This desktop speaker concept adopts an unusual industrial aesthetic

If you’re tired of all the minimalist or pretty speaker designs, this single touch might be just the breath of fresh air you need.

In the past, speakers were mostly thought of as simple boxes that were part of a larger entertainment system. Recently, however, stand-alone speakers have become more common, especially wireless ones that could be placed almost anywhere in the home. This trend has also spawned a drastic change in design, where the speakers have started to look like elegant bedroom decor or even luxury works of art. Sure, few will complain about the beautiful speakers, but their prevalence almost suggests that’s the only way to design them, leaving little room to think outside the box. There are a few outlier and uncommon designs, including one that takes a more industrial approach to creating a unique look for a desktop speaker.

Creator: Evan Huang

Industrial styles are often seen as cold and clinical, using lots of hard edges, straight lines, and unpolished metal surfaces. The term itself refers to a bygone era where designs leaned more towards utilitarianism than aesthetics. That’s not to say they can’t be visually pleasing, of course, especially with the current trend of mixing old and new styles into a “retro” appearance that has become all the rage lately.

This industrial-style desktop speaker makes no effort to hide its true nature behind soft fabrics and cylinders. The main shape is a typical speaker cone standing on a single leg which is nothing more than a rectangular bar. The leg itself rests on a plate with crossbars, while the back of the enclosure is encased in a similar style of bars that would recall the scaffolding and support structures common to unadorned buildings of the industrial age.

However, not everything looks old, and the arm hanging in front of the enclosure is an example of this. This rectangular bar with rounded corners contains not only the buttons that control the speaker, but also an integrated LED matrix display for the clock functions. The knobs include controls for treble, midrange, and what may or may not be a control for bass or volume.

The digits in front are grouped into time, date, alarm and temperature, turning the desk clock into a single desk clock. Admittedly, the placement of the bar in front is a bit questionable. It’s possible that its presence could negatively impact the sound path from the speaker, and the vibrations could also affect the electronics inside in the long run. Placing it above or below the sound path would have been wiser without detracting from the overall look of the speaker.

It’s still an interesting design, though, especially considering how it departs from the norm these days. Its novelty offers visual impact without sacrificing functionality, at least in theory. This clearly shows that you don’t have to be tied to trendy design trends to have something that is beautiful, functional, but also minimalist in its own way.

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