Some people love rustic country cottage design, while others like cool, minimalist brushed metal. The Bayan 7 speaker from Bayan Audio offers neither of these, but instead caters to those people who are partial to big white sub-woofers with an enormous piece of acrylic stuck on it.
It packs five speakers designed to deliver a loud and clear sound, and features not one but two iPod docks, but is it worth £300?
Design and build quality
The Bayan 7 isn't the sort of speaker to sit modestly on your bookshelf among the Penguin Classics, waiting for you to plug something into it. It would rather dominate the space inside a modern living room.
Most of the body is made up of a big square sub-woofer. On the front of it is a large piece of clear acrylic in which are set two tweeters on either side of the round sub-speaker. It's a very unusual design that divided opinion on the CNET UK team, with some claiming they liked the modern touch but others calling it "hideous" and "like a washing machine".
It's entirely subjective whether or not you like it, but we doubt it will appeal to those who like the 'country cottage' look in their house. However, if your living room is full of glass coffee tables and minimal chrome lines then the Bayan 7 will be more to your taste.
It's available in either white or black. We had the white model, which annoyingly looked as though it had been put through the wash with a stray red sock as it had a slight pinky tinge to it. It was only really noticeable in certain light, but there was an undeniable pink hue to some of the plastic fronts and on the white remote. It may not be an issue on all units, but we'd be pretty annoyed if we'd just spent £300 to find that the colours have run.
At just under 7kg, it's a hefty beast so we'd suggest finding a good spot for it and then never attempting to move it again. With that weight comes a sense that this thing is well built. The sub-woofer is encased in thick wood, which Bayan reckons offers a more natural sound. The speaker casings are all machined from metal.
It probably won't appreciate being repeatedly hurled to the ground, but if it does happen to take a tumble off your table, we reckon it would live to tell the tale.
Stuck on the front of that clear acrylic are not one, but a pair of iPod docks. Why would you need two? That's a good question. The simple -- and obvious -- answer is so you can have two iPods docked at once. Duh.
But why on Earth would you need to? Another good question. Say you're perpetually arguing with your partner/sibling/flatmate about what music you want on -- with the Bayan 7, you could dock both your music collections and use the remote to switch between them without having to get up.
While we appreciate the idea behind it, it's difficult to see when we'd actually want to use it. Changing over an iPod is hardly a challenge and if you can't agree on what music to put on, then the arguments are only going to extend to who has control over the remote. We asked around the office who might actually see themselves using this feature and very few thought they ever would.