Dubbed a Handheld Home Theater by its creators, The Belkin Thunderstorm is an iPad speaker case that aims at producing a great sound, while integrating with the iPad as closely as possible. The idea is that an external speaker (a la Jambox) may produce a reasonable sound and it is great at home, but it is typically not so awesome to transport and move around.

With the Belkin Thunderstorm, the speaker is always there, and its form factor is more friendly for carrying in a bag or wherever your iPad is. The speaker also comes with an application that allows the user to control many properties of the sound being outputted, which is nice because you can make it vary quite a bit to match your content (live music, movies, TV…) or your preferences (audio perception does change with age).I’ve had an opportunity to hear the Belkin Thunderstorm in action, and I think that most people will be surprised by how good it sounds. There is a world of difference with the internal iPad speaker, no question about it.

This is one of the better concepts that I’ve seen, and the main downside to the product is that you have to use an external power supply to charge it. The reason is that Apple won’t allow manufacturers to divert power from the 30-pin connector to charge the case ( projects ORA did it) or accept the fact that Apple won’t allow them to be an “official product”, which has consequences in terms of marketing and visibility.

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