La Boite Concept LD100
Manufacturer: La Boite Concept CC Lab
Power output 2x50W on 8 ohms
It’s rare for a speaker system to truly defy convention, and it’s especially rare when the result looks like the La Boite Concept LD100 – a sleek, minimalist, elegant desk with a stereo speaker and amp built in.
At the business end at the top of the table is the flat-top speaker and amp combo. For £660 you get six drive units (two 50mm tweeters for high frequencies, two 130mm mid-range drivers and two 80mm ‘full range’ drivers), allowing the music to scale the highs and lows you’d normally expect from a typical hi-fi setup. Powering the drivers is a two-channel class AB digital amplifier, capable of 50W per channel, as well as audiophile-quality Burr Brown digital to analogue converters (DACs) that bypass the ones built into your MacBook or iOS device.
Sitting next to the audio inputs are a combined source and volume dial, a USB port for hooking up to a notebook and those two ‘full-range’ 80mm drivers, which fire up and out from the back to reflext off a wall. What you won’t find on the La Boite Concept LD100 is a proper iOS dock or any kind of Wi-Fi or AirPlay facility. Instead, you must also hook it up to the USB port using a 30-pin or lightning cable (something that only the iPad can do) or by connecting it to the speaker desk via its 3.5mm headphone socket.
The LD100 feels like a proper grown-up sound system. The only disappointments are that it can be unforgiving of poorly recorded sources, and it can’t quite conjure up a true stereo soundstage. But these quibbles won’t stop you from falling in love with it.
speaker desk might seem ridiculous on paper, but in practice it’s wonderful.