Unmonday 4.3L is an AirPlay speaker that's as quirky as they get. The wireless wonder packs a built-in router, amp and battery all into into a ceramic body. That's not all, though. The heaxagonal-shaped speaker can change audio channels simply by rolling it onto its different sides and can combine with up to five speakers to create a Sonos-style multi-room setup.
It started life on Kickstarter back in 2012 and having successfully reached its pledge total, the Finnish company is unleashing the Unmonday 4.3L in January 2014. Priced at 600 Euros (£589) per speaker it doesn't come cheap especially if you want to get the full surround sound experience.
Much like its Scandinavian counterparts at Bang & Olufsen, the Unmonday 4.3L is a chic, minimalist-looking speaker at heart. Button-less with just a single 3.5mm jack and wire trailing off to the power adaptor at the base, there's very little to get in the way of the porcelain enclosure.
There’s a built-in charger and a battery to giving you 8 hours of playing time if you want to take it on your travels. Unlike Sonos multiroom systems, there’s a built-in Wi-Fi receiver so everything you need to get connected is housed inside the speaker. The only other connection is a 3.5mm jack if you want to hook something up directly.
The Unmonday looks a bit like a plant pot that's had the soil removed and replaced with speaker components. That doesn't paint the most lavish picture of the 4.3L, but it's certainly unique and is accompanied by similarly stylish (and expensive) accessories including replaceable canvas grilles (29 Euros), a leather carry case (249 Euros) and the yet to be announced tripod-style stands so you can keep the speakers raised off the floor.
It's a heavy prospect to move around so you will want to position it wisely. Dropping a Sonos speaker is one thing, doing the same thing with a porcelain speaker could be an even more disastrous scenario. It feels robust and durable enough to take light bumps, but you wouldn't want to risk getting it chipped.
If you are looking for a speaker that blends into an already lavish living room interior, the Unmonday would definitely be a beautiful new addition.
Don't be fooled by it's strange porcelain looks, this is a speaker with the specs to pump out high quality audio. Each speaker features an Alpair 10 full-range driver and is capable of 20 Watts of audio grunt with a frequency range of 3hz to 25,000khz to deliver the deep, low bass. Additionally, there's a built-in Dolby Digital Surround decoder to split the sound channels when you have more than one speaker.
The built-in motion sensors in each side of the speaker adjusts the sound channel to deliver mono, stereo or surround sound. If you want to mute the sound, you simply need to turn the speaker face down. To achieve surround sound, however, you'll need to buy five speakers. A single speaker can deliver mono audio quality and two speakers are required for stereo audio. With two speakers, the lag between switching from Mono to Stereo is barely noticeable.
In a multi-speaker setup you can also send different music to different speakers if you have them set up in different rooms in the house.
The Finnish manufacturer is working on an accompanying app to help take greater control of the speakers from an iPhone or iPad and add Dolby Digital support. It is also looking at adding a subwoofer to ramp it up in the bass department.
From a design perspective, the UnMonday 4.3L is a break from the usual black box speakers and has the sound quality to match the unique look. At reasonable volume levels, there’s a nice warm sense of bass, good treble levels and it maintains its natural, refined sound even when you crank the volume up.
Inevitably, we have to come back to the price. You'll need to spend around £1,000 for stereo sound and £2,500 to get the full surround sound setup. A Pure Jongo multiroom set of speakers will cost you significantly less. There will of course be a trade off in design and sound quality.
For the time being Unmonday 4.3L is a speaker and multiroom solution for style-conscious audiophiles with big very wallets.