A Playful iPhone Speaker, Shaped Like A Ball

Ballo plugs right into your smartphone for on-the-go tunes at high volume.

Headphones will do the trick when you’re streaming tunes for your ears only, but some tracks are just too good not to share. Ballo is a playful new design by the studio Bernhard | Burkard for OYO that looks like a mini-karaoke mic but functions like a quality speaker.

“For us the important point is the sphere as the shape of the device,” Thomas Burkard tells Co.Design. “A ball–let’s say a baseball–lays around most of the time in a nonspecific place: maybe on the floor or on a desk. Someone picks it up, holds it in his hand, puts it back.” Unencumbered by staid right angles, Ballo can be handled in a way that totally works with the comfortable, casual way we’ve come to fondle our phones, and there’s no need for a stand, or a formal, flat locale to set it up. Just plug it in and you’re good to go.

After sketching out the concept, they refined the form with virtual 3-D CAD models, then built physical prototypes to make sure everything was in working order. “We always try to keep things as simple as possible,” Burkard says of the finished polycarbonate product, which requires just a few pieces to put together for incredibly easy assembly. And if your choice of soundtrack doesn’t trumpet your tastes loudly enough, you can customize Ballo with a selection of colorful bands that unite the two symmetrical hemispheres.