What happens if you give a team of young and gifted acoustic engineers this simple brief: make the best sounding home hi-fi speakers possible? They tear up the rule book and create this, that's what.
Monitor Audio's Concept 50 speakers are still being tweaked and finalized, but these sonic towers will become available by the end of the year – and the company is so confident in its other-worldly progeny that it just showcased them at the international premium hi-fi show, High End Munich.
Concept 50 will continue the company's 50th birthday celebrations and Monitor Audio clearly knows how to party; they currently weigh 96kg each, but product design director Charles Minett tells us that once fully finessed, one floorstanding speaker will tip the scales at 100kg – about the same weight as a newborn elephant calf.
What you're looking at is a single piece of 18mm thick acrylic polymer cabinetry (that's not white paint, it's simply the colour of the material) plus no fewer than 11 drivers per speaker.
Across the floating front baffle, the Monitor Audio's reworked proprietary tweeter is flanked by six (yes six) 35mm midrange drivers. Behind these, two sets of bass drivers, bolted together and actually facing each other with just a 7cm distance between them, take care of the low end. Dual bass reflex ports are downward-firing, which means it shouldn't matter how far away from your wall you place them – after all, these things are meant to be seen.
Analysis: exceptional design comes with an exceptional price…
On paper, audio experts and hi-fi devotees may well view the Concept 50 with caution, but how else can we improve upon what has already been if not by trying something completely new?
The aesthetic will not suit all tastes, but having actually heard them even for a limited time at this revered German trade show, the extra detail through the treble and upper midrange is impossible to ignore…
How much will you need to save up if you'd like a pair? Monitor Audio's technical director, Michael Hedges, won't be drawn on an exact figure, but it'll be a cool £50,000 give or take 20 per cent, which is around $62,150 or AU$88,825 before tax and duties.
Monitor Audio also tells us that custom finishes (such as the green, pictured above) will be available for an as-yet unspecified surcharge. Oh, and given how much they weigh, you will probably want to tip the delivery driver generously if you want them taken up flights of stairs…