This portable speaker lamp tries to create a mellow mood wherever you go

At a time when lights and sounds have become sources of distraction and overwhelm, this mood lamp and speaker in one sets the tone for a more peaceful atmosphere.

There is no shortage of smart speakers and smart lamps in the market today. You might even see a few that combine both functions in one body. This fusion of technologies to create a single multi-functional product can help save up on space and money, but sometimes the combination creates disharmony instead. Our senses are already inundated by the sights and sounds of modern life, including those coming from these smart appliances. Fortunately, there are designers and products that were made to go against the trend, like this beautiful Nordic-inspired lamp and speaker combo that tries to spread feelings of calm and peace instead.

Designer: WELLE

Click Here to Buy Now: $88. Hurry, only 470/500 left!

Everything about the WELLE portable lamp speaker (W201T) was envisioned and designed to convey a sense of harmony and mellowness. That character goes beyond the obvious appearance of the product, which clearly takes its cues from the minimalist movement as well as Nordic design languages. The absence of extraneous visual elements, out-of-place lines, and distracting colors help make the WELLE speaker lamp look more pleasing to the eyes. The very form of the device, a cone for the speaker with a disc on top for the LED lamp, is designed to draw your attention to the lamp and its mellowing light.

Even the colors chosen for the speaker lamp aren’t your regular hues. They’re meant to remind people of more calming and subdued tones, like the lushness of Forest Green, the warmth of Brick Red, the mellowness of Moonlight Yellow, and the neutrality of Modern Gray. The speaker area of the lamp uses eco-friendly premium textile from the famed Kvadrat, so your mind can also be at ease that the materials used here aren’t harming the environment.

Despite the almost laid-back appearance of the WELLE W201T, it hides a powerful speaker that lets you enjoy your tunes, be it a relaxing classical or a heart-thumping EDM. A down-firing woofer pushes low tones and bass down to the surface, making it bounce back to create a fuller soundstage. Two twitter units on each side of the cone produce a 360-degree surround sound experience. The speaker utilizes high-end audio components from Waversa System, which not only tuned the device for room surround sound but also lent its patented noise isolation technology to weed out static noise from your music.

Lightweight at 660g despite the 12-hour 2,000 mAh rechargeable battery inside, the WELLE portable speaker lamp lets you set up your preferred mood any time, anywhere. The folding handle makes it easy to carry the lamp around or hang it from a hook while still keeping its compact form when not in use. A beautiful piece of technology that looks great, whether on a table or hanging from a tree branch, WELLE lets you create your own oasis of peace and calm in the middle of the disruptions of the world around us.

Click Here to Buy Now: $88. Hurry, only 470/500 left!

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The Sonos Ray is one affordable yet powerful soundbar for your TV

Sonos has always been a known maker of premium quality audio devices. However, they are never that affordable as prices are always in the higher range.

Not many people noticed, but the company actually increased the prices of their products last year. That is understandable because the consumer market is still struggling. Items under $200 are not that cheap but somewhat affordable for most people.

Designer: Sonos

The latest product from Sonos, the Ray Speaker, can be had for $279. That’s already a reasonable price, but it has yet to be available in the market this coming June 7. The Sonos Ray Soundbar offers an improved audio experience from the usual built-in TV speakers. In addition, it can be wireless with WiFi connectivity which means you can stream your favorite songs or podcast episodes from different streaming media apps.

Thanks to the multi-room playback features, the Sonos Ray can also work with other Sonos speakers. Such a setup may be better and offer a fuller surround sound experience. The soundbar also works with Spotify Connect and AirPlay 2, and many other related apps. It’s wireless, but you can use it with a cable.

The Sonos Ray soundbar lets you upgrade your music, TV, and gaming experiences with more solid bass and crisper dialogue. Expect a more balanced sound and flexibility, especially if you want a multiroom or surround sound system.

Sonos says this small standalone soundbar is ready to blow your mind away. It is prepared to deliver a more robust and clearer sound than ever before possible. It’s stereo sound only, but the custom acoustics allow high and mid-range frequencies to harmonize. A proprietary anti-distortion technology produces perfectly weighted bass.

The soundbar is ideal for your TV as it ables you to enjoy surround audio. It makes you feel like you’re in the center of a scene with the sounds and dialogue going around you. What makes the audio better are the advanced processing and split waveguides projecting sound from wall to wall.

