By Kevin Gallucci
The LS50 Wireless speaker system from KEF has been well received by the audio community, collecting high praise for its sonic excellence and innovative technology. Looks are not an issue for these speakers. In their original format, they have a clean modern look, but the product designers at Marcel Wanders took these speakers to the next level, working with KEF to create a truly unique version. Marcel Wanders is a design studio based in Amsterdam, and its designers have been linked to more than 1,900 iconic projects. They work with premium brands such as Louis Vuitton, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Puma, KLM, Swarovski, and many others.
KEF explains the design and its partnership with Marcel Wanders, “Admired globally for its bold, innovative and holistic design, Marcel Wanders has created ‘Nocturne’, a stunning special edition of the LS50 Wireless. The inherently circular nature of KEF’s Uni-Q driver and musical notation symbols subtly blend with unique architectural and rhythmic elements to create a sophisticated design. Selected elements of the design can be discovered to glow in the dark. The LS50 Wireless ‘Nocturne’ by Marcel Wanders lends a vibrant luminous visual quality and magical atmosphere to its surroundings. This sensuous aesthetic quality sets it apart from any other music system; making a lasting and memorable experience.”
The “Nocturne” design adds a futuristic look to the LS50 speakers. The front design draws design, to me, cues from the Star Wars universe. The color scheme on the front is reminiscent of the Star Destroyer and its massive laser beam. This is what art and design is all about and is somewhat fitting given the way in which the Star Wars franchise revolutionized sound performance in the film industry.
You see what you want in a product, and this design speaks to a movie icon of my childhood. Maybe to you, it looks like high-tech binoculars, or maybe it looks like an astronomy project. Whatever you see when looking at this product, the glow in the dark cues on the front of the speaker will surely add a stunning visual element in the dark. You might just be inspired to listen to your music in the dark, allowing the cool glow of the LS50 speakers and the high-performance sound carry you away into the music – transporting you, perhaps, to a galaxy far, far away.
The Nocturne retails for about $3,000
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Kevin Emden Gallucci is a freelance A/V writer and self-admitting electronics junkie. He has written for various publications such as Electronic House, Hi-Fi Choice, ToneAudio, SoundStage, HiFi News, and Home Cinema Choice. Kevin’s goal is to make hi-fi/home cinema interesting for all ages and debunk the myth that you need to spend a fortune to get a great sounding system.