This Dome-Shaped Smart Speaker Sits Better On Your Tabletop Surface, Offering Stability and Stellar Soudn

Somewhere on this smart-speaker journey, the folks at Apple, Amazon, and even Google thought that building a smart speaker with a rounded base sounded like a good idea. Almost every smart speaker today has a design that just feels inherently unstable. The HomePod Mini looks like it could roll right off a table, as does the Echo Dot. The HomePod, Echo, and Nest smart speakers aren’t any better, with a rounded base and vertical design that looks unstable enough to fall over if you bumped into the table or your hand grazed past them.

Now it isn’t a major design flaw, but it’s enough to cause some consternation, and to prompt the design of the Dome series of speakers by One Object Studio. The ‘Dome’ is a family of 3 acoustic products for a Korean tech brand by the name of FOOD. Comprising a single-driver speaker, stereo speaker, and soundbar, the Dome speakers all have one thing in common… and the name probably gives away a pretty big clue.

Designer: One Object Design Studio (Kwun Hong Lo & Young Kim)

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What instantly strikes one with the Dome’s design language is that it’s an elegant solution to a product with a singular design problem. Most smart speakers look good as they are, with their fabric clads – it’s just their overall silhouette (especially the base) that seems to be the problem. The Dome series instantly fixes that, with a hemispherical design language that sits flat on any tabletop surface, looking almost as if you have a speaker going through the table rather than sit on it.

The allure of the Dome speaker is just how it neatly ‘squats’ on your tabletop surface. It feels incredibly stable, secure, and worthy of belonging on your work desk, kitchen countertop, or even mantelpiece. The speaker series comes in three sizes, entertaining multiple different use-cases. The smallest dome speaker is similar to a HomePod Mini, and can be placed anywhere around the house. The stereo speaker is perfect for places where you’d actually sit and enjoy music. The soundbar belongs right under your television or entertainment setup, where thundering, immersive sound is more of a requirement.

The only caveat with the Dome speaker series is the fact that they’re more upward firing than 360° or forward firing, which tends to result in a minor drop in audio quality/amplitude. A simple look at the speaker’s architecture shows upward-facing drivers which fure audio in a 360° circle that moves upwards. Audio would obviously travel to your ears, but you’d enjoy music from above the speaker than from beside it. That can be fixed by adjusting the speaker’s inner architecture, beam-forming abilities, and overall audio algorithms. After all, a lot of smaller Bluetooth speakers have a similar single-directional driver arrangement, and they sound absolutely fine. To be honest, I’d rather have a speaker that sounds good and doesn’t fall off my table than just a speaker that sounds fantastic but could possibly crack if it impacted the floor…