LG DukeBox OLED speaker: art piece or gadget

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Forget projectors, enough of televisions, and ignore vacuum cleaners, because LG's innovation of the decade has just arrived...

To the surprise of many, it's neither a refrigerator nor a washing machine. Those who guessed it's a kitchen appliance, sorry! Don't even think that the South Korean tech giant is getting back into the phone business. This time, LG is betting on a retro-futuristic speaker concept that it plans to introduce at CES 2024.

Okay, maybe we exaggerated a bit by calling it the 'innovation of the decade'. What LG thinks could bring them into the spotlight at the year's biggest tech event, Samsung did a decade ago with the introduction of the HW-F750; the world's first soundbar with a vacuum tube amplifier. The only difference is that LG is presenting DukeBox as a 'conceptual speaker' rather than a soundbar.

In short, ten days from now, when the world discusses the best, worst, and most aggressive gadgets presented at CES 2024, the LG DukeBox, which the company calls an 'innovative audio product', will be among the latter. Designed by LG Labs, DukeBox combines old-fashioned vacuum tubes, seen on jukeboxes, with a modern OLED panel for a mix of audio-visual wonders.

In LG's words, "The product seamlessly combines the charm of vacuum tube audio technology with cutting-edge transparent OLED panel technology." The product uses vacuum tube audio technology, a concept dating back to jukeboxes from 1890.

Although advertised as a speaker, DukeBox is still meant to function as any old display. "The transparency of the OLED display can be adjusted, creating a stunning visual effect reminiscent of a vacuum tube audio system enclosed in a transparent glass box. Moreover, DukeBox is versatile and can be used to enjoy high-quality content such as movies, or even create a cozy fireplace atmosphere where the vacuum tube is visible among the flickering flames," the company states.

DukeBox boasts a transparent OLED panel that displays the tube amplifier. With its vacuum tubes, LG DukeBox also features a front bottom speaker and two 360 speakers for the ultimate sound landscape.

Details on price and availability remain unknown at the time of writing this article, and as previously mentioned, the speaker is currently in the conceptual stage.

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