Shape of things to come

Now you can have a speaker that suits your look with good sound

Weekend Witness - - Home - SOUND AD VICE with Jonathan van Staden

THERE is a sa ying link ed t o the fir st mass­pro­duced v ehi­cle, the M odel T Ford. It has been said of the car , that you could have any colour you wanted, so long as it w as black.

While this was not true of the car — other colours were avail­able — it could well have ap­plied t o the c olour choice of speak ers o ver the y ears. T he black boxes had a way of clash­ing with ev­ery­thing in the r oom.

Grate­fully, with the ad vent of the por­ta­ble speaker dock, the use of novel shapes has helped manuf ac­tur­ers at ­ tract a new gen­er­a­tion of buy­ers to their brands.

As the pop­u­lar­ity of leif­style prod­ucts grow, r egu­lar speak­ers ar e also t aking to a mor e per son­alised look. V ar­i­ous colours and shape s allo w a wider ap­peal. T his means the childr en of the grand old black speak er box ha ve be­come cute enough to be al­lowed to stay inside the house. W hile gr and­dad’s speaker may have long ago been rel­e­gated to the garage or store room, the off­spring can be oundf in all sorts of prom­i­nent plac es. P ol­ished c ounter t ops, along­side slen­der HD TV scr eens and sleek float­ing shelves, are the new play­grounds f or them t o sho w off their young mould and beau­ti­ful look s.

The size, or more ac­cu­rately the vol­u­met­ric space of the en­clo­sure that houses a loud­speaker, is still of im­por­tance to the over­all sound.The smaller the en­clo­sure, the le ss low bass is pr oduced. If the en­clo­sur e ma­te­rial is fle xi­ble, it will vi­brate and add a dis­tor­tion of the orig­i­nal sound fr om the loud­speak er.

The ph ysics ha ve pushed manuf ac­tur­ers to de­velop bass loud­speak­ers that are able to work well in small en­clo­sures. Care­ful mould­ing of plas­tics with in­ter­nal br ac­ing has allo wed the se light ­ weight mat eri­als t o be used with de­creas­ing sound dis tor­tion. All of that means if round, oval, tubu­lar or a com­bi­na­tion of shapes ap­peals to you, there is now likely a speak er that suit s your look with g ood sound.

When I pla y mu­sic fr om my iPhone t o my Hi­Fi s ys­tem, the bass sounds v ery dis torted. Is there some­thing wr ong with the record­ings? PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

Reader que stion: Jonathan ans wers: That is a po ssibil­ity. Ho wever, what is most lik ely is that y ou ha ve a s ound set­ting ac tive on the phone t o boo st the b ass. That help s the small phone spe aker to ha ve mor e b ass, but when pl ayed on a...

You c an tr eat your sub­woofer (above) t o a tai­lored jack et (left) t o com­pli­ment the r oom’s colour s cheme and dec or.

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