By Gregory Han
Currently the most conspicuous players in the digital audio speaker market – Apple HomePod, Google Home Max, and Sonos Play:5 – all function with the goals of operating as tastefully inconspicuous devices within the home. Milan-based Habits Studio thinks otherwise, envisioning an audio speaker equally large in size, sound, and aesthetic impression. The Habits OSOUND XL is an unapologetically noticeable presence designed to be seen and heard.
Imagine the B&O Play Beoplay A9 detaching itself from its stand, equipping itself with gesture controls, embellishing its front panel with an LED illuminated volume control ring display, and settling itself onto a wall, and you’ve got something rather similar to the OSOUND XL.
The speaker is available in 6 different fabric finishes: deep black, ice white, cement gray, green sea, burgundy and brown sable.
Designed and made in Italy, the OSOUND XL is a supersized update of the more modestly proportioned OSOUND. Like its smaller sibling, the 34″-diameter size XL model is fabricated with a combination of wood, acrylic glass, PC-reinforced by fiber glass, all covered with an expanse of decor-friendly acoustic fabric hiding an array of audio and Bluetooth 4.0 componetry within. The speaker is engineered to fill a large space with dynamic sound, thanks to its 250W Class D amplifier powering an assemblage of a 4″ midrange, 1″ tweeter, and 8″ subwoofer.
If you hate remotes and love wrist twistin’ like a stir fry, you’ll probably love the gesture-based controls of the OSOUND XL. An illuminated circle on the front registers a small array of hand movements for play, pause, next, previous, and volume controls.
Prices aren’t yet available, but noting the original OSOUND costs upwards of $600, expect to pay somewhere in the ballpark of double the amount for this much more significant audio wall unit when it becomes available.