Gear | October 27, 2017 9:00 am

These Eight Speakers Look Great — and Sound Even Better

Ever heard a 300-year-old wireless speaker?

Handcrafted. Sourced from reclaimed timber. Something you’ll pass down to your kids one day.

Not usually the words you’d use to describe a wireless speaker.

But Riverwood Acoustics hopes to bring a little heritage and craft to your modern, plastic listening habits.

Handcrafted from “old growth” wood sourced from a nearby river, the retro-designed Riverwood speakers use reclaimed birch for good reason.

“I live on the beautiful Ottawa River, and every spring, some heritage logs wash ashore on my beach during the spring flow,” explains appropriately monikered founder Ben Seaman. “These logs traveled down the river as a transportation means to the rest of the world. During their voyage, many sunk and stayed perfectly preserved for over 100 years. I’ve seen some amazing furniture made out of these logs and was awestruck by the look and grain patterns.”

The wood — some of which actually dates back 300 years — has “a tighter annular ring, creating a denser, stronger cabinet that also looks beautiful.”

Seaman, a designer for several award-winning hi-fi companies (Definitive Technology, GoldenEar), built Riverwood with help from Scott Rathwell, a mechanical engineer with a passion for woodworking. “A lot of our teenage memories revolved around campfires and cottages blasting songs until the sun would come up,” says Rathwell. “We wanted to create a speaker that actually had quality, soul and a story behind it.”

Here’s what you’re getting with the company’s first product: A lot of deep bass tucked into a small 12”x6”x6” frame. A high-quality full range driver with excellent frequency response and bottom-mounted passive radiators.

So it’s got a warm look and sound. And, obviously, it’s something you’ll be proud to display.

Riverwood is currently on Indiegogo for $449, or 25% off the future retail price.

A few more wireless speakers with unique designs:

Minimalist yet colorful speakers from Stockholm, wrapped in transparent fabric and available in six different colors: Dirty Pink, Vinyl Black, Plant Green, Concrete Grey, Goldfish Orange and Indigo Blue.

Heavy duty speakers are styled after the brand’s classic “silverface” amp design and provide a crisp, clean, powerful sound.

Audio House Boombox
An ode to the sturdy hi-fi equipment in the living rooms of the ‘70s, the Modern Boombox is dressed in a heavy walnut shell.

A shiny black, kettlebell-like take on the boombox. It’s a 100W omni-directional speaker (and subwoofer) with two full-range drivers and dual passive radiators. And it acts as a hub, pairing with up to six other Bluetooth speakers, from any brand.

Symbol Audio
A wifi-enabled tabletop speaker with a ’60s mod aesthetic that’s as timeless as the vinyl in your crates.

Porsche Design Bluetooth 911 Speaker
Made from high-quality aluminium housing, this 60-watt speaker almost perfectly replicates the 911 GT3’s high-gloss black tailpipe.  

Owlee Scroll Vintage
A portable Bluetooth speaker that actually stands out, thanks to its leather casing (and great bass).