LYON, France — We’re inching closer to having enough material to do a soundsystem-only version of CFile, which is stands in direct opposition to the fact that I’ve never had the chance to play a techno set on one of these setups. That’s nigh unforgivable, but if you happen to be one of these makers, hit me up. We’ll have fun.
Our newest to the collection are “Stoned Speakers” by student designer Lola Mijouin, who studied at École de Condé in France. I appreciate the weed pun as much as the next millenial on the Internet, though other people may not have a use for it. Let’s see how the speakers handle Sleep’s Dopesmoker and revisit the question.
These are fun, cylindrical portable speakers made for small setups like a cell phone or MP3 player (if they still make those). They are made from concrete and marble, giving the speakers a monumental look. They connect via Bluetooth only. In my opinion designers can have my auxiliary cable when they pry it from my cold, dead iPhone 6, but there are other features that make that limitation a little more palatable. Each speaker rests on an NFC charging device, which negates the battery sucking evil vampirism of a Bluetooth-only connection. You can also swap your desk lamp out for this setup, because they each have a light.
I realize that many of these speakers are often just prototypes, not intended for mass production. Even still, if industrial designers are going to vacation in sound design, they absolutely must start releasing the specifications of their speakers. We’ve run many articles about strange conceptual speakers and not a one has ever given us this information. A speaker isn’t the housing it comes in, no matter how nice it looks; it’s the guts that produce the sound. A speaker’s quality can’t be determined visually, the way one might assess a tableware collection or a tea set. This is a situation that demands cold, hard data.
My other gripe isn’t really a gripe; it’s more about seeing the potential the material offers in terms of tone and scale. How ridiculous would it be to have a marble and stone speaker that was as big as a full-size home stereo? Cost would be a factor, certainly, but sound? It’s hard to tell, having never heard one of these in the wild. Still, I’m fascinated by the possibility of blasting Bauhaus’ Bela Lugosi’s Dead out of something that looks like the entrance to a crypt. I’d be declared the undisputed winner of goth.
Bill Rodgers is the Managing Editor of cfile.daily.
Do you love or loathe these works of (not quite) contemporary ceramics.