Reminiscent of the clean design style popularized by stalwarts like Dieter Rams (Braun), Naoto Fukasawa (MUJI), and even with the new kid on the block, Teenage Engineering, the PLAYPLAIN speaker is a slick wireless audio device that adds a touch of Japandi minimalism to your space.
“Echoing Rams’ ten principles of good design, the PLAYPLAIN Concept Speaker is a harmonious blend of form and function, presenting a timeless aesthetic that seamlessly integrates into any living space,” says designer Jacek Janiczak. “Its clean lines, uncluttered surfaces, and subtle curves create an elegant silhouette, transcending trends and fads to achieve enduring visual appeal.”
Designer: Jacek Janiczak
The PLAYPLAIN models itself on the Braun LE1 speaker from 1959 (which also inspired the iMac’s design in many ways) and the T3 pocket radio from 1958, combining the styles and formats to create something that’s truly a modern classic. The all-white slab sports a rather hypnotic grille design on the front, and sits on a fold-out leg that lets you tilt the speaker in any direction.
The entire speaker’s all-white design is punctuated by an orange backlit seven-segment LCD display that shows the song name as well as a progress counter. Right beside it is the PLAYPLAIN’s control panel, a circular control interface that’s a nod to the T3 radio as well as the iPod.
A rotary knob on the top serves as the PLAYPLAIN’s volume control as well as its on-off switch, while beside it is what I can only assume is a 1/4″ audio input, allowing you to turn the speaker into an amp for a musical instrument.
The speaker features an all-aluminum construction with a matte finish, referencing the design movement spearheaded by Apple. Its large-ish design feels comparable to a Mac Pro, and one would assume the two could make quite a pairing, given that Apple doesn’t manufacture its own ‘wireless speakers’ outside the HomePod.
Although conceptual, Jacek’s PLAYPLAIN speaker pays quite the homage to all of minimalist technology’s icons. It revives a minimalistic style that’s becoming somewhat dormant, that too in a wireless speaker format that rejects the tech world’s obsession with pod-shaped smart speakers and their fabric class. Even though it’s called PLAYPLAIN, there’s nothing quite plain about it. The speaker’s clean design almost gives it a touch of luxury, making it akin to a hi-fi speaker rather than something affordable or budget-friendly. Plus, its slim format almost instantly makes it an object of desirability!