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Boom Bags

Suitcase Stereo for Travelers

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photo LEFT: Boom Bag 22" suiter with an iPod. INSET BELOW: Stereo control panel and speakers.

photoIs your iPod a constant companion? Do you miss your Klipschorns when you travel? Have you ever longed to blast the yakking couple in the next hotel room out of bed with an excerpt from Wagner or Nine Inch Nails? If so, maybe it's time to swap your backpack or rollaboard for a Boom Bag.

A Boom Bag is a suitcase that doubles as a stereo--or a stereo that doubles as a suitcase, depending on your priorities. To quote the manufacturer's Web site, "It's the best luggage you've ever heard!"

Boom Bags president Mark Wright explains why you need sound from your suitcase:

"With the advent of MP3 players and laptop music programs, there has been an explosion of people traveling with extensive music collections. According to Steve Jobs in his MacWorld keynote address, 'For Holiday quarter 2004, we sold over 4.5 million 'Pods.'

"This trend has created a much stronger demand for a portable speaker solution. The problem is that most travel speakers don't offer high quality sound because they lack a resonance chamber. They can also take up a lot of the packing space in a suitcase. The answer is Boom Bags, the world's first stereo luggage!

"Boom Bags include a removable stereo amplifier, speakers, and subwoofer, mounted in the normally unused space between and around the trolley rails, with almost no impact on the packing space. The result is near 'home quality' sound using the suitcase as a large speaker cabinet or resonance chamber. In addition, the bags include a microphone input with separate volume control. Anyone doing presentations can use their suitcase to provide speakers and amplification for a multimedia program, and for live narration at the same time."

The product comes in two versions: A 22" wheeled suiter, and a slightly smaller "office on wheels " with a removable laptop bag. Each case has built-in stereo speakers with a 10-watt amplifier, a separate 4" subwoofer with an 8-watt amplifier, stereo miniplug inputs for an iPod or other music device and a microphone, and a 110-250v power supply. (You'll need a plug adapter to use your Boom Bag in Europe.)

I haven't seen or heard Boom Bags, so I can't vouch for them personally, but the design certainly is innovative--and it's hard not to like a sales pitch that claims, "Looks like high-end luggage, sounds way better!"

Also see our articles index for: Packing and travel accessories