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ViolinSpeaker resonates at CES


January 16, 2012

The i Violin display at CES

The i Violin display at CES

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Often viewed as works of art, violins and other string instruments are not uncommonly displayed in the home. One Chinese company is turning a number of violins and other string instruments into speakers, so the display is functional. Instruments used to make the speakers, which also include bass and other string selections, are made by Hua Xing String Instruments in Guangzhou, China. A driver is inserted into the instrument, and the resonance within the resulting ViolinSpeaker is used to produce and project sound.

The ViolinSpeaker was on display last week at the CES, where its rich, full sound could be heard throughout the hall where it was located.

An elegant display, the speaker sits on a stand and has a wire that goes from the back to the receiver. The violin was displayed on a pillar, though it is just as easily placed on a bookshelf or home theater cabinet. The bass and other large string instruments sit comfortably on the floor.

The ViolinSpeaker from i Violin, on display at CES

A smaller version was also on display, which the company said is being tested for car audio. It is unclear whether the ViolinSpeaker will replace bookshelf or other speakers, or just enhance an existing audio system.

The product is expected to become available some time this spring (northern hemisphere). The U.S. distributor is J&P International Trading LLC. Details on the price were unavailable.

More information on the string instruments can be found at the Hua Xing String Instruments website.

About the Author
Enid Burns Enid began her freelance writing career reviewing video games after spending several hundred dollars upgrading a DOS-based machine to get Syndicate to run. Since then she's added coverage of mobile phones, consumer electronics and online advertising to her writing portfolio. Essentially, she's fascinated by shiny objects and making them light up.   All articles by Enid Burns

I can see this being used by those "not so capable" to make it look like they are a violin virtuoso!! does it have a Bluetooth connection to ease hiding the MP3 player?

17th January, 2012 @ 04:13 am PST

And I thought GIFs were dead. (Pictures with 256 color palette, yay!)

17th January, 2012 @ 08:05 am PST

This speaker will only be good for playing music created by stringed instruments.

Michael Barreto
17th January, 2012 @ 09:22 am PST

If Bose can use acoustics to make their Wave put out great sound, why couldn't a stringed instrument body do the same? The market may be limited, but it is intriguing.

Bruce H. Anderson
17th January, 2012 @ 11:33 am PST

There's a conceptual flaw in this idea.

Musical instruments use resonance to create sound, the shape of the instrument and the type of material affect how it sounds.

A speaker on the other hand has to reproduce the sound without adding any resonance of its own so resonance is the enemy (except controlled resonance as used in bass reflex ports to extend the bass response but in a controlled way).

Concrete is actually quite a good material for speaker boxes because of its immunity to resonance. So if this violin speaker played a violin recording you'd get double the resonance intended for the listener.

I bet its frequency response is all over the place.

17th January, 2012 @ 01:31 pm PST

Can the instruments be played as instruments or are they just usable as speaker cabinets?

Gregg Eshelman
18th January, 2012 @ 02:12 am PST

I was there at the CES and spent over one hour listening to varies type of music with the violin speakers. The system was for sure not suitable for heavy metal or disco. Otherwise the reproduction of human voices, orchestral instruments, percussions and even electronic effects were amazingly well. I held one of the speakers in my hand and it felt just like any other normal violin, except a thin wire was attached onto its bottom.

Boris Northman
23rd January, 2012 @ 06:35 am PST
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