For the most part, today’s portable speakers are aping their larger wired predecessors. The aesthetics of a classic amplifier are easily traced in the Jambox, Sonos, or even the Kickstarter success Hidden Radio—the perforations in the gasket, the oft-seen rectangular shape, the dark hues.
These tech specs all serve a function, but they no longer neatly align with the actual source of our music: our iPhones (or Android, or Galaxy, and so on). The Flow Radio and Speaker, designed by Philip Wong for Lexon, is a kickback to the early iPod—which was itself an imitation of the iconic T3 Player App by Dieter Rams.
The lingering influence of Rams—and the pieces he created for Braun—on industrial design is incalculable. We’ve seen a weather app built in his honor, and a radio app that mimes the experience of the T3 interface.
Flow echoes all the Dieter Rams principles by boiling down the most essential elements of the speaker into a clear box with white trimmings. The radio’s clean interface, like a true Braun design, skips color embellishments or wood casings, instead choosing to spotlight its functional bare bones. There’s no script or icons—just plain geometry, and a dot-size light that turns green or red to indicate on/off, or signal a low battery.
The Flow Radio and Speaker costs $85, and can be found at the MoMA Design Store.