With the smart play being to stay home right now, it’s a great time to pick up some accessories to make your time at home more comfortable. We’ve covered TV accessories before, but what about your audio system?
You could go out and get some boring, normal-looking bookshelf speakers and call it a day, but that would be boring. What you want is a conversation starter, a piece of home decor that also doubles as a capable set of speakers, so your music is a treat for your eyes as well as your ears.
We’ve rounded up some of the best and weirdest speakers out there, but be warned – some of the price tags will make your eyes water. Without further ado, let’s check these out.
If you want your speaker system to look like it’s about to hatch a face-hugger from Aliens, Pantheone Audio has got you covered with the Pantheone I speaker. Its hand-made exterior is inspired by the Pantheon in Rome, with a central oculus that lets light flood through the speaker.
The curved aesthetic isn’t just to birth creatures from another planet though, those unnerving curves also help with “near-perfect acoustics” according to Pantheone. Those acoustics come from internal subwoofers, two Hi-Fi midrange drivers, and four tweeters, to blanket your room in sound. Oh, and it’s Alexa-enabled, so you can buy the most expensive Echo speaker on the planet, and not have to worry about the cheap plastic used on Amazon’s version.
If you really want your speakers to look like they just landed from outer space, the Mars by Crazybaby is the way to go. That’s not a photo editing trick, the Bluetooth speakers really do levitate. Freaking magnets, how do they work. The base unit houses the magnets that keep the saucer in the air, and also double up as a subwoofer for some extra oomph. Oh, and you can chain two together for stereo sound. I’ve got one of these and watching the speaker fly up into the air never gets old. There’s also a few lighting effects for full “whoa, did you see that?” feels.
Edifier might be better known for their normal looking speakers, but the out-of-this-world curves of the e25HD are sure to impress. These mini-eggs fill your room with bass, from 3-inch woofers and a passive bass radiator in that rear split. They’re packed with connectivity, from Bluetooth 4.0 to optical and aux input, so you can use them with all your devices. Oh, and get the separately sold stands as well, to make them look like they’re going faster than light.
Okay before we dive into the oddness of the PNOE, just know that a set of these bad boys will dent your wallet to the tune of 68,000 € (that’s $80k). I hope you were sitting comfortably. That’s before you invest in the amplifiers needed to drive these mammoth horns, which wouldn’t be out of place on a giant’s bedside table.
What do you actually get for that kind of cash? Well, you get a single-driver speaker like no other. That lengthy horn amplifies the bass response while keeping the sound from interference, which means it’ll sound every bit as good as you’d expect from something that costs as much as a luxury sedan.
Is it a digital candle? Is it a Bluetooth speaker? Well, it’s kind of both, with Sony’s crazy glass speaker tech that blends a Bluetooth speaker into home decor. Maybe it’s a Transformer in disguise, all we know is that it comes with Spotify Connect, WiFi and Bluetooth, USB-C to recharge the eight-hour battery, and that vibrating “organic glass” tube that creates the sound waves. Sound from this exotic speaker is sent in all 360 degrees, with a detailed presentation that’s full of volume. Oh, and you can chain them together to get stereo sound but at $400 each, that’s going to be out of reach for most.
Need a speaker that can double up as a satellite dish to discover life from beyond our galaxy? Bang & Olufsen has you covered, with the Beoplay A9. Looking like a combination between a satellite dish, a whiteboard and one of those stools that every kindergarten is equipped with, this stylish speaker brings room-filling sound with its seven drivers. You can put it anywhere as it has active room compensation so it tweaks the sound based on its surroundings, you can wall-mount it if you don’t like the tripod legs, and it’s got AirPlay, Chromecast and Bluetooth, as well as WiFi so you don’t need any wires other than the power cord.
Harman Kardon’s Aura Studio 2 looks like it was designed as an incubator for alien eggs, but the sound that it puts off is certainly out of this world. It’s got bias lighting to show off that iconic transparent design, ten hours of battery life from the integrated rechargeable battery, and 360 degree sound due to its design. Bluetooth connectivity from up to two devices rounds up the package, meaning you can have completely wireless sound from this unique speaker.
Bowers & Wilkins wants to drive a wedge between you and your wallet with this Bluetooth speaker, the Formation Wedge. It’s like someone took a 120 degree slice from a cake and turned it into a wireless speaker, and I’m all for it. The company is known for their quality sound, and this Wedge should be no different. It’s got advanced wireless technology for both streaming and setting up multi-room playback, a subwoofer, two mid-range and two tweeters for house-filling sound.
For $4,500 you can have a pair of wooden balls, lovingly crafted in Russia from hundreds of slices of hardwood. They remind me of snail’s eye-stalks, and wouldn’t be out of place on a starship on the way to unexplored frontiers. They’re full of purity and coherence, only let down by the low-end so you’ll want to pair them with a subwoofer to add some oomph. Still, if you’re a fan of the butcher-block look, you’ve found the speakers of your dreams.
There seems to be a theme going on in this round-up of see-through speakers and the FH007’s are no exception. This time they’re crafted from quality acrylic, separating out the driver units to avoid the usual sound interference issues caused by putting drivers into a closed box. That also makes them perfect to reproduce vocals, as the shape of the horns amplifies the sound without distortion. Add the ability to connect to them via Bluetooth, mini-jack or phono, and you’ve got a winning package with galactic levels of sound.
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