You might need to be an internationally-touring DJ to buy one, at EUR750, but the Travelteq Trip Sound suitcase is awe-inspiring at least as a design gimmick. The aluminum roll-around is designed first and foremost as a suitcase, as in the things that hold your laptop and clothes when you’re on the road, and is even sold as such – no gimmicks, just an ultra-high-end way of toting luggage. But purchase the Trip Sound option, and you can fold an entire sound system into said suitcase.

What keeps it a gimmick is, unfortunately, power. The Trip Sound System isn’t the most powerful thing around — two 15W, 2.5-inch drivers make it too weak for busking or on-the-spot DJ sets. Think of it as boom box, not PA, and for that, it certainly beats most of the things you could drop into a carry-on. It’ll also play from batteries up to 12 hours, depending on playback volume, or can connect to power via a universal power supply. You can also dock mobile devices, or top off a laptop.

WIthout opening the entire suitcase, you can also get quick access to compartments for phones, newspapers, and such, as well as a padded laptop compartment. Fold out legs, and the suitcase doubles as a chair.

Check out the full specs on the dizzying Travelteq site, which itself seems to be designed for people resistant to motion sickness. (Scroooollling… augh!)

Presumably the price is covered by the construction, interchangeable textiles, rugged, ultra-premium… stuff. You can read their explanation. It’s nothing if not drool-worthy as fantasy. And apparently globe-trotting DJs do desire them – Gui Boratto, Andy Sherman, and – so say rumors – Armin van Buuren own one, says our tipster Brandon Carlyle. (Thanks!)

All in all, though, this serves as a painful reminder of certain laws of space, weight, and power that restrict a lot of what we might do with sound. Your shirts take up a certain amount of space, and so does anything that produces a certain amount of sound. It’s unquestionably a cool fashion accessory, at least. There’s something to which you can aspire, should you aim for a lucrative ascent to the top of DJing: design fetish travelware. (Hey, for some of us design nerds, it beats the better-known perks.)

Trip Sound

  • vanceg

    Actually, I kind of like it. I'm always trying to compress my travel system down, converting cases into tables, chairs and other necessary furniture for the computer/guitar based musician.
    Even with nice, light Class D amps and highly efficient speakers, I can't see adding a PA to the gear I want to tote around, though. Perhaps some little speakers for the hotel room (which is what these seem to be).
    As "odd" as this might be for CDM, I'm glad you posted it!

  • strunkdts

    Teenage Engineering ? LOL

  • lolz. trying to imagine the look on your face when the thing came in the mail to review…at least i’m assuming that’s how such an atypical product rolled into CDM (pun intended). Though it is a unique take on the intersection of design and music hardware. I always liked that Teenage Engineering’s next project after the OP-1 (whatever happened to that??? review???) was an electric bike!! no genres.

  • i.e., no boundaries/barriers

  • Korn

    Review item selection fail. The "Armin van Buuren own's one" rumor marks a new low for music technology discourse on the mostly very good CDM.

  • Peter Kirn

    @Korn: Don't shoot the messenger. That's just what I was told. I'm certainly not suggesting modeling your lifestyle after Armin van Buuren.

    "lol" I think is what the kids say at this point?

  • Peter Kirn

    Oh, and this isn't a review, unless they want to send me a loaner… I wouldn't argue.

    The initial impression would be more like "It's a PA! It's a Suitcase! It's a Chair! It's Not a Good PA! It's Too Expensive!" …but I usually try not to give away the ending.

  • Korn

    Fair enough. Not a review. In any case, I have no idea what the kids are saying about much of anything, but I don't see how a $1000+ suitcase that is bundled with a free plastic radio has much to do with what CDM has always seemed to be about.

    Hold on, I've just followed the link to the actual product page. Pure comedy gold. This is my favorite line:

    The sound is of the highest quality with a bass sound you can't imagine. When integrated, the system even sounds better because of the resonation of the aluminum speaker holes.

    Well, I can imagine quite a lot, thank you very much. Aluminum speaker holes. FFS.

    Sorry to be a complainer today, Peter, but this laughably shameless marketing hyperbole seems so at odds with CDM's usual focus on handmade/practical/legitimately useful/insightful products/methods/services.

  • Peter Kirn

    Well, the *idea*'s a pretty great one… so we need someone to make their own handmade / practical / legitimately-useful version.

  • Michael Una

    I have a backpack from Osiris that has a similaraly powered amp + speakers, and plenty of cargo space. It's heavy as hell when full, but works great for rocking out on a bicycle while keeping your ears uncovered.

  • Korn

    I can't remember if you've posted about this guy in the past, but here's the thrift store version of the suitcase stereo. While definitely handmade, I don't think practicality enters high on the list of descriptors here:

  • @Korn

    Theoretically, I think it makes perfect sense for CDM to cover this, crazy as it is. Peter's talked a lot about the intersection of music and design (though not as much as I'd like ;), though mostly with regards to user interfaces, instrument design, and hardware design. This is an interesting extreme case. I actually think if someone took a serious, innovative approach to designing luggage for the performing musician it could be really cool (even if it would be too pricey for me to buy).

  • vanceg

    I agree with Zeroreference: This is about the intersection of design/UI and current music making trends (portability being a concern/issue that is brought up a lot among traveling musicians). I surely wouldn't drop $1000 on this item, but I hope someone might say "Hey, I know of someone who's built some great hand-made items something like this"…..