The Most Beautiful Speakers To Buy This Year
The harmonious relationship between fashion and technology has never been more apparent than in the lofty section of stylish speakers now on the market. Companies like Bang & Olufsen, Sony, Bose and Sonos have greatly finessed the union of form and function in recent years, presenting some of the most beautiful home speakers the industry has ever seen.
With that, however, comes more choice and harder decisions. Which is where we come in. Whether already on the market or forthcoming, we’ve rounded up five of the best and most beautiful speakers to match up with any home design this year.
Sony LSPX-S2 Glass Sound Speaker
With what is surely the most eye-catching form factor in 2019, Sony’s LSPX-S2 ($799) rethinks its predecessor to present a glass sound speaker with some serious bite.
The unique slim organic glass body that defines this Bluetooth speaker actually hides a powerful woofer, plus three evenly spaced actuators which vibrate the glass so the audio travels up the tube and out of the bottom of the speaker, spreading into any space with full 360 degree sound.
The elaborate lamp-like speaker also has 32 levels of brightness and can be toggled to flicker like a candle, playing to its elegant aesthetic which should fit well with any interior design.
Sony is promising 8 hours of battery life on this speaker, as well as the ability to connect up to 10 other compatible Sony audio devices over Wi-Fi for a multi wireless room network.
The LSPX-S2 Glass Sound Speaker will be available from July 2019.
Bang & Olufsen A9
High-end Danish brand Bang & Olufsen have always been known for their elaborate design statements, commanding a high-price that has always been consistently justified with top performance to match.
The A9 ($4,100) is perhaps one of the best examples of B&O’s finessed modern focus on radical minimalism, presenting a large circular device – in bronze, brass, black or white – that houses seven full range drivers all working together to create a staggering wall of sound, grounded with punchy bass.
The speaker can be stood on three wooden legs or mounted to a wall, while the grille itself can be used to swiftly control volume and playback via hand motions.
Bose SoundLink Revolve
For those who want a great looking package of 360-degree sound, there’s few that can match the value of Bose’s metallic SoundLink Revolve ($299), which also has a more powerful big sister in the Revolve Plus ($439).
The cone-shaped omnidirectional speaker takes a fairly simple approach to its function, letting straight forward design perfectly complements its goal of being a dependable, highly durable portable speaker that successfully directs sound in every direction.
There’s a single full-range transducer under the hood, which blasts audio down to the device’s base to a deflector that sifts sound evenly all around the speaker. Two passive radiators sit above the driver which help absorb most vibrations and add bass, leading to a performance that’s no less than stunning given the reasonable price point.
Oh, and the battery life of up to 12 hours (up to 16 on the Revolve Plus) certainly helps.
Far more than its comprehensive collection of voice assistants and streaming services, the elegant Sonos One ($199) is one of the best Wi-Fi speakers on the market.
Although there’s no Bluetooth, few in this price range feature such a clean sound at all levels, plus allow for such a seamless smart home experience with a generous six-microphone array for far-field voice control.
The lower price point also means that it’s a lot easier to build up a full Sonos ecosystem and link these speakers together for better, more immersive sound environments.
Sonos are known for their constant roll out of significant and thoughtful firmware updates, which has so far added more functionality since launch. And it’s that kind of progressive approach that will keep upping the value of this speaker for years to come.
Following their love of minimalist circular designs, Bang & Olufsen and collaborative designer Michael Anastassiades have reached back into the Art Deco movement of the 1920’s, when the company was founded, and pulled out an inspired brief for the powerful Beosound Edge ($4,650).
The attractive disc-like speaker was first released in November of 2018, but has now been reimagined with a brass tone colourway making smart use of polished brass aluminium and what they’re calling Parisian Night Blue fabric.
Though you can place it on the wall, the Beosound Edge is best kept on the ground to take advantage of the novel volume controls, accessed by gently rolling the speaker backwards or forwards.
A showstopping design also features underneath the hood, with two ¾” inch tweeters, two 4” midrange drivers, and a 10” dual coil woofer complemented by six Class D amplifiers. That impressive set up translates to exceptional performance.
(Lead image: Sony Glass Speaker / supplied)
Published 17 June, 2019