The booming bass is not audible unless you’re actually sitting in the chair, which means it won’t bother anyone else.

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I tried the SonicChair myself at IFA 2012 in Berlin and I was blown away. I immediately wanted one and started thinking about whether I should put it in my office to serve as a relaxing workstation or put it in my living room. The day dreaming came to a screeching halt when I asked the price. Unfortunately, the SonicChair is one of those items you can’t afford if you have to ask its price. The roughly $13,000 asking price includes a 16GB iPad, putting it out of range for most users. The SonicChair is available for short-term rentals and long-term leases if you absolutely must have one of these devices in your home or business, but prefer to pay as you go.

The model I tried has an iPad fixed to it in a theft-proof arm that swings back and forth. It can also be configured with a 30-pin dock so you can hook an iPhone or iPod up to it. There’s an auxiliary input on the right side of the interior right next to the discrete mid/high and bass volume controls.

Hopefully the SonicChair price will come down in price over time. It is a truly amazing way to enjoy music.

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Rear of the Sonic Chair Resembles a Giant Earbud

Xavier Lanier is the publisher of Gotta Be Mobile and a photographer. He uses too many devices to count, but his current favorites are the iPhone 5s, HTC One, Nikon D800 and Sony RX 100M II. You can follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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