If you like your speakers to look bespoke and only mildly pretentious, the new PR / 01 speaker from Native Union and La Boite Concept might tickle your fancy. While the speaker’s wooden frame, aluminum controls, and textile grille harken back to a golden age of Hi-Fi, it features modern functions including Bluetooth Apt-X wireless connectivity to stream music and concealed USB and audio ports inside a hidden drawer where there’s space for an optional Qi charger. The company claims the PR / 01 is able to produce high fidelity sound that’s “close to that of a real orchestra” using patent-pending “Active Pression Reflex” technology that’s defined by words meant to impress humans while lacking nearly all comprehensible meaning.
Slide open the speaker’s hidden drawer to reveal a range of audio inputs and USB ports (2 USB-A and 1 USB-C). Native Union also separately sells a Drop Wireless Charger for $59.99 that you can place inside the drawer in a dedicated recess. The Drop charger is compatible with any Qi-compatible mobile device and the company says you can just close the drawer and pop your phone on top of the speaker to easily charge it. While that sounds useful, it might be hard to figure out where to place your phone for optimum charge, and you’d have to battle with the issue of power weakening or dropping off dramatically with distance and (in this case, wooden) obstructions.