Whether you’re listening to Kind Of Blue on your home stereo, or jamming to Skrillex on a pair of monitors, the ultimate goal of any home audio gear is to create the illusion that you are floating in a bubble of pure sound. The AudioOrb makes that illusion real: it’s a six-foot transparent pod that immerses you in a sphere of music.
If this sounds familiar, it’s because it is. The AudioOrb is actually a remixed version of Studio Lab’s previous design, the Micasa Cocoon. Whereas the Cocoon was meant simply to be an isolation chamber, in which you could escape for peace and quiet, the AudioOrb is the antithesis: a space to escape into sound.
Spherical spaces are particularly well suited to block ambient noise from the outside world. Taking advantage of this fact, the AudioOrb features 18 speakers at the bottom of the sphere which are positioned so that when music is playing, the audio waves reverberate up the plastic sides of the orb, creating a full spectrum of sound. It coats the inside of the capsule like an iridescence rippling across the surface of a soap bubble.
Studio Lab is no stranger to making enormous and powerful audio equipment. The Scandinavian creative lab is also the dial-it-up-to-11 audiophiles behind the Wall of Sound, a 392-pound iPhone dock that is the size of a pony and pumps out an astonishing 8,000 watts of music, enough to fill a football field.
Compared to that monster, the AudioOrb seems like an exercise in understatement, but both are actually similar devices, in that they are meant to fully encompass the listener in audio. But while the Wall of Sound is immersive in the same way that a nuclear explosion might be, the AudioOrb is more graceful: a glass aquarium into which one enters to submerge in music.
At the best of times, great music makes us feel weightless, and the AudioOrb has been designed to accentuate this feeling. Overlaid on top of the AudioOrb’s sphere-filling speakers are a number of body-forming Tempura pillows, which in addition to the shape of the speaker are designed to make you feel as if you’re floating. Imagine the bubble that Hugh Jackman travels through space in in Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain and you’ll have an idea of the kind of transcendental experience Studio Lab is going for.
Naturally, such an experience isn’t cheap. Like the Wall of Sound, which starts at a price of $6,900, the AudioOrb is even more exclusive: only two will be built, and each will cost $15,000. That might seem pricy, but in the grand pursuit of the bubble of sound, it would hardly be the most expensive check an audiophile has ever written. If you’re that person, you can order an AudioOrb now from IndieGoGo.