The Sonos Ray Soundbar is sleek and slim, so it can be hidden if you don’t want to see any clutter. Not that it’s an eyesore, but you can keep things neat and clean, especially with electronics that tend to look cluttered with the wires. This thing works with a compatible app and can efficiently work with most TVs and PCs when you want to elevate your gaming experience.

How can Sonos keep the price down if the features are almost premium? Well, it offers less audio bandwidth because it uses optical audio instead of HDMI. The latter is available in Sonos Arc and Sonos Beam that’s why they are more expensive. It only features Dolby Digital, DTS Digital Surround, and Stereo PCM. They are already good enough but not Dolby Atmos level. There is no microphone so you can’t “talk” to Google or Alexa.

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Marshall Willen brings an ultra-compact Bluetooth speaker to the party

Probably better known for its guitar amps, Marshall has joined the Bluetooth speaker party in the earlier parts of the decade, bringing its signature design language to homes and on the road. Although it has quite a number of these audio devices under the heading of “portable,” Only the Emberton (both generations) can really lay claim to that title, at least until now. Joining the growing number of ultra-compact wireless speakers in the market, Marshall is announcing the newest member of its family that comes in an even more convenient package that belies not only its durability but also its more sustainable origins.

Designer: Marshall

Marshall’s amps are famous for the crisp and smooth quality they produce, and some of that has rubbed off on its speakers. Not everyone, however, might be in the market for something big and bulky, even for a more portable Emberton II. That’s why the brand is now trying its hand at something even more compact that’s also built to withstand the sometimes rough lifestyle of younger crowds.

This small block crams a 2-inch 10W full-range driver and two passive radiators inside a stylish package that bears Marshall’s signature look of a predominantly black surface overlaid with brass accents, including the brand’s name. There’s also a Cream colorway coming that offers a lighter hue on all sides except the back.

In addition to looking more handsome than a typical Bluetooth speaker, the Willen also has an interesting story to tell about where it comes from. Its rugged body is advertised to be PVC-free, and 60% of the plastics that it does use are made from recycled post-consumer electronics. It’s a smart way to introduce younger people to more sustainable products, proving that they don’t need to compromise on quality and performance for something that is also friendlier to the environment.

That PVC-free body brings an IP67 rating to the Marshall Willen, which simply means it’s going to survive an accidental splash in the pool during your party. The rubber strap on its back makes it easy to carry the speaker around, but it also allows you to fix it on a pole or bar. Given its rather flat edges, the Willen can be propped up on its own or laid flat on any surface, freeing its users from having to worry about where to best place the speaker.

As a Bluetooth speaker, the Willen has a variety of features that can be unlocked with a smartphone. In addition to the typical support for streaming content from a mobile device, it is also possible to take hands-free calls thanks to its built-in mic. And just in time for its launch, Marshall also announced a new Stack Mode that lets owners increase the intensity and range of the Willen by wirelessly connecting it with other Willen speakers. The Black and Brass Willen will arrive on June 2 with a price tag of $120, unsurprising for a speaker from this marque. The Cream variant, however, is still promised to come sometime in Fall.

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Spotify Jukebox boasting a curved display brings house parties to your desk

Spotify has a user base of more than 406 million active users with 180 million subscribers in 184 markets. There’s a reason for the popularity of the music streaming service that other platforms have not achieved yet. The on-point algorithm for suggested music and playlists, user interface and most of all the Spotify Connect feature. The ability to play music and switch from one device to the other seamlessly (without a convoluted Bluetooth connection) is one thing I personally love about Spotify thanks to the Connect function.

While Spotify rules the roost in the audio streaming service market, there’s a compelling reason for the Stockholm-based giant to foray into its own tangible product. A jukebox or a compact audio player is a custom fit for the Spotify interface. Match that with the sublime audio quality – preferably with spatial audio software – and there’s going to be a further increase in the subscriber base in the coming years.

Designer: Design met Pit

This cool jukebox concept dubbed the Spotify Jukebox (or as I like to call it – the Juketify) carries the familiar theme of the audio streaming service’s branding. The light green and black color to be precise. To pep-up things, there is optional light green and off-white color theme as well. The gadget has a modern infusion of the curved display element and the classic radio vibe in the form of the knobs and buttons on top.

The user interface on the Spotify Jukebox is focused on the artist’s album art and the playlist songs. The lyrics appear on the major portion of the screen, so you can sing the song along to satiate your karaoke cravings every now and then. The play/pause, shuffle and battery level indicators allow the user to quickly toggle the options or glance over at the estimated playback time.

