Leon Speakers blends art and audio with "sound sculpture"
Looking to attract some attention to its InfoComm and CE Week booths, Leon Speakers created a piece of functional artwork that it calls the sound sculpture. Not quite as dramatic as the company's original sound sculpture, a 16-foot (4.9-m) dragon revealed in 2010, but still intriguing in its own right, the new sound sculpture hangs on the wall, where it seeks to dazzle both the eyes and ears.
Leon had a couple of new market products on display at its booth just inside the entryway of CE Week, but it was the colorful, finned sound sculpture that really drew you in. The wall piece utilizes a series of white slats that give it a look more akin to a car grille than a speaker grille. Because the slats vary in shape and depth, the sound that you hear alters as you walk from one side to the other. Adding to the fluid experience, a series of LED lights change color to provide mood lighting.
The Leon wall sculpture houses a multi-channel array of woofers and tweeters that undulates from the lower left corner to the upper right corner. So as to eliminate unsightly wires and boxes, the speakers are driven by an integrated amplifier.
Though Leon might protest the point, it seems clear that the sound sculpture was designed to captivate the eyes first, with the ears as an afterthought. The company doesn't provide much detail about how the driver array and fins improve the speaker's acoustics, and a rep we spoke to said that the speaker sculpture is most useful for ambient background music.
So, we take it that it won't compete with other speakers in the five-figure price range in terms of mesmerizing the listener's ear drums with audiophile sound. It is more a piece for restaurants, shops and galleries looking for a stylish combination of background music and wall art. In fact, Leon says that a few have been snapped up and bolted to the walls of "chic restaurants and a designer showroom in Miami."
Leon specializes in selling these limited edition custom sound sculptures, along with more consumer-level speakers and subwoofers. The rep said that custom speakers start around US$15,000.
Source: Leon Speakers