I recently put together a new sound system for my living room. With a couple of chunky bookshelf speakers on tall stands, it hardly blends into the vintage expedition decor of the space. I should have held out for a Transparent Speaker.
The Transparent Speaker is a Kickstarter project that looks a bit like a cross between a sound system and a fish tank. It puts all the audio components you need in a glass case. This helps it blend into its surroundings, like an audio system version of a chameleon.
The innards include high-quality 3-inch drivers, a 6.5-inch subwoofer, and a built-in power amplifier. There are three knobs for bass, treble, and volume. You can use an auxiliary jack to connect a sound source or add your own Bluetooth or Wi-Fi dongle to make it wireless. It also has a slot to accommodate Airport Express.
One of the nice features of the Transparent Speaker is the ease of swapping out parts or upgrading them when they become outdated. A functional prototype has already been created.
Swedish design agency People People, the maker of the Transparent Speaker, is raising funds to deliver the system to the masses. Granted, the $500 price tag may limit those masses somewhat. If you want to save a few bucks, you can get the kit version for under $400, but you'll have to source your own glass.