Sleekness was never really a consideration back in the 50s and 60s when vinyl discs were still popular… which is why turntables and vinyl players never really explored thin-ness as a design aesthetic. The most any company ever did was integrate minimalism into their design language (a la Braun), but products weren’t generally designed to be razor thin. Which is why the BÖNWERK Turntable feels so visually exciting – it brings a novel design direction to an otherwise aged product category. Trends (whether fashion or tech) are always cyclical, and vinyls have been gaining popularity over the last few years… but traditional vinyl players don’t live up to the design sensibilities of today. The BÖNWERK Turntable is a gorgeous concept that boasts the same wedge-shaped design detail popularized by the MacBook Air. The rotating disc sits on a razor-thin platform, which gradually becomes thicker near the turntable’s control panel, creating an overall aesthetic that’s practically invisible, but emotionally impactful.
Designers: Mateo Rombolá & Tobias Quirici
“The primary goal of this project was to create a cutting-edge and sophisticated turntable tailored specifically for expert users in the audiophile world,” said designer-duo Mateo Rombolá and Tobias Quirici. “Our focus centered on prioritizing user semantics and experience, elevating these aspects above mere functional distinctions.”
Functionally, the BÖNWERK Turntable isn’t too different from the ones you’d otherwise find on the market. It has the tonearm with a cartridge and needle on one end, and a counterweight on the other. The tonearm sits at the center, with the rotating disc platform on one side, and a control panel on the other with a strobe light, RPM controller, volume knob, highs and lows control, and a start/stop button.
Flip the BÖNWERK Turntable over and you see its actual mass, which hides underneath a super-sleek exterior. Almost mirroring the design of the MacBook Air (or even older iPhones, which used to hide the camera bump in the side-view photos), the mass hides itself well thanks to a slick outer profile that your eyes see (instead of the volume underneath). This makes the BÖNWERK Turntable look MUCH thinner than it already is, which adds to its appeal. The appeal also extends to the minimal visual language used in the rest of the turntable’s design, from the use of plain black and metallic hues, sharp geometric shapes, knurled metal knobs, and the palpable absence of any text, giving the turntable its signature clean look.