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Wanted: Speakers That Won’t Ugly Up the Eames Furniture

The FormSeries, by Swedish brand Marten, are the rare speakers that marry form AND function.

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If you’re a contemporary design junkie, chances are you either don’t own a decent set of speakers or you hide them from plain view, because they’re just too damned ugly; your Noguchi table would be insulted otherwise!

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Now, finally, someone has designed high-end speakers that wouldn’t look out of place in the kind of slick, modernist palaces we’re always jawing about. In fact, the FormSeries by Marten, a Swedish brand, could almost pass for minimalist sculpture.

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The Form floor speaker, shown here, manages to pack all the necessary bass drivers and ribbon tweeters and air-core conductors into a long, slender wedge; the only hint that you’re looking at a speaker is the grill, which covers less than a sixth of the overall real estate. (It’s also removable).

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Marten says the triangular shape isn’t purely about aesthetics. It “makes for optimal sonic performance,” according to the website. How exactly” “It’s easier to get a resonance-free cabinet with a triangular shaped rather than a rectangular shape,” Marten’s Lars Olofsson tells us in an email. “Also, less parallel sides inside the cabinet makes for better acoustics.” We haven’t heard the speakers ourselves, so we can’t affirm whether the design does indeed translate to better sound. But frankly, we don’t care. Nothing could be worse than our MacBook speakers.

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The FormSeries includes floor speakers for $7,000 a pair; a small center speaker for $3,000; and a subwoofer for $4,800. Go here for details on Marten’s North American distributors.

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[Images courtesy of Marten]

About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D

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