Most of the portable speakers I reviewed have one weakness: the musical details gets lost. Yes, they might boast strong bass and bright treble, but only the more forward instruments get heard. Then Sony launched these fanciful Glass Speaker series that appear elaborate and mindblowingly pricey. How would such an unconventional speaker produce better audio quality that warrants a higher price?
Apparently, it does sound better. And from the way I see it, it boils down to simple physics.
Conventional portable speakers have one or at most two drivers packed close to one another. Due to their close proximity, it is difficult to separate the sound waves produced by both drivers effectively, unless they are placed apart.
That’s exactly what Sony Glass Speaker has achieved. The long organic glass (acrylic resin, to be exact) acts as a conduit to project the tweeter sound independently, without being obscured by the other frequency range. The main 35mm driver that projects the low- to mid-range audio spectrum resides at the top of the heavy aluminium base, with openings to channel the sound out.
The sound quality is well-balanced between the sparkling high-frequency and tangible midrange, with some nifty kicks at the low registers. Throw some hi-res recordings and you will notice how the candlestick design actually works to the speaker’s advantage. Playing pop-classic tracks like “Thriller” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” over the speaker, the high frequency details are projected through the glass, the midrange projecting from the 35mm diaphragm driver, while the bass has adequate space to push the impact from the bottom base against the surface for volume. The LSPX-S2 delivers amazing details that most other portable speakers fail.
Looking at the clean-designed speaker, you would be surprised that it contains enough buttons to operate the lamp without an app. The fabric base actually contains buttons like power, play-pause, volume, lamp brightness, timer/WPS, Bluetooth pairing.
Connectivity options for the LSPX-S2 includes the good old 3.5mm audio jack, the trusty Bluetooth, as well as Wi-Fi, which is highly recommended. Through the Sony Music Center app, it is possible to stream your music collection stored on your smartphone over Wi-Fi, delivering the original hi-res quality, including the revered DSD format. You can also stream your Spotify collection directly.
The Sony Glass Speaker LSPX-S2 retails at S$745, not exactly cheap for the casual shopper. I don’t even know if consumers who actually know audio quality would even buy this ornamental speaker. I guess it is a great gift for someone dear to you and who enjoys detailed music, and incidentally loves retro-looking light pieces at home.
- Speakers: Organic Glass Cylinder Tweeter, 35mm Woofer
- Output Power: 11W
- Frequency Response: 60 Hz to 40000 Hz
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi, NFC, DLNA, Sony Music Center, Spotify Connect, Stereo Jack Input
- Bluetooth Codec: SBC, AAC, LDAC
- Battery Life: 8 hours
- Dimensions: 90mm diameter x 277 mm
- Weight: 1.1 kg