The large screen and the round volume button are the irresistible bits of this concept gadget. And yes, of course, it comes with the Connect feature to play from any connected device in a jiffy without any fuzz. I would definitely want to keep it on my work desk, and get that satisfying feeling of working as it plays Lo-Fi playlists with those nostalgic album arts putting me in the zone!

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Spark Mini Amp Review: A Tiny But Mighty Practice Amp + Bluetooth Speaker

Musicians looking for a practice amp might want to check out Positive Grid’s Spark Mini. It’s a compact guitar amp that doubles as a Bluetooth speaker. Honest to god, this is one of my favorite things ever. It’s loud, light, and portable. I never thought I needed it so badly.

I first thought this little thing might just be a novelty, like a bootleg amp. I was surprised to see and hear it’s a genuine amp. It’s got the knobs and everything. The Spark Mini packs a 10-watt Class-D amplifier, a pair of angled speakers for stereo sound, and a passive radiator for punchy bass. Its case is made from premium materials which offer excellent acoustic properties.

This thing runs on a USB-rechargeable battery so that you can use it anywhere, and it’ll run for up to 8 hours on a charge. In addition to a 1/4″ guitar input, the Spark Mini has a 3.5mm auxiliary input and a 3.5mm headset/line out jack for private jam sessions or recording with its built-in effects applied.

The accompanying mobile app is basically a virtual pedalboard that gives you tons of control over effects. There are a lot of presets, including user-generated ones. It’s incredible and one of my favorite things about the Spark Mini.

As a Bluetooth speaker, it offers good bass and is nice and loud. If you bring this to a party, you’ll be heard. I also like how you can play your Bluetooth songs while playing your instrument, making it very convenient for practice.

One thing that holds the Spark Mini back a little is the tuner. It’s hard to read, and I can’t tell if I tuned my bass correctly. The amp is incredible nonetheless. If I had to rate the Spark Mini on a scale from 1 to 10, it would be a solid 8. I’d definitely recommend this to anyone who doesn’t have a pedalboard or for anyone looking for a high-quality Bluetooth speaker.

Due out in May, the first batch of Spark Minis has already sold out, but if you order now, you can still get one in June or July, with the June batch selling for $195 and the July batch for $199. Those are more than 10% off the $229 MSRP and include a free crimson grille you can swap out.

La Boite Concept showcases high-fidelity turntable and loudspeaker at M&O 2022

When it comes to timeless audio accessories like loudspeakers and hybrid turntables, La Boite Concept knows how to please the end-user. Their two latest handcrafted creations spotted at the M&O 2022 event are proof of that fact.

Home audio and eye-pleasing aesthetics go hand in hand – ask all the designers out there who are chasing that perfect-looking audio accessory for modern homes without compromising on the acoustic performance. French audio brand La Boite Concept has sustained this pursuit for high fidelity audio with their 80 years of persistent know-how of acoustics, and their ergonomic turntable and loudspeaker showcased at the Maison & Objet is a living example. Thankfully we got the chance to explore the LX X turntable and PR/01 loudspeaker at the event.

Designer: La Boite Concept

LX X turntable

First up the LX X turntable shaped like a secretary desk is tailored for musical bliss from vinyl, Bluetooth or other digital and analog inputs. The audio-cum-furniture accessory doesn’t have any visible cables thanks to the hatch which conceals them from out of sight. This high-performance audio system having the Wide Sound 3.0 tech comes with or without the built-in turntable option, but I’ll take the vinyl playing one, any day!

Apart from the sublime audio, the turntable boasts a very bold woodwork on the emblematic X-shaped cabinet designed by the brand’s reliable local partners and designer Samuel Accoceberry’s blueprints. Attention to detail in every aspect defines this beautiful piece of audio equipment which is no less than a true piece of contemporary furniture.

PR/01 Loudspeaker

The other one spotted at the event in Paris is PR/01 compact loudspeaker for pure audiophiles who can’t go even a day without listening to their favorite tunes. This elegantly designed speaker produces very clear and thumping low frequencies that is a testament to the design prowess of the brand. This loudspeaker is a result of seven years of R&D, resulting in a patented Active Pression Reflex technology that’s capable of producing high fidelity audio in such a compact package.

