This seemed gimmicky at first, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.
A couple days ago I was working on a customer build with a push-pull fan setup, and top mounted quad rad with traditional bar grille. As soon as I started the system up, I was disappointed by how noisy the setup was, even with the fans undervolted. The noise wasn't from the fans themselves, it was from the turbulence caused by the bars going across the direction of the blades. I normally would solve this by spacing the fans away from the grille, but in this case I didn't have room.
Some of the quietest fan grilles you can use are the el-cheapo wire grilles, because the majority of the grille follows the movement direction of the fan blades, and thereby creates the least turbulence. Unfortunately, they're fugly.
If you notice on certain fans, such as the slipstreams, they've made the motor hub supports curved to help eliminate this problem... and what I've done is basically an offshoot of that:
The funny thing is, it actually turned out pretty darned cool looking. This has long been a peeve of mine, how noisy fans get when against a grille, but I never thought to try and solve it until now.
This is a preliminary design, I'm going to make a few different variants and test them for noise reduction. Once I pick the best one, I will put it into production in both 120 and 140mm sizes.
Depending on how testing goes, I may make a press jig to bump the grille portion up further away from the fan blades as well.