I’ve spent a good month+ with Joey Roth’s Ceramic Speakers purposely avoiding all other reviews of it. I wanted nothing to influence me. I was steadfast in going with my gut. No cerebral analyses or intellectualizing what a modern $400+ speaker should look like. Sound isn’t tangible. You have to feel it to know it and that’s how I approached this review. These speakers enabled me to “experience” resplendent audio.
The speakers come packaged in what’s become Roth’s signature style – a specially made egg crate box tied with a natural woven cord. It’s like receiving a big gift. Everything you need to get set up is included – two speakers, one amp, cables, and speaker stands.
The speakers are made of gorgeous porcelain. They’re so stunningly white and hefty that they seem at odds. It’s very durable but by material virtue, you instantly take pride in handling them, like a chef with his ceramic knife. The amp is cut from sheets of brushed steel set in an iron base. There are no fancy controls here; just an old school on/off switch, a volume slider, and basic audio inputs.
The design is externalized. Every major component looks as if it was crafted to be on display. The speakers remind me of old school gramophones. They’re topped off with cork to provide better sound dampening. The cables are unabashedly creamy pink protecting an array of copper wiring. The binding posts and input heads are gold plated. Even the way the input heads connect into the binding posts look like a practice in symmetry; a study in minimalist, utilitarian design. The only things you can’t see are some of the electrical components, paper diaphragms, and speaker magnets.
Now I’m not gonna fool anyone into thinking 15 watt speakers are going to blow your minds but it will make all vinyl records and lossless audio sound so rich and full, you’ll never want to go back. The ceramic and cork properties seem to naturally amplify sound in a way plastic and rubber can’t. The only problem with this setup is with today’s rapid consumption of downloable audio which isn’t lossless. I can clearly hear the difference between an MP3 and a lossless file weighing in at over 40 MB. Normal speakers can fool you into thinking MP3s sound as good. This is for the true audiophile who loves brilliant design.
Okay so I saved the best for last, $495 for some speakers. Yes you can buy speakers that will give you amazing sound for much less money. If you’re someone interested in balancing quality, design, and cost – keep looking. This is not for everyone. You’re going to have to love sound and design in a way a normal person doesn’t. You have to be someone who respects originality and is willing to put up the cash to own a piece of it. This is art manifested in two ceramic cones set on birch plates, powered by a big block of steel and iron. If that juxtaposition makes you smile, then these speakers are for you.
What we loved:
- Stunning design
- Clear, rich sound
- Quality construction
- No proprietary connections, works with anything
What could be improved:
- Needs a subwoofer to match
- Price prohibitive to some