“Steel Speaker by Joey Roth is a wireless omnidirectional speaker with beautiful minimalist design and hopefully great sound.”
Steel Speaker is Joey Roth’s second attempt to infuse minimalist aesthetic into sound world. It is a monolithic slab of metal and maple wood engineered to diffuse sound down and outward in all directions using a wooden sphere. After the beautiful design & sound of Ceramic Speakers (below), we are ambitious to try this newbie.
An interview with Joey Roth on Steel Speaker (by design-milk),
Obviously a focal point, apart from the aesthetic, could you tell us how you came to the conclusion of the hardwood ball shape for diffusing sound? Did you go through various geometric options before deciding on the sphere?
I started experimenting with cone shapes, with straight, concave and convex cross sections. I found that the more convex the cone was, the better it sounded (and measured). Eventually the cone became so convex that it started to resemble a ball, so I went with it.
Noting your previous ceramic speaker design, are there elements/solutions in this speaker that are directly the product of what you learned from designing those first speakers (and amp)?
The Steel Speaker is a culmination of everything I’ve learned about audio engineering since launching the ceramic speakers back in 2010. The Steel Speaker is a mass-loaded transmission line, which is a type of enclosure that takes advantage of quarter-wave harmonics to extend the bass response. It is a rewarding speaker design, but it is complicated to get right. Thanks to advances in simulation software and my growing understanding of speaker design, the Steel Speaker was possible.
These are omnidirectional and appear to be designed as a solo solution. Were they also designed to work in stereo mode?
Yes, that’s part of their design. Each speaker has a single RCA input on the base which allows it to connect to one channel of an RCA source or passive pre-amp. This means that two Steel Speakers can connect to a line level source in a stereo configuration. I’m working on a passive pre-amp with volume control and multiple source inputs that will complement the design of the Steel Speaker. This should be out in mid 2016. For now, two Steel Speakers can be used with most RCA sources and pre-amps on the market.
Learn more about the Steel Speaker.