The Sweet Sound of Suede
|The all-in-one speaker towers come in several colors and patterns.|
The audio world is full of exotic schemes to squeeze out subtle sonorous nuances that no normal listener could even hear. Sake-soaked speaker cones? Check.
Now add synthetic cowhide to that list, but at a reasonable price. Cutely named PerSuede Audio debuted its Rebel Tower line of all-in-one, iPhone/iPod speakers last week in a little nook of CES dedicated to startups. The pseudo-suede wrapping provides a unique finish. But it also has a purpose, according to co-founder Brad Pfeifer.
"It smooths out the high frequencies," he said, noting that tweeters — the tiny speakers that reproduce high notes — often have a tinny sound to them. "In high-end audio," there's been companies that actually put a felt ring around the tweeter, just to tame the high-end frequencies," he said.
Whether or not suede is responsible, the speakers did sound very smooth and subdued, with no tinny high notes — as least from the music they were playing. And it looks distinctive in the typically high-gloss world of consumer electronics. Pfeifer said that most passersby favor the zebra-skin design, which, happily, is not made from actual zebras. "There are no animals harmed in the production of the material," he said in a follow-up email.
Unlike a lot of exotic audio gear, the PerSuede Rebel Tower will have a reasonable price of $600 when it goes on sale by midyear. Technically known as a "single-point" audio source, this kind of speaker system should be all that's needed to fill a room.