NOTE: This article from Morgana Matus first appeared in June 2012, most recently updated in June 2024.

iPhone, you hear, bamboo, too

Have you heard?  Bamboo can be used to make inexpensive, electricity-free speakers for your iPhone.  The iBamboo, currently being funded by Kickstarter, is fashioned from a foot of bamboo, taking advantage of the grass’ natural resonance to amplify and project the sound from your mobile device.  The top of the tube is cut to made a fitted dock that snugly holds the phone in place.  Sound waves travel outward in both directions, creating a stereo effect with an “airy” effect perfect for jazz and classical music.

Best bamboo phyllostachys grove
Nothing compares to the sound of bamboo knocking in the breeze. (Photo by Fred Hornaday)

As a material, bamboo is a surprisingly good choice for this tiny stereo system.  Just as strong as most plastics and metal, the tube is made from sustainable plant material, laser-cut for fast and easy production, lightweight, and biodegradable.  As beautiful as it is practical, no two iBamboos are alike.  Perfect for the zen and natural aesthetic tastes, the hand-finished speaker set costs about $25-30 and are currently compatible with the iPhone 4.

Or save a few bucks and make one yourself! A handsaw, a drill and some sand paper is about all you need. Check with us if you need a piece of bamboo. We always have an assortment of bamboo poles in a variety of diameters.

Hornaday Bamboo Proverb
The many uses of bamboo.

Sound off

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