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Behringer's iNuke Boom is the essence of Vegas

Behringer's iNuke Boom is the essence of Vegas


Behringer's iNuke boom is a giant iPhone dock. It's pretty silly.

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There are ducks, and there are decorated sheds.

Most booths at CES are decorated sheds, boxes adorned with color and light, structures with signs to entice you to look at the gadgets within. They call to you with thumping music, colored kliegs, and shouting carnival workers hawking their wares with boy-band boom mics floating an inch from their mouths like buzzing flies at the end of thin electronic wires. Sweeping yet taut reams of fabric are buttressed by steel and mesh create faux tents and false ceilings to reorient the gadgets held within. Hordes of shuffling convention goers conventionally turn their glazed gaze towards an endless kaleidoscope of logos and stock photos of smiling models without seeing any of it. Decorated sheds: forms whose function is to direct you within to the consumer electronics collected inside.

Behringer's booth is fronted by the iNuke Boom, and it is a duck. The front of the booth is not an enticement to gadgets within, it is the gadget. It puts out 10,000 Watts, it has two 18-inch subwoofers, two more 12-inch woofers, two more high frequency drivers that can break glass. You do not care about the specs, you care about the size, you care about the existence of the thing, the beingness of it. The fact that Behringer insists that it is both more and less than the gimmick before you, that it's actually for sale just like any other product at any other booth. The obvious wink and grin and groan all wrapped up and the exclamation point put on each when you realize the only input is the iPhone dock on top. The booth is the thing itself.

CES belongs in Las Vegas and is informed by Las Vegas. What you learn from CES is what you learn from Las Vegas: while we sometimes pretend that the spectacle is there to bring us to the gadgets, the truth is that the gadgets are the spectacle.

iNuke Boom hands-on photos