Smart speakers are an increasingly common sight in our homes, though many of these clever gadgets are designed to blend into their surroundings as much as possible.
Not so with the Pantheone I, a new Alexa smart speaker that is made to be looked at. With a sculptural, egg-like design, this eye-catching wireless speaker looks more like work of art than a smart home device – and at $2,190 (about £1,730 / AU$3,130), it has a price to match.
According to Pantheone Audio CEO Oren Adani, the Pantheone I "combines art with music by boasting minimalist, sleek design that can fit into any space while still providing quality sound.”
In spite of thoroughly modern trappings like built-in Alexa, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connectivity, the Pantheone I takes much of its design and acoustic inspiration from ancient Rome.
As its name suggests, the smart speaker is inspired by the Pantheon in Rome, "where the oculus allows light to flood into the temple". According to Pantheone Audio, the company sought to mirror this in its speaker "by filling each space with a timeless, curved silhouette and perfect acoustics".
Old meets new
It's not only about looks, though – Pantheone Audio claims that its flagship speaker delivers "exceptional sound quality", thanks to "state-of-the-art acoustic engineering".
According to the company, it supports Hi-Res Audio streaming, and boasts "powerful internal subwoofers", two Hi-Fi mid-range drivers, and four tweeters, which allows the Pantheone I to "fill any room with a 360-degree, clear stereo sound".
So, it should sound suitably bassy, and you'd expect it to sound rich and full in large rooms – after all, at that price, it'll likely appeal to those lucky enough to have a big living area.
As mentioned, built-in Alexa means that it can double up as a voice-activated control hub for your other smart home devices, while an AUX port means that you can hook it up to your music device for wired listening, if you prefer that over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity.
It comes with its own iOS and Android app, which allows you to adjust the sound, as well as pair up to eight Pantheone I speakers together – presumably in mono, rather than a surround sound setup.
Of course, buying more than one of these wireless speakers would be prohibitively expensive to most – we can all dream though, can't we?
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Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.