Ionomax - plasma speakers in a desktop audio system

The Cloudsound startup is preparing to launch an unusual Ionomax plasma speaker on the market. They outperform conventional speakers due to the physical process that underlies their operation.

Most speakers we are used to using compression speakers, where the diffuser moves the air, or electrostatic, in which the membrane vibrates in a magnetic field. However, few people know that there is also a third type of speaker - plasma.

A plasma arc speaker, or plasma tweeter, is a speaker that generates sound by changing air pressure using a corona discharge or electric arc. Ionized air in an electric arc thermally expands and contracts, causing the air around the discharge to vibrate and create sound. The electric arc has negligible mass and inertia, which drastically reduces possible distortion. Due to this, plasma speakers are much superior in sound quality to solid-state counterparts with a membrane.

Ionomax speakers are supplied as a set of two parts: a preamplifier and the plasma speakers themselves. The preamplifier processes the incoming audio signal so that the column bit elements can create the desired arc.

Plasma production requires a high voltage - however, thanks to the well-thought-out design, the Ionomax are completely safe. The preamplifier itself uses a low and safe voltage. When a signal enters the discharge module, a high voltage is generated in it, which creates an electric arc. This powerful current is enclosed in a shielded speaker case and is not transmitted anywhere.

For additional protection, Ionomax uses an aluminum alloy that protects other devices from the electromagnetic radiation of the speakers, and a special glass that absorbs ultraviolet radiation from the plasma.

The development of Ionomax began in January 2015, and they will enter the market in November this year. The price of a set of a pair of speakers and a preamp will be $ 499.