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How my 6 year old daughter inspired me to create an innovative wooden iPad speaker..

By Benedict O’Boyle

I left University in 2005 with a box of hand tools and a family on the way. In 2006 Benedict’s Fine Furniture was created in Hertfordshire, where I have been making bespoke, hardwood furniture and crafts ever since. Apart from a break to write a book, Little Step’s around the World, following my wife, Anya, our 3 year old daughter Layla and I, as we took an 8 month break to backpack around the world on a budget.

Returning to the real world and my passion for fine craft, I quickly found myself enjoying focusing on furniture, beautiful timbers and a pursuit of original design. Design with function and integrity. I was looking for something clever, but also beautifully natural and organic. Something people would love.

I started developing iPad stands after Santa gave the family an iPad for Christmas. I wanted to get our new tablet, out of Layla’s hand, whilst she was dancing to the music playing on it. I used half a log and cut a groove in it, creating a simple dock, for charging and keeping it safe when Layla was enjoying her music.

Upon instructing Layla as to the iPad’s new home, we both discovered that the iPad got louder when we put it in the log!! I realised the sound was resonating through the timber and this was causing an increase in the volume and an improvement in the sound quality, completely naturally.
I then developed an acoustic–curve beneath the groove. After months of experimentation with different dimensions of the acoustic-curve, I eventually found the optimum size for maximum volume increase.

This curved echo-box allows the resonating sound waves to bounce off any hard surface the iWood-amp is placed on, amplifying them like a gramophone horn. The curve forces the sound waves into the room, so that as if by magic, your iPad almost doubles in volume!! Even I was astounded by the difference it made.

The iWood-amp is 100% British, 100% solid wood and 100% hand-crafted. Shaped from a solid piece of locally sourced, sustainable timber, and finished with a natural oil polish. The beautiful grain and colour, makes it something that people want to hold and its solid yet tactile aesthetics make it the perfect gift, ideally for yourself!

The iWood makes watching movies, catching up on TV, browsing with friends or sharing music easier and more convenient, and without the need for plastic, wires or batteries! It completely naturally makes your iPad louder. The iWood-AMP works with any tablet with a speaker on the edge, allows charging while in use and it also works for the iPad mini. The iWood-mobile (a beautifully cute pocket-sized amp for your smart phone), and more iWood innovative products are already on the way!

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Unusual Corporate Gift that Stands Out…

Hand crafted and unusual, iWoodAMPs make great personal gifts. Very often they are a talking point in themselves – we often get people looking for wires and batteries when they hear the difference in the sound that they make. When Ben demonstrated one to a corporate client, they were so impressed that they put in a large order for specially branded iWoodAMPs. We took the XL Video logo and had a brand made up to make each one an XL Video iWoodAMP. These are gifts that will last for ever and always remind people of who gave them.

You can find out more about XL video at and more about Bens unique furniture designs and creations at

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New Product! The Shelfie is here….

Today, we announce a new variant of the iWood-AMP, the iWood-AMP Shelfie. Using our unique design technology, the Shelfie will amplify music and video sound from your iPad just like an ordinary iWood-AMP without the aid of any wires or additional electricity.

The Shelfie has another advantage too, when not in use as an iPad amplifier it doubles up (as the name suggests) as a shelf. Not only is it very functional but we would argue, very beautiful and a perfect complement to any stretch of bare wall.

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Come and see us at the Herts County Show

We’re at the Herts County Show this week-end

As a Hertfordshire based craft company it seems only right that we should be part of the Herts County Show. We’ll be joining horses, cattle, farming equipment, devils horsemen, wonderful food stalls and all kinds of family entertainment on what looks to be a really great Bank Holiday week-end.

Even if it’s raining (it is a bank holiday after all) there is plenty to see under cover, not least plenty of iWood-AMPs and of course Benedicts Fine Furniture.

Rumour has it that there are even some special discounts available but you have to come to the stand 15 in the “Made In Hertfordshire” tent to find out. Also, tomorrow for the first time ever, the public will be able to get a glimpse of the latest product from the design genius/prodigy we know as Ben (actually we have some other names for him but we better not say here).

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iWood Mobile Phone Holders Are Here!

The much requested mobile amplifier is now here! Easy to take with you anywhere, our cute phone amplifiers are the ideal music sharing or listening device with no need for wires or batteries.

A great desk-top gadget that significantly increases the volume of any mobile device with a speaker on the edge.

As with our standard range there is also a channel underneath to run your charging cable.

Available in a range of timbers that includes Walnut, Maple and English Oak.

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As seen in Craft & Design Magazine….

In issue 232 of the well respected magazine Craft & Design, you’ll spot a feature on the iWoodAMP. Titled “Working with Wood” the article discusses Bens approach to design and how the iWoodAMP works. There is also a hint about some new products that will be available soon. The following is taken from the article:

“The iWood-AMP is a solid piece of locally sourced sustainable timber that is shaped to hold your tablet and to allow it to be charged whilst in use. This makes watching movies, catching up on TV, browsing with friends or sharing music easier and more convenient. Where the iWood-AMP is really clever though, is without the need for plastic, wire or batteries, it also makes your hand held device louder! Using a unique acoustic curve, ingenuity and nature, it amplifiesthe volume of any tabletwith a speaker on the edge. The significant difference in the sound quality and level is amazing!”

The magazine is available from
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EU Design Registration

After months of work, we have invested in the iWood-Amp by getting its unique design registered across the European Community. Whilst we hope that no one will try to copy the iWood-Amp, we know that we now have some legal protection.

By coincidence one of our most recent customers is a lawyer who told us that he uses his iWood-Amp to play music while he reads through client documents at home. Let’s hope we never have to use his services.

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A Lovely Comment…

We have just received a lovely comment from a customer and thought it would be nice to share it:  

It was good to see that you were at the fayre at the week-end with more iwood-amps. Not only did the iwood-amp (as spotted by our 11 year old daughter), make the perfect present for my husband at Christmas 2012, but it has been in daily use ever since.  The sound is fabulous, it is portable, tactile, made from sustainable wood and each one is unique.  A ‘must-have’!

Thank you.