Anyone can use boring old speakers, so why not shake things up with one of these unique alternatives.
Kenwood SP0001 LED Speakers
Japan: Kenwood's stunning new speakers (pictured above) are just about to hit Japanese stores, and hit them they shall. Each speaker is incased in a beautiful glass stand, and also features, as an optional extra, a number of blue and white LED lights.
A stylish modern choice, with a hefty price tag of over $1000.
Fred 500 XL Speakers
United States : Pretending to be a giant has never been easier with the 500 XL speakers from Fred. These quirky desktop speakers resemble Apple’s earlier iPod headphone design, but are five hundred times larger than the originals.
The iPod-inspired speakers can be used via a standard headphone jack, and come with a built-in amp, and USB based power cable. They are available now, and can be yours for $39.
Princeton PSP-NXT Paper Speaker
Japan: Ever wanted to try your hand at making your very own speaker unit? Thanks to Japanese gadget maker Princeton, you now can.
These paper based USB powered speakers come in a choice of three designs, ranging from the street ready Ghetto Blaster, the Hi-Fi, or a classic record player. Once assembled the speakers provide a 3W amp, a 1W speaker, a standard headphone jack, and are powered by a USB cable.
All you have to do is get the scissors and glue out, and follow the included instructions. Patience may be required, but before you know it you will have your very own home made speaker unit. Crafty.
The Princeton Paper Speaker range is currently available in Japan for 1,980 Yen, which is US$20.
FH001 Horn Speaker
United Kingdom: British made, the Ferguson Hill ‘Horn Speaker’ is definitely a more sophisticated speaker choice. The imposing unit is made of tough plastic, and stands about 5ft tall by about 3ft wide. Beyond its vast size, the speaker is also highly efficient, pumping out a great sound while using just a low five watts of power.
You can get the horn for a steep $16,000, and that’s not including the required sub you'll also need.
Star Wars R2-D2 Speakers
Japan: The latest use for everyone’s favorite droid is to turn him into a speaker, adding instant geek appeal to any Star Wars fan's desk.
These official galactic speakers come in a set featuring both R2-D2 and R2-D1. Each speaker has movable parts and stand six inches high.
The Star Wars R2 D2 Speaker Set is available now for $40.
Optimus Prime Head
Japan: Staying with the science fiction vibe, this Transformers speaker from Miracle Plus turns Optimus Prime's severed Autobot head into a speaker. More than meets the eye? Not quite, you get two internal speakers and little else, all of which is powered via USB.
Optimus Prime is due to land some time this month, and you can preorder him now for $50.
Ice Cream Sundae Speakers
United States: These tasty speakers from New York based SG Custom Sound have something sweet for you.
The Ice Cream Sundae speakers are bound to be a conversation starter, as they not only look the part, but also sound sweet, too. Each Sundae speaker stands seventeen inches high and boasts a cool 100 watts in power handling.
At $1250 the pair, they're an expensive indulgence, too.
Or For Something Completely Different…
What do you get when you mix an old speaker, sound, a tube of propane and fire? A Ruben Tube, of course. This is a seriously cool way to visualize sound, but we don't necessarily recommend you try it at home.
This story, "Cool Speakers From Around The World" was originally published by PCWorld.