Posted by Joey Evans 01 October 2013
La Boite Concept LD120 review: a well-designed, purpose-built music centre
French conceptual design studio La Boite has integrated a workdesk and hi-fi system, incorporating high-end piece of furniture with accomplished sound engineering. The LD 120 is described as a laptop dock, designed to fulfill the requirements of a creative professional or space-conscious individual. And the result can be seen as arguably rather visually appealing. See: Photobox iPad Keyboard Case review: personalise it with your own photos.
Though the design is compact, its sound output can be surprisingly loud, and should easily fill the space of a small- or medium-sized room. From an audio perspective, we found the LD 120 could give a sense of immediacy and ambience from its array of different speaker units. See also: The 5 crappest tech products of all time.
As well as a stereo pair of mid/bass drivers and tweeters that face forward, there’s a formidable 6in woofer sited on the underside of the desk, pointing downwards.
La Boite includes its patented Wide Sound Stereo output, using two additional paper-cone midrange speakers at the rear of the console. They’re angled so that if the LD120 is placed flat against a wall, sound will bounce off the wall and be reflected back, which “allows optimum listening while you are sitting or standing close to the speakers and even when you are moving through your room”.
Internally, the electronics comprises a 25 W stereo linear amplifier and a USB D-A convertor based on a Burr-Brown chip. Connectivity options are plentiful: not only does the LD 120 feature 3.5mm mini-jack, RCA phono and USB DAC inputs, there’s also Bluetooth via a plug-in adaptor, which will let you play music from smartphones, tablets and laptops.
La Boite has created a simple look for the LD120. There are four control knobs in the back left corner position, sturdy and smooth to operate, for volume, treble and bass, and the final rotary switch for selecting between inputs.
It’s portrayed as a viable workspace for the music enthusiast, and also functions effectively as a home stereo system. A producer who wants a relatively portable edit suite might find the LD 120 useful.
However, the built-in bass woofer can provide a rather odd sensation of vibration on your work space.
There’s the opportunity to create a seamless (and potentially wireless) music base for a spartan homemaker. Little wonder then that the LD120 appears in the catalogue of prestigious and iconic furniture retailer Conran. The desk mixes sleek modernist-style interchangeable wood legs – in a range of coloured ‘pinao lacquer’ or ‘guitar’ finishes. It also features a real leather blotter, which provides a comfortable writing surface.
La Boite Concept LD120 review: Verdict
If you are looking for a well-designed, purpose-built music centre, the LD 120 is genuinely worth considering. It functions as an attractive piece of furniture: it is solidly built and weighted and will give you a unique workspace. From a high-fidelity sound perspective, the LD 120 also delivers, and rather compensates for its small stature. Workspace practicality aside, La Boite’s LD 120 is a real party piece.