You don’t need to settle for a home speaker system based on tech specs alone. Plenty of designers are working around the clock to invent entirely new speakers that sound fantastic, come with many quality-of-life features you’d expect in a modern Bose or Sony system, and also look visually compelling in original ways. Inversely, your interior design ethos may call for a specific color scheme or matching style – and you can accidentally throw off the balance of a room by adding something that doesn’t belong.
With the aforementioned problem in mind, I’ve rounded up five of the most interesting speaker designs featured by Yanko Design thus far, each offering a unique aesthetic flavor. Whether you’re looking for an organic wooden speaker set, a futurist speaker right out of a Syd Mead painting, or a speaker shaped like an ancient Roman bust, there’s something here for every interior designer.
1. Pantheone Audio Obsidian (Japandi)
Pantheone Audio’s Obsidian is a portable speaker which balances form with function. Right off the bat, this all-white (or all-black) obsidian-shaped audio unit is packed in with high-quality gear, including a front-firing speaker array containing two 20W tweeters and a 40W woofer – all powered by a rechargeable battery that lasts for around 15 hours before needing a drink. The accompanying Pantheone app lets you remotely control multiple Obsidian speakers via mobile device, but it also works with Amazon Alexa out of the box, meaning, for instance, you can theoretically chain your Obsidian speakers to an existing network of Amazon Echo speakers and play Spotify through your Obsidian and Amazon Echo network in unison. If that isn’t your first choice, don’t fret: it connects to other major streaming services like Apple Music, and can even play lossless audio straight from the source via WiFi, AirPlay 2, Bluetooth, and AUX. Its sculpted, angular design makes it a mainstay in any modern home that appeals to a clean, minimalistic decorative taste.
2. Nebula by Ken Chen (Cybercore futurist)
If you’ve ever played video games like Mass Effect, or if you’ve watched movies like Tron or Blade Runner, you’re probably familiar with the futuristic visual language created by late industrial designer and concept artist Syd Mead. If that’s the case, then you’d probably agree if I said the Nebula tech art speaker by designer Ken Chen looks and feels a lot like if NASA hired Syd Mead to co-design a portable home speaker system which might accompany actual astronauts into space. It’s unlikely you live inside of a spacecraft yourself, but if you’re into futuristic interior design, the Nebula speaker may be the mantelpiece you didn’t know your home needed. It’s a fully-functional 360-degree portable speaker system equipped with Bluetooth 5.3 True Wireless Stereo functionality, an onboard Smart Control panel, and integrated ambient lighting with patented SoundForm “Ferrofluid Music Visualization” visuals that give it a truly alien look. It would look perfect next to the Chronomark Watch and Watch Case from Starfield.
3. Beosystem 72-23 Nordic Dawn (Brutalist/Accent)
Bang & Olufsen are well-known for coming up with mouthwatering luxury speaker designs catered to collectors with a love of Nordic style. The Beosystem 72-23 Nordic Dawn looks straight out of a high-end Scandinavian catalog, and its built-in tech as well as its connectivity with other nearby Bang & Olufsen speakers makes it a truly excellent HiFi audio system showcasing elegant craftsmanship from top to bottom, thanks to high-quality woodwork and premium materials throughout the build. Whether you’re streaming from Spotify or Apple Music, or playing vinyl directly through the integrated turntable, this (nearly $64,700) limited edition system is easy to control thanks to direct integration with the Bang & Olufsen app.
4. Torso speaker by Yang Dong Wook (Art Deco or Contemporary)
Nothing would bring a room full of sculptures and avant-garde artwork together like a portable speaker shaped like a Roman bust, and that’s the exact niche the Torso speaker is meant to fill. This concept speaker is directly inspired by marble sculptures like Michelangelo’s statue of David, and it was designed by creator Yang Dong Wook as part of Samsung’s Design Membership Program. This one is more conceptual than practical, and you won’t find it for sale anywhere, but it looks like it makes for a delightful mantelpiece item for an artist who loves getting creative with interior decor. The most interesting feature is the neck, which is filled with… nothing. It’s intentionally designed as a place to put items, like flowers or other artwork.
5. Nothing Speakers by Ivan Llaneza (Sci-fi minimalism)
The Nothing Speakers aren’t nothing. In fact, they’d fit right in a modern home, especially in an office room filled with high-end tech. Coming in black or white, this portable speaker system is well-equipped with high-quality internal components, allowing Bluetooth connectivity for easy integration into streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. There’s an integrated LED system that syncs to the music playing through it, making for an interesting audiovisual experience at house parties and social gatherings. Not to mention – in kitschy 2000’s fashion – these speakers also feature an array of buttons and toggles on the bottom front cover of the chassis, which immediately reminds me of a boombox layout, albeit much more futuristic looking thanks to its glass design. The lettering, which displays a large digital LED-lit “Nothing” logo accompanied by “Volume” and “Bass 1” on the side and front, give it an especially cool look.