It was only a matter of time before some fantastic audio engineering breakthrough delivered unto us a grand departure from the ancient, boring rectangle to the ultra moderne cube. That day has come. Okay, I kid — but I’m serious. Cube speakers are now cool. They’re perfect, like spheres, and they offer a refreshing visual departure from tradition. Of course, the real beauty of these little guys is that if you want to extend your audio reach, you can simply buy more. They can be easily linked up, distributed throughout your house, or stacked in a stylish tower on your coffee table. Here are our favorites of the symmetrical-six-equal-squares-at-right-angles variety of audio excellence.
Naim Audio Mu-so Qb
The eight-inch Qb (get it?!?) is truly a custom-engineered product, with every detail contributing to audio greatness. A glass-filled polymer casing provides a stable, vibration-free base; the 32-bit digital signal processor is adapted from Naim’s award-winning car-audio system for Bentley Motors; the array of two speakers, two mid-range drivers, 1 woofer, and 1 passive radiator are precisely angled to distribute the sound with the most effect. It’s also got a built-in alarm clock so you can wake up every day to a 300-watt chorus of angels.
Tivoli Audio Cube
This three-pound, four-inch square cube packs so much audio oomph that it’s like a regular speaker squared — or rather, cubed. It’ll play robust, high-quality audio from your mobile devices or sync up via wi-fi to stream from Spotify. A capacitive touch panel on the top instantly mutes the music in case you just need a break, and controls in the back let you switch audio sources, adjust volume, and instantly distribute sound to other speakers throughout your house with a quick press of the “Party Mode” button. Sounds pretty Austin Powers, but we dig it.
Teenage Engineering OD-11
Swedish speaker and synthesizer company Teenage Engineering resurrected a revered sound system from the early 1970s with the OD-11 cube. Though it looks a bit like a planter sans a ficus tree, the 16-pound, 10 x 10 x 10 inch speaker uses a 100-watt amplifier, a 6.5-inch woofer and a built-in processor to generate powerful audio from any source you can think of — streaming services, your television or gaming console, or even your own instruments. The Ortho remote — a brilliantly designed, clickable, touch-sensitive circular disk — has a magnetic backing so you can stick it on the fridge for easy access. These Swedish teens are seriously rocking our world.