Who would’ve thunk? Radio may be on the wane, but podcasts are thriving. Podcast personalities like Marc Maron have scored marquee guests. Now, podcast microphones are getting as much personality as their hosts.
Neat Microphones, which is owned by the guitar manufacturer Gibson, has recently released the quirky Widget series of podcasting microphones. Anything but stark in their design, the $99 trio of USB mics pulls in design elements from an array of influences: Art Deco, Space Age, Memphis Group. They’re bold enough to not be for everyone, but convey an aesthetic that’s certainly perfect for someone.
How refreshing. While Apple (and the rest of the copycat electronics industry) has embraced Bauhaus design, there is more than one way to render a design. Maybe it shouldn’t be so surprising that it would be an electric guitar manufacturer that reminded us of the beauty of variety.
We’ll never see 100 million Widgets sold to the world, no. But it’s worth noting that for a design to be a timeless market success, that doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be so fetishistic of the methods and materials of mass production, as Bauhaus designs are. Gibson has built its iconic Les Paul since the 1952, and has since sold it in every color and finish imaginable. It’s enough to make the three finish options for the iPhone seem downright sad.