Sony APM-007AV Speakers
You'd think that with "007" in the model number, Sony would have rolled out something cool. In some ways this speaker set from the 80's is pretty cool. They're rather compact and magnetically shielded - which wasn't a common feature at the time. Each speaker has its own volume control, its own self-contained amp, and they're surprisingly heavy.
The really interesting feature is if you peer into the grill, you can see that the speakers themselves are square. Not the friendly round speaker cones we've all known for a century, but square metallic speaker-things. Perhaps these were hatched by a square-shaped speaker chicken? Reverse engineered from UFO technology? Clearly this was the new direction in speakers if a mega corp like Sony was behind it, right?
Unfortunately, that's where this whole thing falls flat on its face. The compact, independently-powered speakers (with a spaghetti monster of oddball AC & audio wiring) don't sound very good. In point of fact, the word "bad" is what I'm looking for. These were clearly an expensive item back in their day, and yet they sound about on par with a clock radio. The sound is all foggy, and very bass heavy - but not in a cool way. I was going to use these as speakers in my arcade cabinet, but they're not even good enough for that.
I'm sure that we've all bought products that fail to live up to their good looks, it's just odd that Sony would let a product like this out of the gate. To be fair, these speakers are quite old, so perhaps there is some technical defect that prevents them from sounding anything like a speaker you'd actually want to listen to. After all, we don't really know how UFO technology ages. Any government or double-0 agents out there want to buy some speakers?