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The first hi-fidelity system designed as a laptop dock: La Boite LD 120.
Andy spotted this gorgeous sound system at last year's Maison et Object show and, being a bit of an audio buff, returned home raving about the design concept and its stunning sound.
High-end audio is in the DNA of Paris-based La Boite Concept and CC LAB: founders Timothée and Guillaume Cagniard are the third generation in the business (Marie Cagniard Yeramian founded the landmark SIARE speaker company in 1945). The brothers recognized a new era of music lovers carried their collections on portable devices capable of high sound quality—but were often plugged into low-quality speakers. No more. La boite means "box," and the brothers went outside the proverbial confines of industry standards with uncompromising attention to every detail.
The built-in DAC (digital to analogue converter) sound card translates the digital audio of the laptop via USB into analogue—a much higher quality sound card than is found in 99% of laptops. The signal is fed to discrete amps (2 x 25 watts + 1 x 70 watts), and then to seven speakers developed exclusively for La Boite: two tweeters, two full range, two mid and one woofer. It is designed to be placed against a wall, so the two full-range speakers at the rear of the unit disperse and reflect off the wall, creating a wide stereo image, even when standing or sitting close to the unit.
There is an input for a mini jack (phone/iPod/iPad/portable music player output) and RCA audio jacks (for any other audio device), as well as a bluetooth adapter to allow for wireless playback. Not to mention bass and treble controls and a built-in plug for providing laptop or device power. The entire unit only requires ONE cable to be plugged in, and this is hidden in the leg for neat-freaks! To save power, if no audio is detected after 15 minutes, the unit automatically switches to standby.
Best of all—besides the sound, of course—it's all contained in what resembles a children's school desk like those found in French schools, but the legs are coated in a glossy piano-lacquered finish and the top is covered in leather. It can also be used as a desk. As beautiful to look at as it is to listen to, however, why work when you can dance?
LA BOITE CONCEPT+CC LAB
“Cradled in the world of hi-fi,” is how co-founder Timothée Cagniard puts it of his family’s lineage in high-end audio. For starters, his grandmother Marie Cagniard Yeramian founded noted speaker brand Siare in 1945, later to be headed up by his father. “I made my first speaker at the age of 12,” he continues, “and it was a natural for my brother and me to create La Boite Concept.”
Under parent company CC LAB, La Boite upped the audio game for the digital generation with a combination of iconic design and standout sound quality, starting with their debut system modeled on a classic French school desk. Very much a part of the creative scene that surrounds them, Timothée and Guillaume also collaborate with international musicians and video artists on numerous special projects.