Renowned product designer Philippe Starck is at it again. The man behind the Microsoft Optical Mouse, various Fossil watches and the Virgin Galactic 'spaceport' -- from which SpaceShipOne will launch
guinea pigs space tourists into orbit -- may have just outdone himself with a set of wireless speakers for Parrot.
Admittedly, we don't know much about design, but we reckon the Zikmu speakers, pictured above and in our photo gallery, are gorgeous. They're so gorgeous, in fact, that we'd contemplate undergoing some sort of human-to-speaker species change just so we could dry hump them legally.
They're far from perfect, though. They're designed by Starck, for a start, who has an uncanny knack of making great products sound so pretentious you'll undoubtedly think twice about wanting to be associated with them.
Take this piece of marketing blabber, for example: "We were not aiming to create just another speaker. Our design focused more on making the air vibrate. There is actually a three-dimensional feel to this vibration, meaning that the air is palpable, almost human-like in presence, like a fragrance."
WTF? The last time we checked, vibrating, human-like sounds resembling fragrances were called farts.
Fortunately, the Zikmu speakers sound phenomenal. Each has a 70W power supply, delivering 100W RMS in total through woofers in the base and NXT flat-membrane speakers in the flat ends at the top. Most of the inhabitants of CNET Towers will testify to the fact that they're loud, but they also offer good audio fidelity. Bass is tight and deep, and the mid-range did tremendous justice to our favourite vocal-driven tracks from Lauryn Hill and Sting. The only drawback was the high notes, which weren't quite crisp enough for our liking.
The Zikmu is primarily designed for use with Apple devices. The left speaker houses a dock onto which users can connect an iPod touch, iPhone or iPhone 3G (but not an iPhone 3GS). The speakers will also play music via wireless devices and PCs that support Wi-Fi and Bluetooth A2DP, although you can always connect sources via an RCA cable.
They're pretty expensive, admittedly, and they lack key features, such as the ability to connect digital sources or an extra subwoofer, but there's no denying that the Zikmu speakers are completely off the coolness chart. If you've got the readies handy, then go buy a set.