The brilliant British scientist, the late Stephen Hawking, is not immediately the person you would associate with a hifi system. Yet when we were designing the AIR audio system we wanted a dark finish that was neutral and non-reflective for the main part. For the front baffle we wanted a finish that was light and reflective.
Stephen Hawking's early work was with "Black Holes" in space. A black hole is like a collapsed star which has such strong gravitational field that nothing, not even light, can escape. Anything that enters a black hole is forever lost to the outside universe. Light cannot escape so we cannot see black holes. That was the kind of effect we wanted to have on the AIR from STEENSSEN - deep matt black.
In honour of that famous cosmologist, we named the finish we achieved as "Hawkings Black". The AIR surface is matt and black and just slightly textured. That innovative finish makes it very resistant to dust because the surface area is greater at small scale and so it does not allow dust to accumulate. So it's easy to keep clean.
Photo of Stephen Hawkings portrait is thanks to Nick Fewings in Bristol, UK