Award-winning industrial designer Ross Lovegrove – who designed KEF’s £140,000 Muon loudspeakers – now delivers premium design in affordable wireless Bluetooth speaker.
KEF has announced the launch of the MUO, a new wireless Bluetooth speaker set to shake up the contemporary audio market with its state-of-the-art industrial design and class-leading sound performance. MUO has been created by KEF in collaboration with award-winning designer Ross Lovegrove, who previously worked with the world-renowned audio brand when he designed the legendary Muon loudspeakers – costing £140,000 per pair. Under Lovegrove’s design direction, the MUO wireless speaker inherits its sculptural aesthetic from the unique visual style of the Muon, making MUO the only sub-£300 contemporary audio product to draw its design language directly from a high-end luxury product costing six figures!
KEF engineers worked with Lovegrove to create an extremely strong molded internal enclosure to house MUO’s innovative drivers, high-performance digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) and other internal components. These are encased in a stunningly designed and acoustically inert outer shell of extruded aluminium, with soft rubber feet optimally positioned for MUO to be sat at exactly the right angle for desktop use. Using premium materials throughout, this high-quality structure effectively eliminates unwanted cabinet vibration – so all you hear is the rich, natural and breathtakingly detailed output of KEF’s innovative drivers, and the wide, intricate soundstage they create. MUO’s internal design features KEF’s high standards of acoustic engineering, designed to ensure the best possible level of sound reproduction at the price. To that end, KEF has created an ingenious miniature version of the legendary Uni-Q driver array – used in the ultra-premium Muon, Blade and Reference loudspeaker models – and using the same FEA modeling techniques.
Unlike the small drivers in ordinary portable speakers – which inevitably sacrifice both bass depth and high-end clarity – the MUO’s miniaturised Uni-Q driver array decouples the tweeter dome from the outer cone by a flexible membrane. This means the whole diaphragm is free to pump out midrange frequencies as powerfully as a conventional driver, while allowing the tweeter dome to move independently, thus reproducing the higher registers with pinpoint accuracy. The mid/bass cone is profiled to act as a waveguide for the tweeter, further widening the soundstage to fill the room with a full- bodied, stunningly clear sound.
Flanked by the twin driver arrays is an innovative long-throw auxiliary bass radiator, cleverly engineered to maintain its rigidity over the entire surface, ensuring it delivers the kind of tight, clean and generous bass extension you’d normally expect from a far larger and more costly product.
MUO also boasts advanced functionality. You can synchronise a pair of MUOs, to stream superb stereo sound via Bluetooth aptX. Alternatively, when you want to place them far apart – at a party for example – simply select the ‘Dual Connect’ party mode to replicate the same full-range response in both speakers, so that everybody gets the full benefit of the music you’re playing. MUO also comes with an internal sensor that automatically optimises its output to suit its orientation. So, whether you place MUO upright or horizontally, inside or outside your home, the unit automatically delivers the same outstanding acoustic depth and definition. Non-Bluetooth connection is also straightforward, thanks to a 3.5mm Aux input. Most Android devices will also connect effortlessly to MUO via its NFC ‘Tap-to-Pair’ function: simply hold the device against MUO’s surface and they’ll be paired and ready to stream in seconds.
The beautiful contours of MUO’s design come complemented by a choice of five suitably cool finishes: Horizon Gold, Storm Grey, Light Silver, Neptune Blue and Sunset Orange.
- Streams superb CD-quality stereo sound wirelessly via Bluetooth aptX
- Mono mode, stereo mode or ‘dual-connect’ party mode for room-filling sound
- Connects to any computer or mobile device
- NFC ‘Tap-to-pair’ function for most Android devices
- Rechargeable battery with up to 12 hours of play time
- Muon-inspired design by Ross Lovegrove with KEF engineers
- Miniature Uni-Q ‘point source’ driver array for class-leading clarity and definition
- Long-throw auxiliary bass radiator for tight, clean bass extension
- High performance DAC (Digital-to-Analogue Converter)
- Acoustically inert precision-engineered aluminium shell
- Curved shape with soft pads for positioning at the optimum angle with minimal surface interference
- Choice of Horizon Gold, Storm Grey, Light Silver, Neptune Blue and Sunset Orange.
Availability: From 21st September 2015 until 18th October, two specially selected MUO, finished in Horizon Gold and Storm Grey will only be made available through Harrods Technology, with the Horizon Gold finish continuing as an exclusive finish until the end of 2015. Price: £299.95 (more info)