Modular is in for the smartphone market. We’ve seen the idea of swapping parts out of a phone body on LG’s G5, Lenovo’s Moto Z, and Google’s Ara, and today, an Indiegogo campaign is launching to bring that same customization concept to speaker setups. Sonic Blocks’ creators bill it as the "world’s first modular wireless music ecosystem." CEO and co-founder Scott Wilker tells The Verge that as the modular phone trend gives people flexibility to make their device fit their situational needs, Sonic Blocks is about "giving everybody complete choice." He adds: "It’s how you want it, when you want it, and where you want with complete customization, modularity, and control over every facet of [the speakers]."
A starter kit, which is priced starting at $199, comes with the "brain," or computer base of the speakers, a tweeter driver, a full range driver, and a bass driver. Users can purchase additional drivers that vary in price and will be available post-launch. All of those can be swapped in and out and added to other Sonic Blocks set ups to create a massive wall of sound.
I imagine most people will want to use these wirelessly, so it comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth pairing. But it’s worth noting that you’ll need to play music through a Sonic Blocks companion app for iOS or Android to get the best results.
The app is how the speakers will be updated, too, which Wilker imagines will happen frequently and with some surprises built-in, like phone pairing and customized lighting. Also included in "the brains" is a rechargeable battery that the team hopes to make last for more than 15 hours, although I’d think if this is built out completely, the rechargeable battery isn’t going to do much. That’s probably where Sonic Blocks’ wall plug becomes useful. The speakers will hopefully ship by this time next year. Was 2016 the year of modular or is it only going to get bigger in 2017?