Joey Roth's Ceramic Speakers


Joey Roth, designer of the wonderful Sorapot, has a new creation: Ceramic Speakers.

As you can see, it's a speaker system made from porcelain, cork, and maple wood. I wanted to reduce the speaker system to its most simple form, using raw materials that show their natural beauty and aren't usually associated with electronics.

Gorgeous, but quite beyond my price range! Roth is soliciting pre-orders for the first run, which is of just 200 pairs. They are $495 a set. Specs.

Published by Rob Beschizza

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  1. As long as he used quality drivers, that price isn’t that bad. Seems too busy though with the wooden stands, I would have gone with something less obtrusive..those take away from the ceramic enclosures.

  2. These look incredible and compared to the price tag on the tin can speakers Gizmodo just covered, $495 seems like a steal.

    Ah, but there are dozens of speakers that cost $4000, and hundreds that cost $495. Some of them sound better than others, and some trade acoustics for aesthetics, or vice versa.

    As long as he used quality drivers, that price isn’t that bad.

    The shape of the enclosure makes a difference, too.

  3. Well, this is rare: an electronics assembly that (a) eschews plastic for natural materials, (b) subsequently avoids industrial/steampunk kitsch, and (c) sounds as good as it looks. At least I hope that’s the case for $495. Beautiful design.

    I agree with Dewynken (#1) though: within the four colors at work here (porcelain-maple-steel-cast iron), something feels slightly off-kilter. For one thing, the base color is defined as both maple and cast iron. Now I understand why neither could substitute for the other: you’d either lose the solid kinesthetics of the amp, or you’d get unnecessarily heavy (and expensive) speakers. But what about just having all-porcelain speaker enclosure and supports? You could even just cleave the speakers at the bottom to rest on the table at the acoustically-correct angle.

    Not being nitpicky– this is a gorgeous set and I think it deserves a critical response. Definitely look forward to hearing more about these.

  4. Last year you can get a pair of stunning-sounding used studio monitor speakers for $500, because many studios are “upgrading” to powered monitors that have a built-in amplifier, and the unamplified monitors are starting to get a bit old.

    Mind you, in as short as 5-10 years, they might need service, and the speakers might have the dread “GSM noise” — caused by cell phones, it sounds like a morse code buzzer.

    Then again, those speakers won’t be nearly as attractive, and will probably be considerably larger, so if you simply must have teeny-tiny, excellent sounding speakers, I’d go with the Focal XS system, which is $600 including amps, and full iPod support (playback, charging, and syncing).

  5. Oh, and if aesthetics are really that much more important than sound to you, pay a local artist to decorate a pair of used, working computer speakers from the local thrift store. Those will match the couch better, anyway.

  6. In my limited experience, thrift shops tend to be in crowded, uncarpeted rooms with poor acoustics. You really can’t get a feel for how a speaker will sound in a thrift shop. So, it’s a gamble, particularly with computer speakers, which run the gamut from “well designed” to “afterthought.”

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