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Speakers that are literally works of Art: the $140,000 KEF Muon

The KEF Muon speaker.

You have to see them for real.

KEF, one of Britain's leading speaker manufacturers, had a press event earlier this week in New York City to show off their new Muon speakers. I was curious to see the speaker in the flesh, and now that I have I can say the pictures don't do it justice. They are the most beautiful speakers I've ever seen.

Designed by Ross Lovegrove (a top industrial designer), they are indeed works of 21 century art, fabricated from malleable sheets of heated aluminum. The process was required to produce the Muon's complex curves, dictated by the design's acoustical properties, and of course, Lovegrove's aesthetics. The raw material, starting out as six foot long hunks of aluminum are milled and formed over a one week period. I couldn't keep my fingers off the undulating, thoroughly sensual surfaces. Best of all the shape is said to be in large part responsible for the speaker's extraordinary sound. Each Muon weighs 253 pounds.

They are great sounding speakers, with prodigious bass response, awesome dynamic range, and great finesse on classical music, but they are more than that. The Muon is a work of art. The markets for high-end everything are booming--cars, boats, watches, clothes, even refrigerators and stoves--it's about time audio manufacturers started making exquisite products for the rich and famous. The Muon NYC premier took place in a lavishly appointed penthouse apartment overlooking Central Park, and the speakers looked right at home. In fact, when I stop and think about it, a plain Jane Bose system would have stood out like a sore thumb. It never ceases to amaze me that the folks who live well rarely seek out state of the art audio.