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Zebra suede iPhone speakers. They sound great, too

Perseude Audio is trying to line up distributors for its line of high-end speakers that make a fashion statement.

Paul Sloan Former Editor
Paul Sloan is editor in chief of CNET News. Before joining CNET, he had been a San Francisco-based correspondent for Fortune magazine, an editor at large for Business 2.0 magazine, and a senior producer for CNN. When his fingers aren't on a keyboard, they're usually on a guitar. Email him here.
Paul Sloan
2 min read

LAS VEGAS--Quality audio speakers aren't usually about fashion. But that's exactly what PerSuede Audio is trying to change.

The speakers PerSuede Audio is trying to bring to market. Paul Sloan/CNET

A couple of Southern Californian audio freaks with years of experience in the industry have spent more than three years and $250,000 in savings to develop this speaker system.

They're showing them off at the startup area of CES and working the rooms with representatives from Apple and elsewhere with hopes of bringing them to market.

The speaker market is obviously competitive--CES, for one, is packed with speakers that play music from iPhones and other devices--but the team from PerSeude has made something impressive. These triangular tower emits a sound that's far fuller and richer than what you'd expect from a device playing and MP3 file.

Your phone sits on the dock up top, although you can also plug in a computer or stereo through input jacks. The speakers are covered in a sleek suede--the same, according to presidnet Jorn Huseby, that's found in some sports cars, including Ferrari's.

"We want people to use and see these are furniture," said Huseby.

His business partner, Brad Pfeifer, is a design engineer who has made parts of speakers for high-end makers such as Bose.

John Huseby and Brad Pfeifer of PerSuede Audio Paul Sloan/CNET

"I want to fill the world with high quality audio that's fashion forward," he said.

They're startup has been an adventure, for sure. They were nearly ready to release the prototype in 2008, but one of their suppliers went bankrupt. Even making it here was a close call: The speaker cabinets only arrived from China the week of Christmas.

PerSuede is trying to get them market in the second quarter, and they will sell for $599.

Here's my video interview with the founders.

CES Video
Watch this: First Look at the PerSuede Audio iPod and iPhone dock