Friday format: A selection of unusual acoustics
Back in the 50s of the last century, it was considered prestigious if the speaker system is hidden from the listeners’ eyes or fits into the interior as organically as possible. For this reason, people sometimes came up with original solutions for placing equipment.
One of the readers of High Fidelity, after consulting with his wife, decided to “hide” the stereo system in the oven: “All the necessary equipment fit in there; however, it looked very strange. ” A similar economical design was suggested by a 1955 article in Popular Mechanic. The main idea is to place the Hi-Fi system on a clothes dryer.
The passion for unusual and, at times, provocative decisions has come down to our times. Even today, audio equipment manufacturers are wrapping speakers in interesting enclosures. For example, the designers of the Triple C company throughout the entire existence of the brand drew their inspiration from nature. For this reason, BluBOOM speakers are made in the form of half a coconut (pictured above).
In 2003, Ferguson Hill developed an interesting speaker model – FHOO1. These are dipole speakers with a huge transparent horn. The whole structure takes up an indecent amount of space and costs about $ 20,000.
Another large and very strange speaker came from the pen of the Israeli designer Shmuel Linsky. The columns are made of concrete and each weighs 56 kg. In addition to concrete columns, the designer also produced a concrete coffee machine and a concrete canoe. It’s not entirely clear what is the use of a concrete canoe, but the columns can indeed be used for their intended purpose.
The designer states that by listening to music through this model, a state of nirvana can be achieved. At the top of the speaker is a small loudspeaker, from which a long 96-centimeter channel extends, which ultimately turns into a subwoofer.
The following speakers, unlike the previous ones, are much more compact and do not take up so much space, therefore they can fit on a bookshelf, TV cabinet or in the kitchen. Designed by Joakim Axelsson, Soundragon speakers are made in the shape of a dragon, so that fans of oriental culture will love them. Columns are made by hand in Sweden from polyethylene resin.
The following speakers from the titans of the audio industry, Bowers and Wilkins, are distinguished by their controversial designs. The top-of-the-line Nautilus audio system is shaped like a clam shell. The speaker material is carbon fiber-reinforced plastic.
The same plastic is used to make Formula 1 cars. After five years of research and experimentation with the shape of the speakers, the engineers have achieved the sound they were striving for. The price for such speakers is exorbitant – $ 90,000, but according to B&W engineers, you will not find better sound.
And again, pun time. Woofer is 2 columns that look like dogs [«woof» с английского переводится как «гавкать, рычать», а «woofer» – как «громкоговоритель» – прим. ред.]… “Audiops” are made of plastic and cost about $ 1000. In this case, it is difficult to talk about the sound quality, because there is nothing outstanding here, however, if you decide to purchase this “miracle”, then, let’s say, you will have two new best friends.
And for those who are allergic to animals, but want to make a couple of new friends, we recommend paying attention to Munny Speakers. The speakers are embedded in vinyl dolls. A distinctive feature of these particular speakers is the creative approach to their creation. You can “upgrade” them yourself. There are a lot of models of these dolls – they are all different colors, and sometimes with additional accessories: handles, caps, etc.
For those who cannot live without Apple technology and do not part with headphones from their iPod for a second, a more serious gadget may come up. These are all the same headphones, only enlarged several times and turned into bookshelf speakers. Nothing fancy other than size – unless there is a safety manual that advises “don’t try to put these headphones in your ear.”
Movie buffs and fans of the Star Wars saga will love the Star Wars TIE Fighter columns, shaped like two space fighters. And if the subwoofer was made in the form of a Death Star, then it would gracefully emphasize the style of the entire audio system.
The concept of compact and simple speakers was presented by Polish designers Witek Stefaniak and Anielka Zhdanovich. In addition to the fact that the speakers can perform their main function – to reproduce sound, they can store books or discs. Quite an interesting solution that combines compactness and functionality.
I would also like to note the Lewis Hyman speakers, which will become a good decor element. Lewis Hyman is a speaker shelf that is compatible with any Bluetooth-enabled device. The bookshelf will now be able to read books to you on its own.
Those who love compactness and unobtrusive design will love the speakers from JBL – Control Now. Each column represents a quarter of a circle. If desired, they can be connected in pairs, or even close the circle and make the column a tabletop.
Thanks to its ergonomics, the column easily fits into the space of the room – it can be fixed between two walls, between the wall and the ceiling, or placed on a shelf. Such a column costs $ 250, and for $ 280 you can buy a “street” version.
But the speakers from the “Stone Age”: AWR-650-SM can and should be used on the street. They will fit well into any garden, because in their structure they very much resemble natural stone. The speakers are weather resistant, so rain is not a hindrance to them.
If it is not possible to use the speakers in the garden, but you really want to contemplate the plants, you should try the modular JVC Sound Garden speakers. The speaker concept was developed by Japanese designers and presented at Tokyo Design Week.
The speakers themselves are made of eco-plastic and can be connected together to form a whole system. At the top of each “module” is a small pot where you can plant bonsai or other small plants.
In conclusion, it is worth saying: of course, this collection of columns – from fantastically expensive to simply amusing – is intended, first of all, to amuse our readers. Still, for most music lovers, speakers are part of a living ecosystem that is designed to fit into a variety of interiors.
That is why, when creating Arslab equipment, for example, engineers adhere to the classic approach to designing offices. And when developing Penaudio speakers (also of classical forms), they pay attention not only to the external structure, but also to the tactile sensations that arise when touching the speaker: we will talk about this and much more in one of the next episodes of the “Sound” podcast.