Sound of speed

High-end speaker brand ixoost uses its con­nec­tion with Mo­dena to cre­ate iphone docks out of su­per­cars’ ex­haust Man­i­folds. the re­sult is prod­ucts that could Melt the Heart of any­one who loves en­gines.

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The high end of The iphone and ipod dock mar­ket has been sat­u­rated for years. All of the big play­ers—from Bose to Bang & olufsen—have jumped on the band­wagon of of­fer­ing top-rated au­dio sys­tems for users who sim­ply want the con­ve­nience of be­ing able to plug their devices into a set of high-qual­ity speak­ers. for au­dio­philes with an Ap­ple Mu­sic sub­scrip­tion, then, there’s plenty of choice.

This doesn’t mean, how­ever, that all in­no­va­tion and cre­ativ­ity has com­pletely been sucked out of the mar­ket. You need only look to ixoost, an italy-based maker of high-end au­dio prod­ucts, for con­fir­ma­tion of that.

de­vel­oped from an idea by Mat­teo Panini, and de­signed by Pec­o­rari, the brand of­fers the world’s first au­dio sys­tems for iphones and ipods that have been 100% made in Mo­dena, the fa­mous ital­ian city

dubbed “the cap­i­tal of en­gines”. The lo­ca­tion of the com­pany is an im­por­tant one—it’s home to the likes of Fer­rari, Lam­borgh­ini, Pa­gani and Maserati, and that’s pre­cisely why ixoost has set up shop there.

The brand’s speaker docks are cre­ated in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Mo­de­nese work­shops. The re­sult is prod­ucts that could melt the heart of any­one who loves en­gines and the sounds they can make. The body of the au­dio sys­tems are, in fact, gen­uine ex­haust man­i­folds from su­per­cars sport­ing eight, ten or twelve-cylin­der en­gines.

Given this, it’s dif­fi­cult to see how the idea could have orig­i­nated any­where apart from in the mo­tor­ing cap­i­tal of Italy. ixoost uses the con­nec­tion to come up with its prod­ucts, draw­ing on fa­mous quotes from famed au­tomak­ers for in­spi­ra­tion. The brand points to fig­ures such as Enzo Fer­rari, who once said that "the sound of a 12-cylin­der en­gine must be lis­tened to as if it were a sym­phony.”

But ixoost also notes that the mu­sic is just as im­por­tant as the en­gi­neer­ing, and so it seeks to bridge the gap be­tween mu­sic and me­chan­ics. It ref­er­encs a quote from great or­ches­tral con­duc­tor Her­bert Von Kara­jan, who said that “the sound of a 12-cylin­der Fer­rari is like a melody which no con­duc­tor would ever man­age to re­pro­duce.”

With all of that in mind, ixoost aims to cre­ate prod­ucts that breathe life into th­ese Mo­de­nese ob­jects, which are beau­ti­ful in their own right. How­ever, the prod­ucts that re­sult from the ixoost treat­ment are even bet­ter.

The au­dio sys­tems are built with painstak­ing pre­ci­sion, the likes of which are to be found only amongst the crafts­men of Mo­dena. In­deed, each dock is carved out of a solid block of alu­minium, bring­ing to­gether pieces turned and milled us­ing five-axis ma­chines, be­fore be­ing joined to­gether with an eight, ten or twelve-cylin­der ex­haust man­i­fold.

What’s more, just like you would your own supercar, you can per­son­alise your own ixoost dock to make it just the way you want it, choos­ing the colour, metal­lic fin­ish, the kind of leather and even the Allen screws, bring­ing about com­bi­na­tions which

have never been seen be­fore.

Func­tion­al­ity hasn’t been for­got­ten (af­ter all, th­ese are speaker docks), so ixoost also of­fers a -cre­ated app, which turns the ipod or the iphone into the per­fect part­ner for the dock. What’s more, the brand prom­ises su­perb sound qual­ity. ixoost rec­om­mends us­ing the speak­ers to lis­ten to sym­phonies, leg­endary rock con­certs or even record­ings of the roar of For­mula 1 cars. The ex­cep­tional tech­ni­cal level of sound re­pro­duc­tion, ixoost says, is thanks to the pres­ence of spe­cially de­vel­oped loud­speak­ers and an ac­tive sub­woofer of­fer­ing a unique lis­ten­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

How­ever—let’s be hon­est here—the rea­son you’d opt for an ixoost dock, over a sys­tem from one of the es­tab­lished brands, is the de­sign. The prod­ucts are ab­so­lutely unique ob­jects, inim­itable both in terms of their de­sign and their con­struc­tive char­ac­ter­is­tics.

There are three lines—the Xilo, the Otto, and the Ra­dial6. The Xilo is the ‘stan­dard’ dock, while the Otto line is wire­less. How­ever, they’re all made with high-pre­ci­sion me­chan­i­cal work­man­ship and fin­ish­ings hand­made from start to fin­ish by the finest Mo­de­nese crafts­men. Th­ese are the peo­ple who wrote the very his­tory of the land of mo­tors and who con­tinue to cre­ate the su­per­cars of the fu­ture. And who wouldn’t want the same crafts­men cre­at­ing their speaker sys­tems?

Not just cars

That said, ixoost doesn’t only draw on the world of cars as in­spi­ra­tion for its prod­ucts. The Ra­dial6 is the first dock that draws on the world of planes. It high­lights de­tails on an old plane like nose cones, cylin­ders and flaps. But, in the pure spirit of ixoost, the prod­ucts still find their con­no­ta­tion in the fi­nal sec­tion of the tailpipe.

Like all of the dock sta­tions, the Ra­dial6 is beau­ti­ful to look at from any an­gle. The front part is in­spired by old ra­dial plane en­gines, and the nose cone is carved from a solid block.

The cir­cu­lar­ity of the prod­uct is not only for show—it’s a de­sign de­ci­sion that al­lows the dock to of­fer a sound front as open and nat­u­ral as pos­si­ble. The trans­duc­ers are made up of two 28mm tweet­ers and four 57mm mid-range speak­ers, while the back part fea­tures a 165mm woofer.

The sup­port­ing blade, again, carved out of a solid block, raises the dock, mak­ing it visu­ally light. ixoost de­scribes the prod­uct as an out­right me­chan­i­cal mas­ter­piece (with all the ca­bling pass­ing through the in­side of the block). And with the blade clos­ing per­fectly with the nose cone and the crank­case of the back woofer im­i­tat­ing a real plane en­gine, it’s dif­fi­cult to dis­agree with the com­pany.

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