Unwelcome color, nasty distortion and unnatural reproduction. Those are the kind of annoying qualities that loudspeaker housing made from cheap materials can add to the listening experience. This has led some audio designers to look for a high density and weighty solution to the cabinet vibration problem. Concrete. Though that does perhaps produce images in the mind of boring and ugly monoliths dropping through the living room floor to the basement below, Germany's Concrete Audio and Italy's Digital Habit(s)would beg to differ. Now Los Angeles-based Hult Design is hoping to join the concrete party with a crowdfunding effort aimed at bringing its Pavilion speakers to market.
Reported to take design cues from modern architecture by the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe and Ando Tadao, the Pavilion features a high density concrete base that's not only been included for its looks, but also to keep unit vibration in check. Above this sits a clear polycarbonate case, in which is a copper spiral that rises from the base. This was inspired by the curves of brass instruments and is said to boost the lower registers for "clean and warm bass."
At the heart of the cylindrical unit is a 20 W full range Peerless premium driver, chosen to help deliver high quality acoustics with a flat frequency response. To the rear of the Pavilion there's a power button, a 3.5 mm auxiliary port for feeding in sounds from non-Bluetooth source devices and an adapter port for charging the built-in battery. American white oak tops the speaker, with indented touch-enabled control buttons and an LED status indicator.
The 10.22 inches high and 3.95 inch diameter (260 x 100 mm), 3.3 lb (1.5 kg) portable audio thrower includes Bluetooth 3.0 technology with aptX codec support for the promise of CD-quality audio streaming. It also supports stereo pairing, meaning two Pavilions can output audio from a single source.
Hult Design originally launched the Pavilion speaker on Kickstarter back in September, buthad to cancel the campaign two weeks in due to manufacturing issues. The design and engineering were subsequently refined, manufacturing communication lines improved and a crowdfunding campaign was relaunched earlier this week to get the speaker from working prototype to production.
Pledges for one black or white Pavilion start at US$229, which represents $110 off the expected retail price. If all goes to plan, shipping is estimated to start in May 2016.
Check out the Kickstarter pitch video below to see what's on offer.