What's the best-looking audio product you've ever seen? Why?

What's the best-looking audio product you've ever seen? Why?
Here it is:
86% (86 votes)
Don't have one
7% (7 votes)
Looks don't matter at all!
7% (7 votes)
Total votes: 100

As a follow-up to last week's question, we'd like to know what audio gear gets your vote for best-looking product of all time.

David Morse's picture

VPI TNT turntable. Just gorgeous.

Greg Gacek's picture

I would say Bang & Olufsen have consistently been on the cutting edge of looks and design over the years. Yet I have never bought one of their products because I thought they were too trendy. My vote for one of the coolest components ever built was the Nakamichi Dragon cassette player. The way it spun the cassette around was really cool.

Sara1982's picture

Greg, did you ever work at IAS?

Isiah Johnson's picture

Magneplanar speakers—a speaker that doesn't look like a speaker. Just beautiful music appearing in front of you. Gorgeous.

Ben Blish's picture

The Marantz 3650 preamp. Functionality, usability, quality, flexibility, symmetry, sculpted knobs and extruded panel . . . all contribute to the overall look. This preamp makes reductionist modern black gear look like the junk it is, while providing more and better capabilities hands-down. I searched for years to find one. You can see it here: www.glasgow.com/marantz/3650.html

john hamblin's picture

looks matter because it involves another sense to add further personal involvement during the exercise of aural perception. This said, even though all audio afficianados, myself included will profess looks do not add or subtract from the listening experience. All gear is beautiful. Extruded heat sinks have a techno utility beauty of form and function.

Tom Selnau's picture

McIntosh etched-glass faceplates. Timeless beauty.

Graeme Nattress's picture

I have a Michell GyroDec, and it is just the best-looking turntable ever. I have an FR64FX tonearm on it, which just adds to the appearance!


its the sound and thats all thats important to me unless they come up with a way to see music notes floating in air.

Dave's picture

Balanced Audio Tech VK60

Greg Mahoney's picture

The MBL 101D.

Vern Neal's picture

Anything made by Meridian—simplicity, clean lines, art in motion.

Thomas Newell's picture

The Gallo Acoustics Reference loudspeaker. The amazing thing is, they sound even better than they look!

Mannie Smith's picture

The Jeff Rowland line of electronics is the best-looking in all of High-End, and Avalon makes the best-looking speakers. I'd have to give the nod to Rowland (any of them since they have the same faceplate).

M.D.  Chubb's picture

McIntosh amps, of course.The big, solid state jobs. Who can resist that beautiful blue glow in a darkened room?

Sven White's picture

To those who say "looks don't matter at all," how would you feel about showing off a fantastic new amp you bought to your friends that features a large, pulsing red swastika on the front? Even if you concealed it, you'd be admitting that aesthetics do matter to some degree. Everyone has their own aesthetic tastes and limits when it comes down to a product-purchasing decision. If "the sound" is really the only thing that matters for audio products, would you buy the "best-sounding" speakers on the market, even if they emanated the pungent odor of wet baloney 24/7?

Anonymous's picture

McIntosh with the trademark blue-light and sexy meters.

Richard V's picture

The Oracle turntable. It got me interested in the High End.

Eric Scott's picture

Martin-Logan speakers! I think it was the transparent panel that got my attention, but the overall sound is why I wrote the check. One of the few products that sounds as good as it looks.

T's picture

A young Dolly Parton

Tommy Lien's picture

The Jeff Rowland Design Group Model 8 in Platinum finish is, without any doubt, the best-looking audio product ever made.

Al Marcy's picture

AR-1 turntable.

Steve Guttenberg's picture

Jeff Rowland's gear. It doesn't pretend to be anything other than what it is—utterly masculine, built-to-the-hilt audio electronics. The metalwork is to die for!

Joe's picture

It's a toss up between Martin Logan Aerius, it's the only piece of audio gear I know that everyone who comes into my home takes notice of. They sound as good as they look.

Derrick Moss's picture

Most Oracle stuff! But not their speakers or cheapest 'tables. That's as specific as I can get on such a broad subjective question guys... (tomorrow I might think of a different answer).

Jim Wentworth's picture

The Sonus Faber line, including the Electa Amator, the Guarneri, and the absolutely stunning Amati Homage—all beautiful furniture, even if it made no sound at all!

Karl Richichi, U.T.  Film Dept.'s picture

My first choice, loudspeaker-wise, would have to be the B&W Nautilus, with the Martin-Logan Statement coming in a close second. The B&W Nautilus is a one-of-a-kind loudspeaker. It looks as if it just came up from the deep blue sea. The exponentially tapered tubes—so amazing. The Martin-Logan Statement looks as if it came right out of the film "2001." The monolith stands before us.

Senad Rebac's picture

Sonus Faber Amati.

Peter B.  Noerbaek's picture

Oracle's Delphi turntables and their new CD transport.

Jim's picture

Any McIntosh - Tube or Solid State has the beauty contest all wrapped up.