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Joey Roth's Steel Speaker

The designer's latest audio endeavor utilizes a wooden sphere to diffuse sound

by Kevin Serai
on 01 December 2015

Joey Roth—an industrial designer and CH favorite known for enhancing simple pleasures through beautiful design—is back with a second musical creation: the Steel Speaker. His first foray into the audio world, the Ceramic Speaker set, astonished audio enthusiasts and design-hungry crowds alike, blending natural materials with smooth, curving lines to create a full-sounding and drool-worthy speaker set-up. In contrast, his monolithic Steel Speaker requires no wires (it's Bluetooth-enabled), and its angular shape exudes strength and substance—all while providing the same rich listening experience.

Made from steel, aluminum and maple, the device stands at 15.5 inches tall and weighs in at a hefty 12 pounds. Its striking sculptural, geometric form isn’t all just for show, though. The speaker's top aluminum chamber houses a 24-inch main transmission line and external port that have been carefully positioned and tuned to eliminate unnecessary harmonics and to extend bass range. Sound exits the chamber through a solid maple sphere, which then diffuses music in all directions; it also contains the speaker’s Bluetooth antenna.

Regarding the speaker's development, Roth tells CH, "I wanted to make the cleanest, most purposeful speaker possible. I started by eliminating all features from the design and then adding them back in one by one. I forced each feature to justify its inclusion during the design process." This function-first ideal led him to the spherical shape of the wooden diffuser (after first experimenting with various cones) and even transformed what initially began as an all-wood speaker into its final metallic form.

The Steel Speaker is available for pre-order in either Raw or Graphite colorways for $450 and $500 respectively. Each device is machined in Oregon, USA not far from where Roth lives, allowing him to ensure top build quality. They're expected to ship in early 2016.

Images courtesy of Joey Roth

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