It’s easy to miss interesting things in the mass of press emails that flood a journalist’s inbox before SXSW, but the invitation to try Soundwall stood out to me because the entire premise sounded so ridiculous that I just had to check it out.

Soundwall is a wireless speaker and work of art combined. Why would you want that? It turns out that a large flat-panel speaker provides better clarity of sound than many standard wireless speakers can provide. This isn’t a canvas with a speaker attached, the entire canvas is the speaker. Because you probably wouldn’t want a to have a speaker of between 24″ x 36″ and 40″ x 60″ taking up wall space, the art gives you something to look at.

Nestled behind the art is a Raspberry Pi computer that can receive firmware updates to automatically improve Soundwall over time. Prices range from $949 to $2,499 depending on the canvas size that you choose.

I met the founders of Soundwall in downtown Austin to discover the story behind this unusual combination of sound and vision. You can listen to the interview below.

Catch up with all of our SXSW coverage.