Bluetooth speakers, portable speakers, outdoor speakers, or mini speakers, you name it and the audio industry has come up with practically every kind of speaker! However, Oswalds Mill Audio’s (OMA) latest ‘Ironic’ speaker is probably one of the most unconventional and unique speakers I have ever come across! This Steampunk inspired piece of art is an open baffle type (wherein a loudspeaker is mounted on a flat board or a ‘baffle’), cast from a special kind of iron known as ‘hypo-eutectic iron’. This breed of iron is usually reserved for high-tech applications such as in a photolithography machine for the production of silicon chips, wherein resonance and vibration must be reduced to an absolute minimum. This implies that the Ironic speaker will not give out a resonating noise, and the output will be pure.
Designer: Oswalds Mill Audio (OMA)
The striking speakers are created using 3D printed molds, however, the process is so intrinsic and complex, that the mold is destroyed while releasing the casting within. Hence for each loudspeaker, a new mold must be produced! The end result is a booming 132cm high and 89cm wide structure.
The Ironic has been power-packed with a special combination of transducers- a 15″ electrodynamic or field coil woofer harvested from Juke Boxes used in the 1930s (of which they have obtained ONLY 20 restored samples) and a bleeding-edge custom ribbon tweeter (a small speaker that produces treble), which helps the speaker produce the highest range frequency. These come together to bless the Ironic with a pure and authentic sound of unprecedented efficiency, producing at least 104 dB of output across the majority of its range. Balancing the old with the new, Ironic can play from iPods, smartphones as well as vinyl!
With only 20 restored woofers, it’s no surprise that the Ironic is available as a limited edition of ten pairs only. Resembling a cacophony of metallic bubbles, and boasting an all cast iron body, the Ironic resonates a crystal clear sound. Though the bubbles are present only for aesthetic value, they do impart an overwhelming aura, giving us the sensation that the music is coming in from all directions! With the ability to bathe us in a shower of crisp sound, the Ironic is surely at the top of my list of speaker must-haves!