Integrating speakers into contemporary decor - can WAF ever be overcome?

This is a topic I'd like to see discussed more.  Not a speaker issue per se, but it's speakers that usually cause the problems. My partner is a hard core interior design/aesthetics type. We will shortly be combining households with all the benefits and challenges that this presents. We're both fans of a "Music In Every Room" (MIER) lifestyle, so that's a good start. But we quickly diverge. And to be clear, we're not talking about giant screens on the wall or home theater. This is audio only.

Anyway, her idea of MIER is built-in speakers or, at most, tiny Sonos units on a bookshelf or behind furniture. I had some of that in my house albeit BlueOS stuff. That's OK to a point. But my LR had KEF LS50's on stands. Obviously difference in sound is dramatic, and she admitted it. But she doesn't care. For her the improvement in sound quality is negated by aesthetic horror of visible speakers.

It's worth mentioning that the decor/design aesthetic in question is basically high end transitional with mix of contemporary stuff, Asian antiques, some colonial antiques, large format abstract oils, etc. It's >not< traditional or frou-frou, really a look where the right speakers could easily be interpreted as industrial design pieces that mesh well with the rest. The LS50s fit that description I think.

So, getting to the question here... Has anybody had any luck convincing spouse that speakers can be a part of the decor?  To think of them as some kind of sculptural elements, not "just ugly speakers?"  That they're industrial design elements that somehow add to space? Have links to pix of living spaces that integrated speakers into the look? Any help or ideas would be great. Thanks for reading, a kind of odd topic, I know. Cheers,


@jjss49 ...not a viable option for most of us, but....

I'd bet she can feel what they're like...

"...for something that sounds so nice....why are they just a box?"  ;)


I'm working on my own solution...

@audiotroy has mentioned the Cabasse Rialto and IO3.

I often walked around with my wife around the showrooms and showed her the various speakers. Cabasse’s speakers without a doubt have the highest WAF. They can be easily put on the table or TV consoles. My wife would actually like a pair of Pearl Akoya for herself in the future. I have a pair of white Rigas and she thinks they are lovely.

If Cabasse’s is out of your budget, Elipson and Gallo Acoustics provide similar spherical speakers. Gallo’s in particular can be hung from the ceiling.

My wife also likes Jern’s nesting doll speakers. The red and the white ones are beautiful.

Maybe, just maybe, these could pass? They look more like a sculpture, than the speaker, but never the less, its a great speaker for small or medium room.Had them in graphite color

 Just recently I bought new speakers (also in graphite), from the same company (Francoe Serblin, ex Sonus Faber) and my gf who lives with me cant stop 'complaining' how the previous ones were beautiful as the new ones have ' disproportionate dimensions' according to does not help that nobody could say that this is not a beautiful speaker..

.As for the advice reagrding relationship handling, I would not dare to give any. There is an old saying that says that man can be either in right or happy, in a marriage...(I am not married)...



The KEF LS50 look like buttholes. They're so hard to integrate into a tasteful decor. 

I find this topic so easy to solve: wood veneer, bookshelves, wall paintings. You basically want to blend the speakers into the decor. Wood is universal. The worst thing you can do is buy giant black boxes.

Happy wife, happy life.  That’s part of a good marriage.  I’ve had a dedicated music listening area, such as a basement or room (AKA “man cave”), where I can be along and listen to what I want.  And good quality headphones also work.