KEF released Muo, a wireless Bluetooth speaker created in collaboration with designer Ross Lovegrove. Under Lovegrove’s design direction, the Muo wireless speaker inherits its sculptural aesthetic from the unique visual style of KEF’s flagship loudspeakers, the Muon, making MUO the only sub-$500 contemporary audio product to draw its design language directly from a high-end audio product costing $240,000. (And we thought you needed some disposable income for the Sennheiser Orpheus headphones…Wow. —Ed.)
KEF engineers worked with Lovegrove to create an extremely strong molded internal enclosure to house Muo’s drivers, quality digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and other internal components. These are encased in an inert outer shell of extruded aluminum, with soft rubber feet, to position the Muo at the proper angle for desktop use.
KEF MUO Features:
» Streams CD-like quality stereo sound wirelessly via Bluetooth aptX
» Mono mode, stereo mode or Dual-Connect party mode
» 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 clarity and definition
» Long-throw auxiliary bass radiator for tight, clean bass extension
» High performance DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter)
» Acoustically inert precision-engineered aluminium shell
» Curved shape with soft pads for positioning at the optimum angle with minimal surface interference
» Available Colors: Horizon Gold, Storm Grey, Light Silver, Neptune Blue and Sunset Orange
Using premium materials throughout, the enclosure claims to eliminates unwanted cabinet vibration. Muo’s internal design has created a miniature version of the Uni-Q driver array, used in the 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 miniaturized 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 accuracy. The mid/bass cone is profiled to act as a waveguide for the tweeter, further widening the soundstage.
Flanked by the twin driver arrays is a long-throw auxiliary bass radiator, engineered to maintain its rigidity over the entire surface. Muo also boasts advanced functionality. You can synchronize a pair of Muo’s, to stream 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.
Muo also comes with an internal sensor that automatically optimizes 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 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.
KEF’s Muo Costs $349.99 each and comes in six colors, Horizon Gold, Storm Grey, Light Silver, Neptune Blue, Brilliant Rose and Sunset Orange…what? No chrome??