MUON: Seven-foot tall, ultra high-end audio loudspeaker
October 19, 2007 Standing at nearly seven feet tall, the spectacular MUON loudspeaker is the product of a collaboration between the engineering team at KEF and leading industrial designer Ross Lovegrove. The MUON recently made its debut in the U.S. and just 100 pairs are to be made available in ten select cities world-wide, but audiophiles will have to dig deep to snare a set of these extraordinary speakers with the price tag set at US$140,000 per pair.
A perfect union of form and function was the goal of KEF engineers. “We wanted to push our technology to new limits,” said Dr. Andrew Watson, KEF's senior acoustic engineer. “The result is unparalleled sound quality and an exquisite example of British engineering and design at its very best.”
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MUON is made from super-formed aluminum, which uses a similar molding process to vacuum forming. Malleable sheets of heated aluminum were used to achieve the unique shapes. In making the prototype, the company - which has links to the aeronautics and automotive industries - milled enormous solid blocks of aluminum in a computer-aided process that took about a week to complete.
The result is a loudspeaker that boasts a careful convergence between the designer’s aesthetics and the physics of sound. The four-way speaker system is mounted into the front of the structure with the overall sound quality achieved by a combination of powerful bass drivers and upper mid-range and treble that utilizes MUON's Uni-Q® drive unit array technology.
KEF has also used its Acoustic Compliance Enhancement (ACE) technology, which effectively doubles the available volume through adsorption of air molecules by activated carbon. The two additional bass drivers at the back of the speaker help to produce a clean and open sound by dealing with room effects.