Co.Design

Wanted: The Libratone Speaker Blends In, Instead Of Just Blasting

Launching in the U.S. next month, Live and Lounge speakers marry Scandinavian design with primo sound technology.

With audio speakers, a good rule of thumb is this: The better they sound, the more ugly and massive they get. (A quick Google image search serves as Exhibit A.) That needn’t be the case, according to Libratone, a Copenhagen-based audio company that produces speakers whose Italian upholstery and Scandinavian minimalism could put the rest of your furniture to shame. What’s more, they’re wireless, able to stream your entire iTunes library directly from Airplay.

In fact, the company claims that its “FullRoom” sound trumps traditional speaker systems, which push sounds waves in one direction--forward--and require two speakers pointed in the middle of the room to create that so-called sweet spot. Libratone’s Live (for music) and Lounge (for TV), however, play like acoustic instruments, dispersing sound waves in multiple directions to give a surround-sound experience. To get tech-geeky: One cabinet contains five units, each driven by a dedicated amplifier and dedicated to dispersing sound in a single direction. The company asserts that even “golden ear” listeners can’t tell the difference between the quality of its wireless audio and that of uncompressed wired systems.

Live and Lounge come in stylish hues of fine wool from Florence and with a price tags to match: $1,299 for gray, black, or beige wool; $1,399 for red or green cashmere. They’re launching at select Apple stores next month.

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