The enfants terribles of the industrial design world return with yet another potential banger of a product, hot on the heels of the OP-1, the synthesizer that made it cool to tickle the ivories. This time Swedish firm Teenage Engineering plundered the license cabinet of Stig Carlsson, the Swedish engineer who dared to challenge the audio establishment with his speakers meant for use in a real lving room, as opposed to clinical efforts developed under stringent standards and perfectly dampened rooms, which subsequently sounded flat and lifeless in realtime use.
With the OD-11—the world's first cloud speaker—the Teens have developed a response to the way we're listening to music today. The device combines the flexibility of listening to music in the cloud with a real audio experience, enhanced with a simple interface. Like the OP-1, the OD-11 is built from scratch internally, an approach that saw the synthesizer hailed as not only one of the best pieces of modern music-making equipment but also as acclaimed in design circles.
The OD-11 has an integrated amp bashing out a respectable 100 watts (from a 25cm cube), integrated wi fi and sound processor, and a wantonly nifty wireless control knob based around the latest Bluetooth 4 low-energy chip. It will run for years on a single cell and is magnetized so you can stick it on your refrigerator, extractor fan or, dare we say it, the speaker itself. You can even spec the color for different playlists.
In keeping with the company's in-house creative approach to design and production, the whole concept oozes an elegantly understated aesthetic which pays homage to one of the more unsung heroes of Sweden's industrial design fraternity but at the same time, and in the same frame of light, seems impossibly fresh.
You can sign up to receive the OD-11's first shipment (due to arrive summer 2013) by visiting their website.
Images courtesy of OD-11