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LG DukeBox audio device fuses vacuum tube audio with transparent OLED display technology

Back to the future: LG Electronics has seemingly adopted a retro design language heading into CES. The South Korean tech giant recently debuted a new 4K smart projector that looks like an old-school film camera and now they have announced an audio device that blends old school vacuum tube technology with cutting edge transparent OLED display tech.

LG describes the DukeBox as a modernized jukebox. Details are sparse, but we know it features front-facing speakers at the bottom opposite a 360-degree speaker up top to surround the listener in audio. I suspect most will turn to the DukeBox for music consumption but LG says it can also be used to enjoy other types of content like movies.

The transparent OLED panel, meanwhile, can be adjusted to create a “captivating visual effect.”

Tube technology was before my time but there are still plenty of people that prefer the sound they produce compared to modern digital technology. From what I understand, it is largely subjective. It’s not that tubes sound better or worse, just that they are different and some folks favor them.

Right now, all we have to go on is a single photo and the brief description included in LG’s press release. Based on the image, the DukeBox looks pretty substantial (meaning, not cheap). Pricing and availability was not mentioned, but LG Labs plans to showcase the DukeBox and other recently announced products during CES.

The annual Consumer Electronics Show runs from January 9-12 in Las Vegas, with January 7 and January 8 serving as media days. Historically, participating companies have waited until closer to the show to reveal new products but increasingly, we are seeing new product announcements trickle out earlier in order to stand out from the crowd.

What’s more, several big companies have pulled out of trade shows entirely due to the high cost associated with being an official vendor. Many now believe it is economically more viable to skip big shows and produce / stream their own press conferences on YouTube.

Image credit: Ries Bosch

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