Do you have a soul? No? Read on! If you have a soul, you’d probably want to read about something you might want to sell your soul for. Today, we’ll look at Kranio, a handcrafted cyberpunk speaker that funded on Kickstarter.
Get Kranio now in the Critical Shop!
What is it
Kranio is a hi-fi speaker the shape of a skull. Don’t worry, it’s not a real skull. According to the designer, it is a 3D printed modelled after a lynx skull. I was glad to see people on Facebook worried that it was a real skull. Then I saw comments that by people upset that it isn’t a real skull. What?
The design literally speaks to dark people, pun intended. But it’s a little disturbing that the target audience is so dark they want an actual lynx skull on their desk. Also, would the acoustics be as good if it is hollow bone?
Who is Kranio for
This speaker is great for anyone looking for a sub-$500 transmission-line speaker, if they are willing to overlook certain factors that I’ll elaborate in a bit. Kranio also speaks to (sorry, I’m going to milk this pun), people who love cyberpunk, goth, or handcrafted collectibles.
Kranio takes inspiration from Western films like Blade Runner, Japanese manga such as Gunnm aka Alita, anime like Ghost in the Shell and Akira, to games such Cyberpunk and Shadowrun, and novels like Neuromancer.
If you’re looking for a conversation starter in your house, or an iconic piece for your gaming or work desk, this might well be it. If you are lacking a soul, Kranio might be able to help, especially if you play some soul tunes.
But if you have a soul and for some reason want to sacrifice it to a cybernetic-looking lynx skull, I won’t stop you. Just let me know how that works out. The ritual might interest me. Asking for a friend, of course.
Is it innovative
There isn’t much to speak of in terms of function. In fact, the lack of a built-in battery and audio jack actually makes it less appealing than other speakers in the same price bracket. That said, a handcrafted collectible speaker is a delicate display piece that you wouldn’t want to carry about. It might be wiser to just leave it plugged into the power cable and sitting pretty on your desk.
The speaker only takes audio input via Bluetooth, so audiophiles who insist on using cables won’t consider the Kranio. Then again, most people prefer Bluetooth rather than have cables running around to trip you over.
I still want to give credit to the sound engineers for the acoustics. They claim to produce 92 decibels with 0.5% distortion using the transmission-line design.
Kranio is innovative in trying to promote an organic design that is painstakingly handcrafted. This goes countercurrent to the modern synthetic, minimalist speakers we see in the market that are mass-produced.
Is it worth it
My first reaction was no, but when I saw Kranio in person, it’s a massive yes! The attention to details in the design is amazing enough. The hand painting and the finishing blew me away. It is a trophy worthy of a space on your desk. The weathering makes the futuristic design look like a relic from the past. How’s that for making a statement!
If you are a connoisseur who know your stuff, then you’ll shell out $420 for this in a heartbeat. For the amount of painstaking work they put into creating this speaker, it is not an outrageous price tag. Of course, you don’t do it justice if you compare it with boring speakers in the market.
Are there any alternatives
There are tons of speakers out there. Cool speakers take your breath away, however, are few and far between. If you’re looking to buy not just a speaker, but the aesthetics and an experience that blows you away, then Kranio might be it.
Take a look at Kranio on Unbox Therapy with a prototype unit. There were some issues with the volume, probably because it wasn’t the final product. I had no problems with mine.
Kranio – cyberpunk skull speaker
On sale in the Critical Shop:
Hi, I’m Rainee.
I’m a reindeer that identifies as a bear. I’m the Critical Bear that does standup comedy.