A boxy or cylindrical object that’s covered in fabric or metal – that’s pretty much what modern home speakers look like. While not exactly exquisite, the darn things do look a whole lot better than the monstrous eyesores with giant boxes and bulging tubes that speakers once were. If you’re looking for something a little different than the norm, however, try checking out the Room One Surface.
Looking more like a contemporary wooden sculpture than a wall-mounted speaker, the visible sections of the device consist of nothing but a curved, engineered slab of wood. You know, like an oversized skateboard deck or a giant wooden Frisbee or something. Except, it’s rigged to actually pump out your favorite tunes like any speaker you have lying around the house.
The Room One Surface is a Bluetooth speaker that’s designed for mounting up on walls, where it can look like a decorative sculpture you’re showing off instead of being a part of your entertainment system. It consists of a thin, curved panel of wood with transducers on the side designed to face the wall, where they can sit away from sight. When activated, those transducers transfer the incoming audio signal to the wood panel in the form of vibrations, causing it to resonate and produce audible sound waves. Yes, the wood plays the actual music. According to Room One, they chose oak as the material for the wood because of its inherent acoustic properties.
More than mere aesthetics, the concave shape of the wood actually enables a more balanced sound dispersion, aiding the speaker’s ability to fill the room with sound. Room One doesn’t actually detail how the speaker sounds, with no available video demos either, so we have zero idea where the sound quality lies in comparison with other speakers. Based on the fact that its main appeal seems to be the unique qualities of a sculptural speaker design rather than acoustic excellence, we guess it’s something for regular consumers who want a speaker that’s a veritable conversation piece rather than audio gear for discerning audiophiles.
Designed by Oliver Staiano and Tom Jarvis, the Room One Surface comes in three finishes: stained indigo, stained red, and natural oak. Each one is sanded, colored, and finished by hand, so these are carefully crafted creations that are meticulously put together. It measures 37.4 x 30.7 x 5.1 inches (height x width x depth), so it will make a substantial presence in any room, ensuring it will be completely conspicuous once set up on your wall.
A companion app allows you to easily control the speaker from your phone, making it easy to stream music from either your local library or your favorite music service. Basically, you can use it like any regular Bluetooth speaker, although it’s strictly for streaming music (no microphone for hands-free calls). We know, it would have been better if the darn thing had Alexa, too.
Want one? The Room One Surface is available now, priced at £895.