CES 2009: The cutest speakers at CES
In an out-of-the-way corner of the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, I found what must surely be the cutest audio product of CES: Sonawall speakers. The company's suite is like the audio equivalent of a Sanrio store, filled with adorable little speakers designed to deliver good sound from almost impossibly small enclosures.
The tiniest of Sonawall's creations is the $199/pair Sonapod, a molded enclosure just a little larger than an egg and holding a single driver. You can place Sonapods in corners, on tabletops, or on walls, or combine two to make the $249 Sonacenter. You can also get the same driver in a quarter-pyramid shape, the $149 Sonacorner Liten. All of the little spekaers will work as front left/center/right or surround channels, and they'll also work for stereo. The company offers various supercompact subwoofers to fill out the tiny transducers' sound.
Company president Kenneth Persson told me that most of the company's speakers are built entirely at its Buellton, California, headquarters. The company doesn't have a lot of dealers in the U.S., but its products seem a natural fit for custom installers ... or for anyone who likes small, cute stuff.--Brent Butterworth