My girls and I have taken to watching movies from Hulu or Netflix on my iPad in bed on weekend nights, which may be one of my new favorite routines. But honestly, the little built-in speakers when you’re watching a big action adventure like Harry Potter (or heck, even Schoolhouse Rock) leaves something to be desired.

This is why I am totally blown away by this new option from Belkin which is like the best of a case meets the best of a speaker system.

Belkin Thunderstorm iPad speaker system | Cool Mom Tech

The Belkin Thunderstorm is billed as a handheld home theater and that about sums it up. What it is is a case that you snap your iPad into–super easily, I might add–and the dock connector then routes the sound through powerful speakers that line the bottom of the case.

You can play around with the very easy and free Thunderstorm app for iOS, and adjust the sound so the speakers play further apart or closer together, and even create different settings for movies, music or gaming.

Belkin Thunderstorm for iPad | Cool Mom Tech

Not only is the audio truly fantastic with booming base, and limited distortion, this system is totally thin and totally portable, making it perfect for travel. In fact the magnetic snap-on cover not only protects the iPad screen, it’s got the multi-fold functionality like a classic case, to allow you to prop up the tablet and adjust the viewing angle. I do wish that the cover didn’t snap off so easily (it’s prone to come off if you’re fussing with it too much or propping your iPad up on your knees) but that’s a super small complaint. And of course it’s got a serious speaker on it, so don’t expect it to be lightweight like a plain case; but it’s not quite a behemoth to tote around either.

Overall this may be my favorite new iPad accessory. What a perfect Mother’s Day or Father’s Day gift for an entertainment-loving parent.

And you know, what a joy it is not to have to do the annoying 10-second rewind on Hulu because we couldn’t catch what a character was saying. You know what I’m talking about –Liz

Find out more about the Belkin Thunderstorm on the Belkin site, or buy directly from them–it’s now on sale for $199 for a limited time down from $249!