Search

Whyd Wants to Make Listening to Music a Matter of Asking

04.14.17 | By
View Slideshow

Ask and you shall receive. That’s the core premise behind the Whyd speaker system, a pill-shaped audio device always listening for your next command (and possibly smiling back while waiting around).

What’s inside the pill-shaped enclosure? A 100mm subwoofer with long excursion suspension and ferrite magnet engineered to push out deep bass even with its compact dimensions, 4 x 40 mm full range drivers with neodymium magnet and aluminium diaphragm, and Class-D amplifiers powering them all. Whyd speakers are designed to work by themselves or paired up in the same room in left/right stereo sound output.

Additionally there are five microphones listening with advanced noise cancellation that allows the speaker to discern user voice commands even with background or ambient noise battling for its attention. In that sense, one could think of the Whyd as a better looking (but limited featured) version of the Amazon Echo specifically designed for music playback.

The top of the Whyd is covered in a curved, glass touch panel that allows the voice-shy to control the speaker by touch rather than vocal command: tap to play/pause a song, swipe to go next, zoom with two fingers to increase volume, double tap to favorite the current song. Airplay, Bluetooth, and wi-fi streaming are all supported out of the box, while an iOS and Android companion app permits additional fine tuning, multi-room setup, and playback controls.

The technology is dressed inside a 3D-knitted sleeve optimized for audio performance, developed by Teknit, a fabric manufacturing specialist based in Michigan, USA. The fabric also permits a discrete and hidden RGB LCD screen to be displayed during operation, specifically with an emotive iconographic system to communicate the “mood” of the speaker.

Currently available in five different fabric options, the first run of Whyd speakers sold out at launch, with a new waiting list being compiled for those seeking a compact, yet capable audio speaker for wireless playback.

Gregory Han is Tech Editor of Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at gregoryhan.com.