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What’s in Pandoretta’s box? 360 degrees of Austrian hi-fi sound

Poet Audio, an Austrian maker of high-end audio gear, has crafted perhaps one of the most lavish wireless Bluetooth speakers we’ve seen. The Pandoretta (stylized by Poet Audio as “pandoretta,” but capitalized here for clarity’s sake) was designed to reproduce 360-degree sound, regardless of which way the unique box and its bevy of Connect Four-style holes might be positioned. And at $4,600, this stylized piece of hi-fi fare is not for the timid.

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Designed and developed wholly in the Austrian city of Graz with “no compromises,” the speaker uses both Bluetooth (aptX codec-compatible) and Wi-Fi via Apple’s AirPlay technology to connect with iPhones, smartphones and tablets, and computers. Pandoretta also features two “hidden” analog inputs for connecting to TVs and other devices. If more than one active sound source tries to connect with the device simultaneously, the system recognizes all sources at once and gives the listener the ability to choose the desired source via smartphone or tablet.

Poet Audio has claimed that it strives for “maximum compatibility” by eliminating all remote control and user manuals, an effort that serves to simplify the user experience. Adding to the minimalist theme, the Pandoretta also curiously lacks a power button, utilizing instead an “automatic wake-up technology,” which enables the Pandoretta to detect Bluetooth signals as soon as music begins playing on any compatible devices. Just how that works with analog inputs wasn’t disclosed by the company, but considering the price, we’re assuming they’ve got that worked out.

The Pandoretta features a 170-watt Class D amplifier with a claimed frequency response of 20-20kHz. The speaker runs sound through four main driver components, including a 7-inch subwoofer housed in a Kevlar chassis to resist twisting, two 3-inch midrange speakers, and a single neodymium tweeter.

Musician, mathematician, and “sound scientist” of 30-plus years, Thomas Pfob, headed up the audio engineering side of the Pandoretta. Pfob was able to achieve what Poet Audio refers to as “entire symmetry.” Here’s how the company describes it: “Due to the rectangular shape, the gait irradiation is capable of providing for an even sound in every direction of the room, regardless of the listener’s position.” This allegedly creates a sound that is more “space-filling” than that of traditional loudspeakers.

We haven’t had a chance to listen to the Pandoretta yet, but the system’s impeccably minimalistic and patterned aesthetic is certainly one of its primary attractions. The outer case consists of brushed stainless steel, whereas the inner case hides a multi-chamber system comprised of wood. The system owes its modern shape to top Austrian designer Thomas Feichtner.

If you’re particularly flush with cash, you could also consider adding the accompanying $2,600 oak stand (pictured in the gallery above) to your cart. While that price tag may seem pretty monstrous, Poet Audio claims the “elegant pedestal,” which stands roughly 2.5 ft. tall, has been crafted and hand-oiled by the finest carpenters. Either way, we have a feeling the company will find the stand to be a tough sell at close to half the price of the already costly hi-fi system.

You can get ahold of your own $4,600 Pandoretta by visiting select retailer’s showrooms worldwide or ordering via Poet Audio’s own site.

Updated 8/26/2014: Poet Audio supplied us with more specific information for the Pandoretta than was initially available, including driver size, amplifier wattage, and frequency response.

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