Aether's gorgeous Cone speaker promises to make all your music choices for you

The speaker connects to your music streaming service of choice and then learns about your listening habits over time

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The Independent Tech

Streaming services like Spotify have made it easier than ever for us to carry around whole back catalogues of music wherever we go, but the problem of choosing the right music still persists: sometimes too much choice just isn’t helpful.

Enter the Cone; the first device from Aether, a start-up staffed by former Google and Apple employees, that promises it hasn’t made just another nice looking speaker, but the world’s first “thinking music player”.

Aether say that what they’ve done is distil the complexity of various internet music services into a single, fluid user experience. Users connect the Cone to their Wi-Fi and then twist the speaker to control the music. A turn to the left replays the current track, a short a turn to the right skips to the next track and a longer turn changes what’s play to something entirely new

Over time the Cone will adapt to your listening habits, matching what it plays to specific times. If you’re the sort of person who starts every Friday night listening to LMFAO’s seminal and timeless classic ‘Sexy and I Know It’ but then switches to the latest softly-spoken podcast from Radio Lab on a Sunday morning then the Cone will learn and adapt to your tastes.

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The Cone speaker by Aether - touches of Apple's design language clearly visible

You can request a specific song if you like using an built-in voice recognition system, but it’s clear the Cone is geared at taking the music choices out of the user’s hands.

It might not sound like the most inviting prospect for those who are fastidious about what they listen to, but it’s a mechanic that has proved popular in the past – notably with Apple’s iPod Shuffle, which dropped the screen from the iPod and took away the fuss of selecting what to listen to.

However, all this intuitive, robots-deciding-your-life-for you stuff (as well as the lovely design) comes at a price, and the Cone is currently available for pre-order for $399 (£240). Thankfully, whether or not to shell out that much is a choice you can make yourself.

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