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above: The Muon Speakers by Ross Lovegrove for KEF
When I grew up, in the seventies, you basically had few choices when it came to speakers. The average consumer deliberated between JBL or Kenwood while the audiophile went for Cambridge Soundworks, Harman Kardon or Bang & Olufsen. Besides wattage output, your biggest deciding factor was whether or not you wanted wood paneled speakers or all black.
Well, boy has that changed. Speakers are no longer even called "speakers". Now they are 'loudspeakers' or 'sound systems' or even referred to as 'audio output devices.' Made from stainless steel, glass, acrylic, ceramic and more, speakers of every shape and size are popping up. Whether they are floor standing, shelf-sitting, or wall mounted, there's no shortage of unusual designs from which to choose.
Technologically, they are far superior than decades ago. And rather than bog down this blog with technical specs, let me simply share with you some of the designs. Some beautiful, some ....butt ugly. And give you links to the manufacturers so you can drool over the details on your own time.
Let's start with one of the most blogged about speakers (myself included) that were an expected hit at this year's CES.
above: The KEF Muon speakers by Ross Lovegrove; Read all about them here.
Loiminchay (a company known for making high end writing instruments- aka 'pens') Audio has emerged with new line of wood high end audio speakers, named after famous painters:
See more here.
Also unveiled at this years' CES (Consumer Electronics Show), Davone Audio's Rithm Speakers:
above: The new Rithm Loudpeakers, clearly influenced by classic danish design, in various woods.
Learn more about them here: Davone audio.
I just love Ferguson-Hill's Horn loudspeaker and bass unit:
See their range of products here.
Goldman's Logos Speaker System have the ultra hi-tech look:
above: Goldmund's Logos range :the Logos1 monitor and the Logos2 active subwoofer.
Cabasse's Baltic Evoltion speakers come in either pearl and wenge wood or wild cherry wood with black pearl:
See Cabasse's full line of products here.
Duevel's planet series below- also available in many colors- has received plenty of press:
above: See the full line of Duevel products here.
The new Klipsch Palladium P-39F Floorstander:
See more Klipsch speakers here.
The Nucleus® Reference AV Loudspeaker from Anthony Gallo Acoustics:
above: available in black, white, stainless or grey
Visit Anthony Gallo Acoustics here.
Waterfall Audio makes stunning glass speakers in many shapes and sizes:
See the above model and more glass speakers here.
Avantgarde Acoustic´s horn loudspeaker systems:
Check them all out here: Avante Garde Accoustic
above: Just some of the various speakers by German Physiks
The Purity- a hybrid electrostatic loudpeaker from Martin Logan:
above: Martin Logan's Purity loudpeaker in cherry.
Gepetto (A hungarian design firm) has just released their new AiR1, a state of the art high end electrostatic loudspeaker:
Read about it here.
Verity Audio has clean modern looking systems in either natural woods or color:
See more finishes and styles of Verity Audio speakers here.
Bang + Olufsens' beo 9:
Available in four colors, see them all here.
Everything But the Box has their Terra loudspeakers that can be custom colored:
See them all here.
The Talon Firebird, manufactured by Rives Audio:
See Talon Speakers here.
And now...some of the biggest, boldest and, well.... butt-ugliest speakers out there:
The G1 Giya Loudspeakers:
above: Vivid Audio's huge and heinous G1 GIYA speakers
Another large and odd entry into the market is Bowers & Wilkins Nautilus Speakers:
Read more about The B&W Nautilus here
Acapella Audio Art of Germany makes some of the BIGGEST Speakers:
above left: the Campanile Speakers; above right: Triolon Excaliber
See more at Acapella.
I really could go on and on, but the aformentioned show a good variation in style, price and design.
Okay audiophiles, I know there are many more high-end audio manufacturers than listed below, but it's a start. Go nuts and click away: