Two Seattle physicists created a kit that will turn you into a mad scientist of sound.

If you’re stymied and mystified by the increasingly invisible and minuscule workings inside your speakers, it’s exciting to have a device that can make music visible. The ARC plasma speaker, a new Kickstarter project returns sound technology to a level of transparency not seen since, perhaps, the vinyl record era. The special speaker, which comes in a laser-cut wood or plexiglas case, doesn’t use cones, coils or any of the typical mechanical speaker ingredients. Instead it uses an electrical arc to ionize and compress the air around it, causing molecules to vibrate in a way that creates sound. The end result is the same as with any typical electromagnetic speaker: sound that’s loud enough to be heard in a crowded room. The visible bolt of plasma jumps and “dances” to the music, making this a visual and auditory treat.

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