An unusual pair of loudspeakers that fire UPWARDS!
There's an interesting pair of loudspeakers up for auction on Ebay at the time of writing (June 21, 2012). Unlike normal loudspeakers, the Sonab OA14, of Swedish design, doesn't direct sound at the listener but fires it up in the air. How crazy is that?
We actually it's not crazy at all. I've heard these speakers. OK, it was back in 1973 in a hi-fi shop. But I remember the experience of hearing Frankenstein by The Edgar Winter Group played very loud, and it was very enjoyable indeed.
If you don your x-ray goggles and look closely at the grilles on the tops of the loudspeakers, then you will see what's happening. Actually, you can just look at this photo...
As you can see, each loudspeaker has four tweeters, mounted to spread the sound out, rather than focus it in any particular direction. And it really does work. The room is filled with sound and, rather than having one optimum sweet spot, you can walk around anywhere in the room and the sound is still good.
Why this system didn't catch on more, I really don't know. It isn't even necessary to have the speakers in view - you can hide one behind a TV and the other behind a sofa (not crammed in too tight). For casual listening it works really well, and can be very spouse-friendly.
Clearly you wouldn't be using speakers like these for studio monitoring purposes, but in the living room they have a lot to offer. Now, let's see if I have a spare three hundred and fifty quid in my wallet...