Speakers for designers are like pizza toppings for regular people, you can never stop with the combinations and you have to keep innovating to find THE one. And on that note I’ll say the Seda speaker is climbing the top speaker charts very rapidly, I mean it has already won the Silver A’Design Award Winner 2020 while being a finalist in the Azerbaijan Design Award 2020 and getting an honorable mention in Design that Educates Awards 2019. Overachiever but we love that in design!
Portable speakers don’t usually have intriguing aesthetics, so Seda was created with the intention of blending both visuals and technology to make it stand out. Its physical form radiates a zen feeling while also having a multifunctional appeal. Seda isn’t just smart, it was made to be intelligent. Seda has a pen holder in the center which also acts as a small space organizer. It features an embedded light bar in its external body which works as a desk light and it also has a dim ambient light – to be honest, this speaker is more lit than the playlist I made for it. It almost looks like an accent interior piece for your home than a portable speaker.
It can be connected via the USB port and Bluetooth, so you can leave it out instead of putting it away in a drawer with a bag of chords (never know which one of those belongs to the speaker!). The media player control panel embedded in Seda’s body makes it compatible with multiple devices so you can connect more than just your phone via Bluetooth. If holiday season isn’t canceled this year, I am putting Seda on my wishlist!
Designer: Arvin Maleki
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It stands to reason that if you pull inspiration from literally one of the most mysteriously awe-striking and beautiful phenomena in our universe, you’ll have a product that will echo those very same characteristics. Behold the Black Hole Speaker… designed to attract your attention the way a black hole attracts all mass. Based on the design of the Harman Kardon Aura, with a few tweaks and changes to give it intergalactic appeal, the Black Hole sports a warped torus design, with a hyperbolic base, and quite literally a black hole at the very center of the torus.
The Black Hole speaker comes with a speckled design on its black base that resembles stars being pulled into the void, along with a concentric ripple texture that is symbolic of a black hole’s ability to create ripples in time and space. It’s all incredibly symbolic!
The speaker runs on Bluetooth (because there are no wires in outer space), and if you dare to approach it, there’s a control panel around its event horizon. The only thing missing? A Stephen Hawking or Carl Sagan-style voice assistant!
The Black Hole Speaker is a winner of the A’ Design Award for the year 2020
Designer: Arvin Maleki
There’s a slight sense of dissonance when you’re talking to a cylinder with LEDs around it, and it talks back. The Echo, the Nest Home, the Apple Homepod, all have a slightly homogenous shape that looks like a gadget, but behaves like a human. The Yandex Station hopes to make a slight alteration to that dissonance. Shaped to look like a Matryoshka doll (you know those Russian nesting dolls), the Yandex Station looks like a speaker, but bridges the gap by anthropomorphized it and ‘feeling’ almost like a human.
Designed by Belarus-based Kiryl Miahkou, the smart speaker for Yandex has an instantly friendly demeanor to it, with not so much as a sharp edge to be seen anywhere. The rounded forms, almost human proportions, and the presence of a touchscreen interface exactly where you’d expect the face to be, everything contributes to the Yandex Station’s ability to appear affable. The speaker comes with a wraparound fabric clad, like most speakers, sporting classic decor-friendly hues, while a touchscreen interface on the top lets you navigate through the speaker’s features… or you could just talk to Yandex’s voice AI, knowing that you ARE speaking to an artificial human, but at least the speaker’s design is trying to bridge that gap and humanize the speaker instead of blindly opting for a sleek tech-y exterior.
Designer: Kiryl Miahkou