Why you should care

Electronic gear aimed at women? Now that’s a concept.

Take any celebratory occasion and you will almost certainly encounter the following in one form or another: music, an element of surprise and an opportunity to open something, be it a bottle, a box or a conversation.

No wonder the Audio Clutch by Stellé Audio Couture feels so festive. The rectangular, hard-sided, evening bag look-alike is all those. Weighing in at just under 2 pounds, this handheld marvel pops open to reveal a pair of speakers. Boasting a Bluetooth wireless range of up to 50 feet, a built-in microphone and an internal lithium-ion rechargeable battery that stays connected for up to 15 hours of play time, it’s capable of playing tunes piped in from your smartphone in any location you see fit. Thanks to the microphone, it doubles as a stylish speakerphone ready to up the fashion ante on your conference calls.

It’s a rare example of portable audio gear that strikes a girlie chord and hits exactly the right tone.

Even better, it’s a rare example of portable audio gear that strikes a girlie chord and hits exactly the right tone. This no doubt helped land the clutch a spot among the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show Innovations Awards honorees in design and engineering, which were announced last month. As the company puts it, “We’ve turned sound into fashion accessories worth flaunting.”

The audio clutch was created by Newport Beach-based wife-and-husband team Anna Perelman and Wayne Ludlum, both of whom spent years in the consumer electronics space before founding their current company in 2012. It has plenty of fashion cred, thanks to an early collaboration with designer Rebecca Minkoff that elicited plenty of oohs and ahhs from style watchers when it debuted during fall Fashion Week last year. Still available from the limited edition Minkoff collection is a geometric, metal-trimmed style in either black and white or deep green stingray, while standard versions of the clutches feature red snakeskin or black basketweave leather exteriors and mixed metal hardware.

You can certainly find a cheaper portable Bluetooth-compatible speaker (clutches retail for $349 to $399), but chances are it won’t look nearly this good with your outfit. The only possible conflict? It might just upstage the real handbag you have to bring along to hold your phone.

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