Typhonics SP-Tiles Room Treatment First Look
- Product Name: SP-Tiles
- Manufacturer: Typhonics
- Review Date: June 23, 2010 04:05
- MSRP: $54
- First Impression: Mildly Interesting
Acoustic tiles that look like speakers.
Every once in a great while a product comes out that shakes the industry to the core. A product so revolutionary, so groundbreaking, that not just the enthusiasts but the masses get pumped. These are the sorts of products that have your grandmother asking you about them. These are the products that, after a few years, enthusiasts shun for being too mass market.
This is not one of those products.
In fact, if those products had an evil twin, this would be the embodiment of it.
Audioholics is all about the sound (and the video and the bunch of other stuff but sound is way up there). We've been trying for years to get people to adopt room treatments. We've seen manufacturers come out with all kinds of scheme to help people introduce them into their rooms. For those that are interested, it's not a problem. But their spouses typically (and stereotypically we might add) object on aesthetic grounds. So, we've seen pretty frames, we've seen multiple colors and shapes, we've even seen prints so that you can transform them into family portraits or (theoretically) the interior of the Enterprise NCC-1701-D. What we generally haven't seen is someone trying to make them look more like speakers.
Enter the Typhonics SP-Tiles. This octagonal tiles are constructed out of acoustic polyurethane and are molded in the shape of large woofers. They come in a box reminiscent of a drum cymbal and it's got the professional world entranced. Currently only available in Japan, the converted price for US would be about $54 a pop. They come with double-sided tape for easy installation and removal (for when your wife gets home). No doubt when compared to the acoustic foam that is usually used in professional settings, they shine. But in a home setting (which is how the press material presents them), it makes slightly less sense.
The hardcore types out there have claimed that the Typhonics SP-Tiles elevate acoustic tiles to peices of art. Umm.... no. No they don't. But we do think that if you can convince someone else that they do, we're moving in an interesting direction. Say, for example, you leave a printout of the above picture lying around the house and the missus (or mister - let's not be sexist here) comes across it. They pick it up and look at it and bring it to your attention saying how ridiculous all those speakers look. You tell them, "But they aren't speakers, darling, they're art." Worst case scenario - they give you the eye and then throw the picture away. Best case, they decide that this new form of "art" is something they are interested it. On the other hand, if they are interested in room treatments but you don't think they'll like the form factor you've got your heart set on (you know, something with rockwool instead of foam), you can hold these up as an alternative. Suddenly those rectangular treatments aren't looking so bad are they?
The Typhonics SP-Tiles only look to be 15-24" across (we think, the website is in Japanese so we're not sure) so they won't cover much area and at $54 a piece, you're actually paying "art" prices. But in our opinion, you are only one small step away from an infinite baffle system. And that, my friends, would be awesome.
We don't expect Typonics to sell a lot of their SP-Tiles to the masses - the form factor just doesn't have a wide enough base. We're wondering if they'll be little more than accent pieces even in a professional setting given the price. Still, if the goal was to get a lot of media attention, the only better to do so other than release a speaker shaped room treatment is to release a toilet paper holder iPod dock.
For more information, please visit hectopascal.shop-pro.jp.
i must be as twisted as the makers.
will the AH store carry this?