To put it very simply, the PR/01 is a speaker, charging station and multimedia hub all packed into one. La Boite Concept claims that the materials used in the making of this elegant loudspeaker give it the confidence to last a lifetime of use. Definitely, the audio accessory is ideal for modern homes, whether you sport it on your bedroom cabinet or on your living room shelves.

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This alien-like speaker concept is perfect for your PC gaming rig

PC gamers give the design of their desktops, keyboards, and mice a lot of attention, so there’s really no reason why their speakers should look out of place on a dark and futuristic-looking desk setup.

The stereotype of a gamer, specifically a PC gamer, involves a person who hides inside the darkness of their room with only the monitor as the source of light. Other than promoting a lifestyle that will be harmful to the eyes, this stereotype actually leaves out one crucial aspect of the PC gaming lifestyle. Gamers actually love lights, especially the RGB lights that shine from their towers and accessories. That’s the reason why this Bluetooth speaker concept was created, designed to be a bragging point on your desk even when it’s not in use.

Designer: Jashojit Sengupta

Most commercial Bluetooth speakers today are designed to fit living spaces, looking more like pieces of furniture or decorations rather than audio devices. PC speakers, on the other hand, tend to look more utilitarian and industrial, designed to be heard but rarely seen. PC games don’t have it easy when it comes to choices in this regard because while their desktop towers and peripherals glow in different colors, their speakers often remain ironically silent in terms of visual pizzazz.

That doesn’t have to be the case, though, and the APEX speaker concept shows what could be if only someone had the audacity, no pun intended, to turn it into an actual product. The speaker incorporates various visual elements that are often associated with gamers, like RGB lighting and funky forms. The result is a speaker design that is out of this world, almost literally.

Named after the popular game “Apex Legends,” the speaker’s triangular shape immediately sets it apart from other speakers. It looks like a cross between an alien ship and a futuristic structure, images that fit perfectly with gaming titles and motifs. The RGB lighting definitely helps in giving it an otherworldly glow, but the nod to gaming doesn’t end there.

The minimalist control buttons on the front are embossed to give tactile feedback to fingers, similar to the way most buttons on gaming peripherals are designed. The control panel itself has its own lighting that matches the volume level of the speaker. This makes the lighting not just decorative but also informative.

Granted, speakers are designed to maximize audio output, and there might be some compromises in that department with an unconventional design such as this. Then again, we’ve seen our fair share of wacky speakers that actually sound great, so it might just be a matter of innovative technology or structure to actually pull off this futuristic-looking speaker.

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This smart speaker concept takes you to the moon with its visual and tactile tricks

Most smart speakers are designed to blend into your room’s decor, but this concept stands out from the crowd to give even your fingers a treat.

In order to make people more comfortable with smart speakers, manufacturers designed them to look more like regular living room artifacts. Their appearances blended well into whatever motif you might have going on, especially if those leaned more towards the minimalist side. Their fabric-covered bodies also easily reminded one of upholstery, which helped complement their place in the living space.

Designer: Arshad Asaaf

In order to minimize the visual clutter that typical physical controls would have on such a minimalist speaker, many brands opted to use nearly invisible touch controls or at least inconspicuous buttons on the surface of the speaker. This design has become commonplace and even mundane to the point of being almost boring. They also took for granted one of the most important senses of the human body, the sense of touch.

This smart speaker concept injects an element of fantasy into the device to make it not only more interesting but also more approachable. Named after the Portuguese word for “moon,” the LUA speaker immediately catches your attention with its less than minimal design. The bottom half represents the dark side of the moon and is covered with the typical fabric that signifies where the sound comes out. And just like the “bright” side of the moon that’s always visible, the upper half is where the indicators and controls are.

The LUA smart speaker isn’t a perfectly spherical form, though, with both top and bottom edges chopped to be flat. The top surface is actually made of a soft material covered with fabric, and this is where your finger will do the talking. Envisioned as a pressure-sensitive area, the controls don’t require that you accurately press a specific area to trigger an action. You can press or swipe anywhere and press soft or hard, and the computer brains inside will interpret whether you want to turn the volume up or are trying to skip to the next track.

The flat bottom of the speaker is where it connects with the wireless charging station that also doubles as a levitation platform for LUA. The idea is that the strong magnets in the base and in the bottom of the speaker activate to repel each other once the speaker is fully charged. This gives LUA an almost magical character that clearly fits its name.

