With a microphone as their muse, the designers at Hong Kong-based OYO, a fledgling brand known for soda-pop-hued iPhone and iPad cases, are adding their sensibility to the portable speaker boom. They've teamed up with Swiss studio Bernhard Burkard to create the Ballo, a golf-ball-size speaker that's easy to pick up, toss around, or stash in a pocket. No sharp angles, no stand required. "People are used to the fact that a ball might be laying around somewhere," says cofounder Thomas Burkard. Unlike your electronic mainstays, there's no need for a power switch or on-off button—Ballo lives off a built-in battery and pumps up the volume as soon as it's plugged in. ($30, oyo-oyo.com)
[Photo by Kent Larsson; Prop styling by Richie Owings for Halley Resources]
A version of this article appeared in the April 2013 issue of Fast Company magazine.