Over the last several years, there’s been an enormous resurgence in vinyl, with more and more people reverting back to the original, often more-preferred, sound. Hell, even major retail stores such as Best Buy and Target now feature a record section. The only knock with vinyl is that, for the most part, it is a completely stationary technology and cannot be used while on the go, however there’s a brand new device that might just change the way we’re able to listen to records.
The RokBlok by Pink Donut is the world’s smallest turntable, allowing users to listen to a record anywhere there’s a flat surface, producing the sound right in a little box. Essentially, the RokBlok is a mini wooden vehicle that drives around on your record, following the vinyl’s grooves and, if it’s not loud enough for your current environment, simply connect it to a wireless speaker to turn it up to 11. It’s perfect for someone who wants to enjoy vinyl but doesn’t want the hassle of setting up a full turntable and at $100, the price tag isn’t outrageous.
At about the size of a cell phone, though much thicker, this gadget can go anywhere and be used with little effort, playing EP, LPs and singles – basically any type of record. The built-in Bluetooth allows for connection to any wireless speakers or headphones within a 30-foot radius and the rechargeable battery, which lasts for up to four hours, ensures never having to grab AAAs.
Originally launched via Kickstarter by creator Logan Riley – a former Creative Education Lead at Apple – who launched his startup Pink Donut in 2015, the product has continued to grow ever since. Among other gadgets and apps, RokBlok’s campaign raised over $351,000 for RokBlok and it even led to Riley’s product appearing on an episode of ABC’s Shark Tank, where he eventually accepted an offer.
While some complained about the gadget’s ability to produce sound without a speaker, the overall reviews of RokBlok are positive and have created several other competitors. It’s currently available on RokBlok’s website, just in time for Record Store Day.