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Thursday, January 10, 2013

How's This For A New Speaker Technology?

Microphone and speaker transducers haven't changed in more than a hundred years. Sure, they've evolved and have become a lot more efficient, but the basic operating principles are the same despite major advances in technology. That's why it's cool whenever anyone decides to think outside the box when it comes to speaker development.

Well you can't really call these JVC Kenwood wireless speakers outside the box exactly, because they are the box. Yep, these wooden boxes produce sound by vibrating the wood.

The problem is that they can't move enough air to produce a lot of low end, and JVC Kenwood knows that. That's the reason why they're tying the speakers to a subscription services that will stream real-time sounds from microphones placed up in the Takayama and Morotsuka mountains, but eventually plans to have choices from around the country. There's not much low frequency content in the sounds of birds and rustling trees, so this seems like a good match.

The boxes are made out of Japanese oak or cyprus by a furniture manufacturer for JVC, so the quality and material should be pretty high. They also plan to sell the speakers in furniture stores, which is a new distribution outlet for consumer electronics.

For wooden boxes, these things certainly aren't cheap, with the 5.35 inch small one selling for about $680 while the 12.2 inch large one will set you back $3,400. And that doesn't include the monthly fee for the subscription service (no word on how much that costs). It's no wonder that the system has only been offered in Japan as of yet. I think they have a deeper appreciating for things that are aesthetically simple than most of the rest of the world, and they're willing to pay for it too.

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2 comments:

Rand Bliss said...

Wondering whether they'll go completely retro and market their own 'organic' smartphone too: you know the one where there's two cans connected with a very long piece of string?

VIOZ said...

Don't alert the trolls: they WILL find those microphones.

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