Monster INuke Boom Speaker Rocks the House
A massive 700-pound box billed as "world’s loudest iPhone/iPod dock" has been met with stupefaction and disbelief on the Internet, but it is a real piece of equipment designed to make party rooms feel like live studios and create a renewed appreciation of music for a world accustomed to headphones.
"When we started developing products for the consumer side, one of the recurring themes we saw was smaller, lighter," said Costa Lakoumentas, senior vice president of the professional music company Behringer, responsible for the 10,000-watt system. "Coming from an audio background, some of us were thinking, 'That smallness, lightness, that’s all wonderful, but where’s that boom?' Literally."
The authentic chest thump that makes a concert linger in one’s bodily memory for years and gets members in a crowd to gravitate to each other can be recreated in private settings, thanks to a unique process in the system’s amplifiers. The system’s enormous power allows it to articulate transient sounds like a drum hit that could "get us away from the isolation of the headphone " and change what we expect from music and "get us away from the isolation of the
headphone," Lakoumentas said.
A household name in musician audio circles, Behringer chose to develop a line of products for laypeople due to a perceived gap in the market. For enthusiasts or those in the business, the high- frequency responses and very low noise necessary for "critical listening" is "part of the gig," Lakoumentas said. But for everyone else, even a visit to a live music club or disco requires looking at ugly boxes and cable patches everywhere.
"No one wants to see that stuff in their home," Lakoumentas said.
Blending into a basement or multipurpose hotel space like a big piece of furniture, the iNuke Boom makes pre-mixed dance parties sound like a live band. Functional with Bluetooth devices, it could be the life of the party similar to how people played jukeboxes, Lakoumentas said.
At $29,999, the equipment is clearly not targeted for the masses. A "white-glove delivery" complete with a crane and thorough pre-screening of the location door and room ensures that buyers aren’t left scratching their heads at the curb over how to move the monster. Currently, six iNuke Booms are in production.
No digital divide for the iNuke
Contrary to what many believe, "you can get exceptional quality out of an iPad," Lakoumentas said. If digital music has a bad rap for quality, that stems from the limitations of headphones, not the devices, he explained. Coinciding exactly with introduction of mp3 players 12 years ago, the popularity of headphones meant people got used to listening to music in the closed space of their ear, a setup incapable of generating "that sound wave that hits you in the chest, " Lakoumentas said.
But when Metallica does a concert and their digital mixer goes in there to tune their $3,000 console system, he does it with an iPad.
"Do you think it sounds good? It sounds awesome … because digital music is as good, if not better, in many, many ways," Lakoumentas said. "You can get exceptional quality out of an iPad. So when you put it on the Boom, the iNuke Boom, you hear things you can’t hear in headphones."