Dampening, Folks!

Can Concrete Make a Better Wireless Speaker?

April 18, 2017 Tech By

Master & Dynamic, the New York City–based audio equipment designer, has made serious strides in the world of sound in just three short years. Hanging their hat on lofty audio standards and hefty headphone materials, they’ve quickly become a darling of those looking to steer clear of the plasticization of audio. Fittingly, with their first dive into the speaker world, they took to the deep end of the design pool.

The MA770 Wireless Speaker, made of a concrete composite, is 35 pounds heavy and 16 x 20 x 10 inches — roughly the size of a desktop computer monitor. It’s a monolith. Made in collaboration with renowned architect Sir David Adjaye (of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver and the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo), the speaker’s primary material is a proprietary concrete composite.

The concrete increases dampening and reduces sonic resonance, creating a more pure sound and also reducing adjacent vibration (if, say, the speaker is placed next to a turntable). Concrete’s dampening properties are, Master & Dynamic claims, five times better than wood and ten times better than plastic. The speaker has Google Chromecast built in and is compatible with Bluetooth; it also has direct audio and optical ports, giving you plenty of interface options, whether you prefer your smartphone or a dedicated hi-fi device.

Naturally, this chunk of shaped cement doesn’t come cheap. The speaker is priced at $1,800 and will have a limited production run. It is available for preorder at masterdynamic.com and will be on sale at the MoMA Design Store starting April 25.

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Matthew Ankeny

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