A number of manufacturers really know how to spice up the classic audio shapes, adding subtle design touches that turn a regular old box into a conversation piece (the good kind of conversation). I'd say "WAF" but some of us don't have wives and, really, that's not what audio is about. Back in the day, hifi was all about inviting a girl over, lighting some candles, putting on some vinyl and talking about the subtle differences of tubes versus transistors.
Maybe not, but there's great acronym bantered about by those who know the roots of audio: GYL. Forget wives, will your stereo Get You Laid. Flashy speakers won't get the girl in the door, but once there, at least she won't think you're going to stuff her inside of your coffin shaped speakers. And, of course, you'll have a great conversation about your "passion for music" and "appreciation of the fine arts" and any other BS you can come up with. WIth any luck, you'll actually have something interesting to talk about on Audio Asylum in the morning.
Here's a roundup of the equipment with the highest GYL factor in Vegas.
Above and at top is Acoustic Arts components and Eventus speakers. Both available from AAudio Imports.
Going the open baffle route, Lyngdorf above runs a full DSP system with 3-way active crossovers. Subs are in the corners and time aligned to mesh with the black boards. Below, the world's largest volume knob.
Above, the new Bird speakers from ceramic speaker company Marten Design run $30k and come in a gorgeous maple finish or various automotive colors. The tapered and angled shape is a nice variation on the typical tower of power.
Above, Peak Consult's new Princess speakers. Leather fronts with unique paneled sides.
Below, the unbelievably gorgeous Burmester equipment.
Below, DeVore's ever fabulous Gibbon Super 8 speakers in contrasting woods.
Eggleston "Nines" at $12k. Ferrari red and a great shape.
The speaker below was sitting in the corner of a room demoing various tweaks and room enhancements. A shame because with its thin ply construction and streamlined shape, it's probably one of the classiest looking speakers out there. The Chinese manufacturer simply said "prototype" when I tried to pin him down.
Above, while the picture isn't the best, the finish on these Chinese speakers is incredible. Volent is the speaker company, being distributed through E-Speakers.com. A couple grand a pair, they're probably the best looking speakers at this price point ever.