“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” Did William Morris have Aether’s Cone music player in mind when he made this assertion? It’s unlikely. But surveying the architectural curves and sleek finish of Cone, it looks like something Mr Morris would certainly have approved of. Useful? Yes. Beautiful? Definitely.
Billed as “the thinking music player,” Cone is not just pretty, it’s also going to revolutionise how you listen to music. It seems like we’ve more choice than ever when it comes to music these days – from YouTube and streaming sites to social music apps and digital radio. And yet, the choice can be overwhelming, can’t it? A wardrobe full of clothes and nothing you really want to wear comes to mind… Enter Cone: the personalised music player that’s smart enough to work out what you want to listen to. The portable player has access to over 30 million songs (via Rdio) as well as any radio station you care to tune into. Via a clever algorithm, Cone gradually grows to understand what you like to listen to – and when.
Audio is controlled via a rotating ring around the edge of the player; you give a little twist to skip to the next track – or a bigger one if you’re not a fan of the current song, or fancy changing the playlist’s mood. You can also request tracks, artists or radio stations by pressing the centre button. Cone even has an eight-hour rechargeable battery so as long as there’s wifi, you can play music wherever you like. And the sound quality? Pitch perfect, powerful and crystal clear.
“We really tried to break the norm of what a speaker this powerful looks like, we intentionally wanted it less masculine, less technical and more harmonious and integrated into people’s homes and lives,” says Cone’s designer Chad Harber. They’ve definitely succeeded there. With a minimal look and in elegant white/silver and cool black/copper finishes, you could be forgiven for not realising it was a music player at all. Beautiful, useful, indispensable.