Do you want to be stuck in a box?
Neither did I.
So in 2009 I created ikyaudio. Our mission at ikyaudio is to always think outside the box in designing and building audiophile quality audio speakers.
My passion for audio started when I was a boy going to the local Hi-Fi shops with my Dad, seeing all the silver faced amplifiers with all their knobs and buttons, and then seeing all the large speakers with the shape of the cones just begging me to touch them. This was a paradise to me. The passion only grew stronger as I grew older. Buying my first stereo receiver and a pair of speakers was a dream come true. Sitting in my room as a teenager listening to Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Boston, getting lost in the sound.
Today, with everything going digital with iPods and computer audio, I wanted something for my desktop, not finding anything with style and sound quality in my price range. I decided to try and make my own speakers, first using the wooden box form, then branching out to found objects like cigar and whiskey boxes. Then finally working with PVC pipe fittings I designed the ikyaudio red-lobsters, which were beautifully painted by Duane Waller of Chester Cycles. My designs also included matching motif amplifiers.
The red-lobesters were well praised by the industry and customers in their looks and sound.
As the popularity of the PVC speakers grew, unfortunately, so did material, shipping and labor costs. The handmade speakers were becoming cost and design restrictive.
The material nature of the PVC originally helped me breakout of the box. However, I began to find it to be a limiting factor in my conceptual and actualized designs. The rigidity of the PVC brought only severe conformity in size and shape instead an increased potential for organic design, so I ventured forward to seek an alternative to PVC that could justly bring to fruition my designs. My journey brought me to 3D printing and opened my eyes to the boundless possibilities it can offer. There is no longer just a box that binds within its boundaries the art of sound and design.
Introducing the 3D printed ikyaudio sound spheres
Video below shows the working prototype in action
The sound spheres were designed to be compact yet have a full sound and great imaging, giving a much bigger sound stage than there size portrays.
- 3D printed speakers and matching amplifier printed in PLA.
- 5 inch spheres housing a 3 inch magnesium/aluminum alloy full range
driver. This combination of driver and enclosure creates a rich, warm sound much like a pair of bookshelf speakers.
- The 60 degree angle of the driver sends all the sound to your ears.
- Matching amplifier has a 15 watt Class-T Tripath audio chip to produce incredible fidelity and efficiency.
- Volume/On/Off knob with green LED power on indicator light.
A rear mounted 3.5 mm stereo (1/8") audio input is provided. The amplifier also includes a 3 foot long, male-to-male 3.5 mm cable for making connections to iPods, MP3 players and PCs easy.
- Includes a pair of 6 foot long left and right speaker connectors.
- AC wall adapter included.
Videos below are audio tests of the working prototype:
The sound spheres are just the tip of the iceberg for ikyaudio and 3D printing. We are working on a dozen or so new designs and the options are only limited to our imaginations. Images below are some of the examples.
We are even working on a 3D printed version of the red-lobesters.
Why 3D printing?
3D printing is the future!
- Design options are almost unlimited
- Customization available
- Multiple color options
- Reduced labor time and costs
- PLA filament is eco-friendly
We need your help to fund the purchase of the 3D printers, raw material and other tools to manufacture these speakers.
$1 digital "thank you"
your name added to ikyaudio's website "wall of fame"
$5 ikyaudio sticker - limit 500
$25 ikyaudio Glow-in-the-dark 3D printed keychain limit 50
$40 ikyaudio T-shirt - limit 100
$100 ikyaudio 3D CAD Signed & Numbered drawing - limit 100
$225 ikyaudio sound spheres (red)
$225 ikyaudio sound spheres (white)
$225 ikyaudio sound spheres (black)
$375 ikyaudio sound spheres (KickStarter) limit 20
$500 ikyaudio sound spheres (Glow-in-the-dark) limit 15
$750 ikyaudio sound spheres (Custom) your name or logo on them
you chose the color as well - limit 10
$1100 ikyaudio sound spheres (Original ABS Prototype in white) Signed
limit 1 (actual photo shown below)
Risks and challenges
Since we've already developed the final version of the sound spheres, and have tested them for 3 months, the main risks are a possible delay with the production time, and unexpected problems with attaining the 3D printers and the raw materials.
But, there is a very thin possibility that any of that will happen.
And who knows, with a little elbow grease and some luck, we might even be ready to ship the sound spheres ahead of schedule.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)