I was utterly intrigued by the innovative speakers from Dr. Shelley Katz’s UK-based Podium Sound ($5995/pair). Katz produces panel loudspeakers that mechanically vibrate via electromagnetic drivers. Inherently free from phase error and less sensitive to placement than electrostats, they operate full-range without any filters.
Katz, who graduated from Juilliard and received his PhD at the University of Surrey in Guildford, first started his company on December 1, 2006, 13 years after he began researching loudspeakers. His PhD thesis, on the cognition of expression in music, allowed him to spend years investigating how human beings react to mechanically reproduced sound.
Of course, Podium sound speakers do not make sound on their own. Equal credit is due to the Behold electronics, which are imported by Luafer Teknik of Brooklyn. The wonderful sense of air and depth produced by this system, combined with its ability to create sounds that seemed to rise organically out of the listening field, left me eager to hear the set-up at a time when I could spend hours exploring its strengths.