As we designed KYRIE, it became obvious to us that we “could” make this product friendly to the environment. In the world of speakers, this is a difficult task as there are always electronics and other difficult to recycle parts used. We took the position that we would do what we could, when we could, to be as friendly to the environment with KYRIE as possible. We can all make changes that help the planet and when it comes to designing a speaker, one can simply make it important and then it becomes just that.
The most important green aspect of KYRIE was to design a speaker whose owner will never have the intention to discard it. So many products today are built to be disposable, and our landfills are full of evidence. That is not the only problem though because factories must also continue to rumble to build replacements for the products that have been disposed.
Like a fine watch, KYRIE was designed to stay with you and why shouldn’t it? We have designed it to not only be powerful and efficient, but also to be pleasing to the eye and physically strong.
What is KYRIE made of?
The chassis is made from easily recycled aluminum. The decorative faceplate and end caps are also made from aluminum while the hardware is made from either aluminum or stainless steel.
The amplifier / DSP board, as well as the bass and high frequency components are not easily recyclable, but we had little choice in those areas. As long as you continue to use and enjoy KYRIE, we shouldn’t feel too concerned about that.
The next item we reviewed was the batteries that drive KYRIE. In a stroke of pure luck, we happened upon a vendor that receives and repurposes Tesla Model 3 car batteries. It is worth understanding that there are over 4000 individual battery cells used in a Model 3 and each KYRIE only requires 4. A Model 3 pack may be replaced by Tesla for many reasons which have nothing to do with the actual cells themselves. Sure, we could have easily found a similar “new” cell to use in KYRIE, but we felt that this helps no one. The cells we accept are fully tested to capacity and repackaged by the vendor into cells that are indistinguishable from new. By taking this direction, we have done our small part in keeping some of these cells from being disposed of as one must remember – over 4000 cells are used in one car! As a side note, Tesla have done extensive testing on the life of these cells and even in their rapid charging / discharging cars, they have tested them to over 400,000 miles before “any” loss of capacity was noted. Even then, the loss was only a few percentage points. It is then safe to say that your KYRIE enclosure is going to charge and discharge quite a few times before it will ever see a loss of capacity – Thanks Elon!
What about the paint finish?
Painted finishes come at a cost to the atmosphere and the health of the lungs of the people who apply them. It’s messy, requires the dispersion of chemicals into the atmosphere and then requires even more chemicals to clean up after the paint has been applied. One must also remember that painting is usually a three-step process with a primer, a basecoat, and a clear-coat being applied before the job is done. Many rolls of paper and other disposables are used when painting in this manner, and it truly adds up.
We have opted to use only one process in coloring KYRIE speakers and that is using the powder-coating process. Since our enclosure is 100% aluminum, this makes it an easy choice for us. Powder-coating is an electrostatic process whereby the part receives a static charge and under low air pressure, a fine, colored powder is applied, similar to rubbing a balloon against your hair and then sticking it to a wall. Once the part is completely covered with the color, it is placed into an oven to cure for 20 minutes. Once cured, it is ready for assembly into a KYRIE. Not only does it create a beautiful finish, but it is also extremely durable when compared to painting the parts. Scratches can even be buffed out of the finish, but it is hard to scratch in the first place. Cleanup is as simple as using a broom and the reclaimed powder can be sifted and reused on the next enclosure.
What other things were considered in designing the KYRIE?
One of our pet peeves – packing materials – was fully reviewed while designing KYRIE. Think about how many trips you have made to the dumpster to dispose of more and more cardboard, Styrofoam and plastic? In a bold attempt to sidestep this continuous use of trees and chemicals, we opted to try something else—something befitting of KYRIE. We ship your KYRIE in its own hard-shell case. The case is yours to keep for protecting anything you would like it to. Use it to return your KYRIE for service or future updates, or simply use its locking feature to protect other items like jewelry, important documents, etc.
As we said in the beginning, KYRIE’s greatest green aspect is that we built it to be a premium product and not something you would ever consider discarding.