Forget Bang & Olufsen x Balenciaga's weird Speaker Bag, Audio Pro x Andreas Wargenbrant is the audio specialist x artist collaboration I want to see. Essentially, it's a luxurious rose gold and sophisticated black edition of Audio Pro's Addon T3+ Bluetooth speaker – and since Audio Pro makes some of the most talented, retro-styled, leather-handled and sonically gifted best Bluetooth speakers I've ever heard, this is the beautiful frosting on the driver-filled cake.
In case you don't know (and that's OK! Every day is a learning day: one member of the team only learned the difference between Holland and The Netherlands just now), Andreas Wargenbrant is an artist, entrepreneur and much, much more. He manages to do more in one year than some of us manage in a lifetime – always thinking outside the box (see what he did there?).
Wargenbrant is best known for his sculptural work with metals such as bronze, copper and cast iron. Among his artworks you'll find a bijou bronze horse and a shredded platinum card marinated in red wine, but I know him from My First Dollar, a green patinated bronze sculpture shown at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.
Perhaps alarmingly to the audiophile lurking in me, his methods often involve letting the metal in his sculptures sit outside, for long periods of time, then machining them with different abrasives. But despite the outdoor nature of the press images, there is no evidence to suggest that such practices are encouraged or have already been done to the components and/or grilles of the beautiful new Addon T3+ Bluetooth speaker.
Opinion: finally, an audio/artist partnership to get excited about
Swedish specialist Audio Pro is the perfect vehicle for Wargenbrant (see the A36 floorstanding speakers for reference, although the company can do even better in the portable realm) – and enabling him to express himself through his own version of the brand’s popular T3+ Bluetooth speaker is inspired.
The result is an elegant black speaker with luxurious rose gold-colored grilles over the treble and bass drivers, and with a beautifully rock 'n' roll leather handle. I want to take it to work, to the park, on to the beach, and back home with me afterwards.
And the best bit for me personally is that on the left side of the speaker, Wargenbrant has even added his trademark 'W' raw brushed metal plaque.
When you see Audio Pro's products, you get a feeling of luxury even without Wargenbrant's welcome involvement – and this less-is-more metallic and black approach is quite beautiful.
As with all Audio Pro design projects, this particular version of the T3+ is a limited edition product. Each Audio Pro x Wargenbrant T3+ edition carries a unique number on a metal plate on the side of the speaker. A future collector’s item? Given Wargenbrant’s growing popularity, it's certainly feasible.
Prices? Oh, nobody seems to know… and no fee could dull my desire for this particular model. But the original T3+ sells for around $220 / £180 / AU$300, and is an excellent wireless speaker at that price.
How to get my hands on one though: beg? Borrow? Rewrite this piece with the Veruca Salt-style headline, “Someone buy me this speaker or I shall scream and scream until I am sick?” Wish me luck when my editor sees…