Balmuda, the Tokyo-based equipment model best-known for its steam-driven toaster promising “the ultimate aroma and texture” on your morning slice, has taken all of its heat-meets-water know-how and popped up with… a glowing Bluetooth speaker.
Such credentials would not usually have us keen to check it with a view to including it to our greatest Bluetooth audio system shopping for information. And then there’s the price: $399 (which is round £329 or AU$599) – hardly a discount buy.
The factor is, we’re intrigued… After all, if a toaster allegedly licensed by (if not formally announced) the XBox Series S is feasible, why not a good Bluetooth speaker from an organization more used to fashioning breakfast home equipment?
And though McIntosh nonetheless makes one of the crucial gorgeous-looking Bluetooth audio system I’ve ever laid eyes on, Balmuda the Speaker (for that’s its title – the corporate’s catalog also consists of Balmuda the Lantern, Balmuda the Kettle, and naturally Balmuda the Toaster) calls upon the same peak hi-fi aesthetic. It’s the type of factor that makes us go “Ooh, are those valve amps?”
They’re not – these three tubes home LEDs which will be set to ‘Beat’, ‘Ambient’ or ‘Candle’ modes, however Balmuda does guarantee us that the lights are exactly synchronized at a velocity of 0.004 seconds.
And Balmuda’s founder and CEO, Gen Terao, spent his formative years in a rock band, so desirous to design a speaker that may emulate the thrilling sensation of live music was a pure ambition, culminating in the launch of the speaker in October 2022.
Opinion: regardless of a vastly profitable steam-driven toaster, Balmuda the Speaker appears a bit scorching
Look, the Apple HomePod 2 is scorching off manufacturing traces, boasting Siri voice smarts, multi-room audio and gorgeous spatial audio sound high quality (albeit with much less bass clout than the original Apple HomePod) and that may set you back a mere $299 / £299 / AU$479. So, Balmuda’s pricing technique right here is daring – and that is placing it mildly.
Yes, we might love to listen to Balmuda the Speaker’s “unique” upward-firing 77mm driver and “3D Sound Driver” (promising detailed, omnidirectional sound) and if it is ready to problem successful flagship audio system from audio greats on the degree, even higher.
The product has been garnering consideration and reward, successful Esquire’s 2022 Gadget Award for “Best Bluetooth speaker”. But, like the admittedly stunning Nothing Ear Stick earbuds, may this be a case of prioritizing fashion over substance – a speaker destined for the polished locations only the hypebeast (and hypebae) elite frequent? Hard to say except we hear it. But we should confess, we do need to listen to it…
Until such an opportunity presents itself, our greatest wi-fi audio system information has loads of wonderful alternate options from names equivalent to Sonos, Bowers & Wilkins, Naim, Sony and Marshall…