To mark the occasion of its 60th birthday, the well known speaker manufacturer Elipson is honoring the landmark models that have shaped its history. The first speaker to gain fame was the famous bs 50, an acronym for its full name Staff Ball, 50 cm diameter. Designed in 1953, the bs 50 was created for the first sound and light shows at the Château de Chambord in France. Its ear allowed for precise sound diffusion. Elipson is reproducing this legendary model in today’s material and it is a perfect illustration of minimal design and high quality sound. I love it.
Copenhagen based audio company Libratone have simply one purpose – to liberate sound. Libratone adopt three factors in their single sound source development approach – wireless technology, hi-fi quality and Scandinavian design. Their aim is to deliver a minimal alternative to the typical cluttered sound system without compromising the audio experience. This approach resulted in the design of the Libratone Lounge. A remarkably elegant sound system, which allows one to stream audio wirelessly from an iPhone or iPod through AirPlay. Clad in Italian cashmere wool, the wall-mountable Lounge is available in a range of colours – grey, black and beige to integrate the sound system with the room, or red and green to draw attention and stand out proudly (depending on your interior colours of course). Consider this wish-listed.
Paul Cocksedge, London designer, moulds discarded vinyl records into a range of amplifiers for smartphones in a project called Change the Record. Made by heating and moulding the plastic disks into a funnel shape, they amplify the sound from a phone placed inside simply through the nature of their shape. The speakers were ‘launched’ this year at a live performance to music during Ron Arad’s Curtain Call installation at the Roundhouse in London, where Cocksedge himself was heating and moulding old LPs and encouraging visitors to bring their own 12” record. A simple, elegant and playful way to amplify sounds from your smartphone and recycle to boot!
Italian product designer Emanuele Cecini has recently completed the concept design of the Wi-Fi stereo and docking station, Woozik. The system consists of a stereo, a remote control and two small speakers, supported by a plywood outer casing with a natural ash finish, which also acts as a stand. Compatible with the Apple iPhone, iPod, and iPad, Woozik can also be used via Wi-Fi or bluetooth connection through one’s computer. Primarily thought for home use, the system can be controlled with the remote, but also through the buttons on the stereo itself. The design of Woozik has a beautiful simplicity to it. There is an Apple-style resemblance, yet it manages to achieve its own identity. Although I can’t vouch for the sound quality, Woozik certainly looks an impressive concept.
Anyone who has ever owned a laptop knows that sound quality is never a strong suit for any portable device. LaCie’s Sound² USB powered speakers are an elegant solution for the ubiquitous cacophony of coarse noise emitting from notebook computers. Best of all, Neil Poulton - the renowned Scottish product designer based in Paris – is the man responsible. While most designers have an idiosyncratic style that is purposefully salient, Poulton specializes in inconspicuous simplicity and minimalism. The design is successful in every aspect of its minimal composition. Poulton was able to create an affordable product without compromising any value. The contrasting elements of the black cover to its white base give the speakers an illusion of airy lightness. I also love how the circular extrusion of the speaker is slightly larger than its base, allowing the speaker to slightly prop up toward the user.
Simple, great material usage and good performance these Ceramic Speakers by Joey Roth are perfect for pairing with an aluminum laptop, iMac, or similarly minimalist turntable. Made from porcelain, wood and cork, Roth chose the materials not only for the aesthetic appeal they add to desktops, but also because porcelain’s density and “acoustical deadness” rivals that of wood or plastic enabling the cone shape. The upshot contrasts the thoroughly contemporary mix of textures and colors with a four-inch silhouette that conjures gramophones of the past. San Francisco based designer Joey Roth blew our collective minds way back in 2007 with his conceptual Felt mouse. We hope to see some more beautiful work from this great designer.
Not minimalist, but I think you’ll enjoy the aesthetics: the Neo Gramphone. At the moment, The Neo Gramophone is just a sculpture. The idea is however to give it a speaker function, so you can hook it up to your computer, or to give it Bluetooth connectivity. The Neo Gramophone is the brainchild of German product design graduate Lars Amhoff, and his partner Christin Krause. The duo operates under the flag of The Substain. Their mottos are Quality over quantity and Art over empty design for the masses. Here’s what they say about the design: The Neo Gramophone is the image, simplicity and feeling of a traditional gramophone transported in the 21st century. I say: make it happen, guys!
This minimalist bluetooth mp3 speaker is designed by Lim Hyun-Taik from Korea, currently living and working in The Netherlands as a creative director and product designer. The Sound Pot is a very nice sculpture, made out of porcelain, and also a nice piece of audio equipment handling the user interaction in a very smart way. You can turn on the music by using the knob and place the speaker on its side. By rolling the speaker gently to one direction or the other you can control the volume. And when you have listened for a while and you want to turn off the music? Just take the knob and turn its face down.
These are the highly exclusive Gramophone speakers: 1.2 metres high, carbon fibre and high gloss black steel loud speakers, designed by Swedish audio company Aesthesis. Aesthesis was founded in 2006, as a reaction against the stereotyped and masculine consumer electronics industry. Instead, they seek to bring more avantgarde and sensual products to the market. The handmade Gramophone was developed together with Ergonomidesign, Eker Design and Carbocomp – the design companies behind Swedish supercar company Koenigsegg. Which may explain the super price tag: $85,000…
It doesn’t do anything more than amplify the sound coming from your player’s earbuds, it won’t produce sound louder than 55 decibels, and it doesn’t work well for electronic music, but what a beauty this is! The Phonofone II is an external speaker for your MP3 player, sprung from the mind of Canadian designer Tristan Zimmermann. And it’s entirely made out of ceramic! Oh mama.