By Nate Adcock on Thu, 01/12/2012
Never a lack of unusual stuff to find at CES, the Sound Egg is firmly in that category. Designed by guys that work on jet fighter aircraft for the military, the Sound Egg is an unusual (but not cheap) way for one to enjoy full HD 5.1 surround sound from your computer, stereo, or iPad. Surprisingly, they are located in the iLounge Pavilion, and let me rest a bit in one. The experience was both refreshing and enjoyable, if a bit cocoon-like.
Sound Egg is basically an egg-shaped high-grade, heavy duty composite enclosure on a pedestal. It seems very sturdy. The one I tried featured a comfy leather seat, but a cheaper plastic seat model is also available. The inside is covered with acoustic-dampening foam, and I was surprised how loud the music was turned up once I climbed in, as standing outside I heard practically nothing. The whole thing features only speaker connections and is not powered in any form. The vendor admitted this was to keep dev cost and time down, as any power added would then require UL certification of the product. In the back are connection points for standard speaker cable, so if you really wanted to use it with your iPad, you would need it to be plugged into a receiver of some kind.
The front of the unit has an attachable swinging arm with standard monitor VESA mount. I think mainly the vendor didn't want to get stuck in a corner of the gaming zone, so wrangled his way into the pavilion by saying you could use an iPad (which you sort of can) with Sound Egg. I really like the idea of the Sound Egg, and if I had between $1500-$3300 smackers (depending on options and customization) I didn't need anymore, I might buy one. It would certainly be an awesome gaming space, but is probably better aimed at public space applications like libraries, or stores where people want to sample audio/video in semi-privacy and not disturb others. You can learn more on their web-site here.