Qualcomm’s new chips power ‘smarter’ AI-connected speakers

Smart speakers still have a lot of room for improvement. How often have you had to shout a command over your music, or had to endure mediocre sound for the convenience of using your voice? Qualcomm believes it can do better. It's unveiling chips t...

Spotify Family plan subscribers in the UK can get a free Google Home Mini

Last year, Spotify gave away a free Google Home Mini speaker to US users, and this year, it's bringing that offer to the UK. Starting today, both new and existing Premium for Family Plan subscribers can sign up to get a free device -- normally priced...

Sonos One speaker now packs more powerful internals

How do you improve the Sonos One speaker when there aren't too many qualms about the basic design? If you ask Sonos, it's all about future-proofing. The company is rolling out a Gen 2 version of the One that shares the same design, but includes Blu...

Ultimate Ears’ custom-designed Boom 3 speakers match your style

Ultimate Ears' Boom speakers have usually been colorful, but there's been a catch: you've always had to pick from whatever designs UE offered, which didn't help if you thought the company's choices were too gauche. Thankfully, UE has a simple soluti...

Speakers that let you design your own surround sound

The Museg is a pretty neat looking guitar-pick-shaped speaker. Unlike most speakers that are either squarish, cylindrical, or circular, the Museg’s use of a triangular form feels slightly unusual, but makes it deservingly eye-catching.

However, it isn’t Museg’s shape that’s worth lauding, it’s its ability to use its shape along with modularity to be portable when you want it, and an immersive music setup when you need. When used individually, the Museg is a slim speaker that’s great to use solo. It throws audio in a 120° wide cone, making it ideal for carrying around with you. However, snap two speakers together and you’ve got a synced audio unit that fits well in corners, throwing sound in a conveniently wide 240° cone. The Museg, in its dual-setup works great when placed against a wall, like on a cabinet/mantelpiece. If you want the Museg to be placed in the center of a room, pair three of them together to get an immersive 360° experience. The Museg’s ability to be used in a single, dual, and triple setup means it can be used as a personal audio device, or a space-specific audio device too. The units conveniently pair when near each other, and the logo on the upper part of the speaker grille even has a pretty intuitive way of letting you know when two or more speakers have synced together. Pretty nifty, no?

Designer: Jake Naish

This colorful, marbled speaker is made from non-recyclable plastic waste

While plastic waste, to a certain degree, can be recycled, it’s just a small percentage of the total waste out there. Certain polymers grow past their ability to be recycled because of additives, impurities, stickers, prints, etc. and this is the plastic that causes the biggest problem because it just can’t be recycled.

Brighton-based design studio Gomi is trying to be a part of the solution. The Gomi speaker, designed by the studio, uses these unrecyclable plastics as its primary raw material, turning as many as a 100 plastic bags into a blockish speaker that churns out music and looks spectacular while doing so. The speaker’s block comprises three separate parts or modules that can be easily separated and melted down to form new parts when imperfectly formed or when discarded. Its simple blockish shape enables this, and also forms a brilliant canvas for the beautiful marbled effect of the colored plastics that interact with each other. Gomi’s raw materials and hand-crafted marbling ensure that no two speakers look the same, making them bespoke and one-of-a-kind.

Designed to be a great speaker too, Gomi partnered with electronic engineers and audio professionals to hone the sound of the speaker, and even used recycled denim for acoustic insulation! Plus, in a bid to make sure that the Gomi lives up to its purpose of being a speaker that champions a cradle-to-cradle approach, the company is even offering free repairs for their products and devising a system where customers can return products to be recycled.

Designer: Tom Meades (Gomi)

An Undeniably Scandinavian-Inspired Speaker

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This speaker has a strong essence of Scandinavian design about it… and that much is indisputable! The Scandinavian Philosophy prides itself on flowing, clean lines, harmony with the surrounds, and above all, functional simplicity…. This is all present within the design of this perfectly balanced speaker.

By being elevated from the base plate it creates more of a presence as well as adding a sense of suspense to the product. The internals are housed within the main body of the product, and are concealed behind the grey, fabric mesh that breaks up the design. The matte-white finish of the body is intercepted by wooden inserts; a design feature that is synonymous of iconic Scandinavian design.

Due to Bluetooth connectivity, the interface and controls have been kept to a minimum, with just a wooden volume dial present… allowing for a clean aesthetic to be maintained!

Designer: Arthur Bonneaud

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A Different Method of Listening to Music

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Music is a powerful medium, it harnesses the power to alter our emotion, and thus have an impact on our lives. The Sound Project, by Pascal Grangier, offers a new way of interacting with music using color tones.

Colour and emotion are directly linked to one another, from subtle, pastel blues which are associated with calmness and a state of relaxation, through to vibrant reds which symbolize excitement and energy. Protruding out of the top of the speaker is a polycarbonate layer, where the mood and information is elegantly displayed.

The music is controlled via a separate device that resides on the top of the module; by physically moving the device, the music levels alter. This method of interaction not only adds a level of uniqueness, but also immerses the user into the music, allowing for a more complete listening experience.

Designer: Pascal Grangier

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