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It’s wholly understandable if you mistook the Native Union x La Boite Concept PR / 01 Bluetooth speaker for a vintage stereo speaker that lost its secondary partner. From all appearances, its wood cabinetry and metal trim hint of a time when “hi-fidelity” systems aspired to look as fine as they sound – it’s a speaker designed not to only look the part of audiophile equipment from decades ago, but engineered to sound like one too.

The exterior design is only one half of the PR / 01 story – the rest resides hidden away within. Inside the classic wood and aluminum cabinetry the French acoustics specialist at La Boite reutilized a patent originally developed by the company’s Cagniard family back in the 1976; it required seven years to turn intent to reality. Adapted to support new digital technologies of today, the Active Pression Reflex utilizes two speakers housed within a multi-amplified pneumatic system to produce very low frequencies, all without subtracting from its ability to reproduce a natural soundstage.

Native Union x La Boite PR/01 Speaker Specs:

  • Modular design featuring a concealed drawer hiding audio inputs and USB charging ports
  • Wooden frame with solid aluminum controls and hardwearing textile grille
  • Active Pression Reflex technology
  • Bluetooth Apt-x connection and DAC Optical audio digital input
  • Aux 1: RCA analog input
and Aux 2: 3.5mm stereo plug
  • 2 USB-A and 1 USB-C ports for device charging
  • Dimensions: L 410m x H 237mm x D 256mm

Even before the era of USB connected devices and all of the cables and cords it has introduced, the bane of any audiophile dreams of a clean set-up has been connectivity. The PR/01 remedies the dilemma with an intelligently designed organization drawer, alleviating clutter by hiding traditional audio inputs, as well as additional USB ports for simultaneous device charging.

A dedicated recess designed for the Native Union DROP wireless charger invites wireless charging using any Qi enabled mobile device on top of the speaker.

As the speaker is intended to connect the past with the future, the PR / 01 comes ready to play nice with Bluetooth Apt-x devices or connect via two AUX inputs, which means it can be a most capable partner to a turntable. There are also two USB-A ports and one USB-C port ready for charging mobile devices while connecting for playback.

From Timothée Cagniard, CEO and co-founder at La Boite:

We are very proud to unveil PR / 01, which is the fruition of a long collaboration with NATIVE UNION. Beyond the simple co-branding, it is a true merger of know-how and values. For a long time we have shared the same DNA and a conviction that technological performance must serve the user on a daily basis and become part of a lifestyle. The PR / 01 development was the perfect opportunity to bring together our savoir-faire.

The PR/01 is now available for $799 at the MoMA Design Store’s Soho and Midtown locations, online at store.moma.org, or from Native Union.

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