What’s interesting about this concept is that almost all the technologies it references already exist, from pressure-sensitive fabric to levitating speakers. It probably just needs someone to actually take that idea and transform it into a product that will undoubtedly earn fans thanks to its novel approach to the smart speaker user experience.

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This wireless speaker uses acousto-optic modulation to double as a light show

Incloud is a smart, wireless speaker design with an integrated light fixture for acousto-optic modulation.

Depending on how you consume music, your speaker defines the listening experience. The speaker you bring to the beach will change in sound and appearance from the speaker you use for at-home listening. While durability is the main focus of the former, quality acoustics make the most of home speaker systems.

Designer: Zhipeng Huang

Designing a wireless speaker for the home environment, Zhipeng Huang conceptualized Incloud. Defined by its cylindrical shape and open center, Incloud is a smart speaker that doubles as a lamp, which users can program to coincide with their nightly routines and sleep schedules.

Inspired by the shape that a sheet of dough makes when draped around a rolling pin, Incloud keeps a cylindrical silhouette while maintaining an open center. Located in the center cavity, Huang equipped Incloud with an acousto-optics modulator that syncs the speaker’s soundwaves with its integrated light fixture. This intersection is what puts Incloud’s speaker design above current models.

The round shape of Incloud lends to an easily portable device that can cling onto any edge with its open center. While the overall structure of Incloud maintains a minimalist appeal, the speaker’s simplistic build gives way to intuitive usability.

The device’s central light piece immediately suggests its proper configuration, signaling to users that the speaker is located on the device’s outer shell. On one end of Incloud, users can find a simple control interface that hosts the volume and light dials.

Huang also developed an app to pair with Incloud for users to control the light’s strength as well as its projected color. From the same app, users can even program their sleep schedules so that Incloud will incrementally dim every hour, on the hour as bedtime grows closer.

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LG continues to deliver sustainability innovations like these eco-minded soundbars

LG 2022 Soundbar Sustainable Design

LG has always been known to make excellent products. Not every released gadget or appliance sell by the millions, but the South Korean tech company continues to deliver value for the customers. It is living its promise to a shared responsibility to provide minimal impact to the planet by introducing “greener” efforts.

Still following the “Life’s Good when it’s green” motto, LG Electronics has shared additional attempts for a more sustainable future. LG explains how the soundbar lifecycle is made greener. A lot of consumers have become more conscious when it comes to shopping. Some people support brands that deliver sustainability in several ways, from product development to packaging and customer service.

Designer: LG Electronics

LG 2022 Soundbar ENERGY STAR Certification

LG has been introducing more environmentally responsible executions. The latest lineup that perfectly shows the brand’s efforts is the line of soundbars, as every development stage is greener. LG says that the product lifecycle of soundbars is more environment-friendly. It starts with choosing the materials, as most are recyclable or have been reused, to actual production that emits less carbon footprint. The soundbars are also designed to use as little power as possible and are packed in eco-friendly boxes.

LG 2022 Soundbar ENERGY STAR

The fabric of the new LG soundbars is made from recycled plastic bottles. It’s called Polyester Jersey, which is the same material commonly used for athletic apparel. Those soundbars released last year came with a durable casing. As per LG, it uses about 1.5 million 500mm PET bottles each year to develop the said fabric. You call this repurposing, as old products are being repurposed and given a new lease in life. LG will continue to do this as it commits to becoming more sustainable than ever.

The products themselves are also green and environment-friendly. Energy efficiency is the name of the game, and it is demonstrated by the ENERGY STAR certification of LG soundbars. The models that will be released this 2022 will be power-efficient, so expect to see the Energy Star logo on more future products from LG.

LG Soundbars Eco-minded Design

Another proof that LG is serious with sustainability is that the LG 2021 soundbars got the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Product Champion Award. It is a significant award because it only recognizes brands that demonstrate social, economic, and environmental impact according to the Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Electronics Challenge requirements by the EPA.

Products from last year are already sustainable enough, but the new 2022 LG Soundbar lineup will be better. The soundbars will offer top-notch quality audio services and materials passing the Global Recycled Standard (GRS. Sustainable innovations are not just trends, they are the future, and LG Electronics is at the helm. The company has pledged to protect the environment, and we can witness more of that in future product releases like soundbars, ovens, washing machines, TVs, and other consumer electronics.

LG 2022 Soundbar Packaging

LG 2022 Soundbar ENERGY STAR Certification Eco Product

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