Wood look tech-toys for analogue-inspired interiors

We still crave a bit of warmth to go with our technology. However sleek things get and the more wireless and wondrous they become, the desire for a tactile surface or visual softness never goes away. Many wireless speakers have latched onto fabric covers as a way of blending into the domestic realm, but for our money there’s only one material that can give technology an analogue sheen in this digital age, and that’s wood.

2 bluetooth radio speakers, the one one the left is black and one on the right is white. Both placed on orange boxes with an orange background
(Image credit: ruarkaudio)

Ruark Amplis

A shelf with an audio system (shades of brown case and black face) , bronze vase with white tulips on the right, and a peek of a hard back book on the left. A white framed picture of a flower on the grey wall above the shelf.

Amplis Audio System, £5,750. ruarkaudio.com

(Image credit: ruarkaudio)

Ruark has deepened its collaboration with Linley, following the earlier bespoke version of the Tempo Radio. The Ruark x LINLEY Amplis Audio System takes melodic marquetry to another level, with an inlaid case that is hand-crafted at LINLEY’s workshop using a number of matched veneers. Evoking the radiant Deco-style forms often found on early wireless cabinets, there are three different colourways available. The veneers include Sycamore, Pama, Bolivar and Anegre, meticulously matched and combined to create a device that looks as good as it sounds.

Ruark Audio R1

2 bluetooth radio speakers, the one one the left is black and one on the right is white. Both placed on orange boxes with an orange background

R1 Mk4, £229. ruarkaudio.com

(Image credit: ruarkaudio)

The latest version of Ruark’s R1 is the fourth iteration of this modern classic. Combining DAB and Bluetooth, the compact R1 is now upgraded to a USB-C charger with the addition of Light Cream and Espresso finishes. The signature slatted wooden grille is neatly hand-crafted to create a discrete but elegant device fit for any shelf or surface.

Joy Resolve Wireless Charger

2 Wireless Chargers. The one on the left is brown and black and placed on a white marble surface and the one on the right is cream and silver and placed on a black surface

Wireless Charger. joyresolve.com

(Image credit: joyresolve)

We’re big fans of Joy Resolve’s Barisieur, a coffee-brewing alarm clock. Their latest product is more low-key and less eye-opening but still beautifully functional. Deploying the Qi Wireless Charging standard – as used by Apple’s new iPhone 12 and many Android phones – into a simple walnut-clad coaster, it can also be plugged into the charge port of your coffee machine for effective desk consolidation.

Tivoli Audio Limited Edition Model One

A rectangular dial-driven AM/Fm radio in walnut case and light grey face. Dials are in Walnut shade

Tivoli 20th Anniversary Limited-Edition Model One, USD$219. tivoliaudio.com

(Image credit: tivoliaudio)

Another radio with admirable longevity, Tivoli Audio’s Model One is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2020. The American firm’s rectangular dial-driven device is honoured with a walnut wood special edition with inlaid mother-of-pearl, eschewing DAB in favour of a straightforward AM/FM set-up (with added Bluetooth connectivity if you can’t live without podcasts).


An orange desk with blue notepad and pencil placed on the pad. Green plants in 3 small wooden style pots. An ipad on an ipad stand with a peek of a white monitor on a monitor stand and white keyboard

iPad stand, $70. grovemade.com

(Image credit: grovemade)

Finally, a wood object designed for the digital era but decidedly low-tech in its appeal. All-American company Grovemade offer a wide range of desk accessories, using natural materials like laminated and moulded walnut and maple plywood, vegetable tanned leather and natural cork. Its latest offering is an iPad stand; wood, steel and Merino wool come together to make a simple design statement for this desktop essential.

Jonathan Bell has written for Wallpaper* magazine since 1999, covering everything from architecture and transport design to books, tech and graphic design. He is now the magazine’s Transport and Technology Editor. Jonathan has written and edited 15 books, including Concept Car Design, 21st Century House, and The New Modern House. He is also the host of Wallpaper’s first podcast.