16 March 2015
The radio and music are growing increasingly immaterial. With MP3 players and other digital supports for playing files left on the shelves, people are listening to music streamed on Spotify or other on-demand services available online. All that is needed, then, is an interface connected to one of these platforms and a speaker to produce the sound. And since technology has taken giant steps in the miniaturization of hardware, speakers of small size offer surprising high fidelity today. The British firm Aether has brought out Cone, a portable Wi-Fi speaker that is just 16 cm in diameter and 15 cm in length, with rechargeable lithium batteries that provide eight hours of playback. Having learned the aesthetic lesson of Apple products, the speaker has a very clean design that can fit in to the most varied decors and settings. Available in white/silver and black/copper versions, it has minimal controls in the lower part of the cone, but can be operated using voice-recognition technology (supplied by the Nuance company) or a remote control app that can be installed on iOS devices. For the British market, Aether has struck a deal with Rdio, an on-demand music service that offers free access to a library of over 30 million songs.