Some people claim that hi-fi should be heard and not seen. These people are foolish, and to prove it Crystal Audio has made what is certainly the most amazing subwoofer we’ve ever seen.
The Ballad has several astounding traits. The first is that its beautiful curves climb to eight feet tall, which might necessitate knocking a hole through your lounge’s ceiling to fit it in.
That’s, frankly, a small price to pay for a piece of hi-fi art. And calling it art isn’t over-enthusiastic hyperbole – it was designed by Greek sculptor Ilirian Shima, who also fashioned Crystal Audio’s slightly less crazy Melody speakers, which it’s been designed to work with.
The sound shouldn’t disappoint. The woofer is made from solid plywood which, thanks to a wax treatment, is apparently completely inert and booms out a staggeringly dynamic sound.
It also has an endpin which not only gives it the graceful aesthetics of a large cello but means little sonic energy is lost to the floor.
Unfortunately, the Ballad is only a concept at the moment, but could yet follow the Melody speakers into production – at which point it’ll sell for around £4,500. Keep an eye here and on Crystal Audio’s site for news.