Hands on: Sony LSPX-S1 glass speaker

Where's that coming from? Sony's clever glass speaker will keep guests guessing

Mesmerizing in sound and style, Sony’s Glass Sound Speaker is as unobtrusive as it is attractive

Head-banging music played at an ear-bleeding volume level is great, but not always the kind of thing you want to hear after a long day’s work, when you’re entertaining, or just relaxing with a book. Instead, some soothing background music is what you need, and if you play it through Sony’s beautiful Glass Sound Speaker, then the relaxation (and coolness) factor increases by ten.

It’s a wonderful piece of lifestyle technology for people who don’t want ugly speaker boxes cluttering up a room, and fits right in with the rest of Sony’s LifeSpace UX range, which includes the LED light bulb speaker and stylish, unobtrusive home projector systems. We saw it demonstrated during the London Design Week show, where four had been integrated into a mock living space. It was impossible to tell the source of the sound, or even identify that they are speakers at all.

There was a very pleasing crispness to the ambient sound delivered by it, but it wasn’t lacking power.

The vibrating, resonating glass tube mimics a tweeter, and a 50mm woofer built into the aluminum base station provides the bass. The sound is propelled out of the glass, creating a vast 360-degree soundstage, hence why they were impossible to place in the listening area. Not only that, they’re expertly disguised. The glass cylinder contains LED filaments that make it look more like a space-age candle lamp than a speaker. Other people stood in the room and looked for speakers, never once realizing the lamp on the shelf was responsible.

Using glass to project the sound means the LSPX-S1 is best suited to playing soft vocal music, orchestral, or acoustic pieces. Give it anything too hardcore, and it won’t sound its best, but then such noise wouldn’t suit the design either. It connects using Bluetooth and the SongPal app to your phone, is compatible with Google Cast, and has a stereo mini jack input for use with a regular music system. Put two together, and you’ll get stereo sound. There’s even a four-hour battery inside for wire-free audio wherever you are.

If you don’t want to use the app to control volume levels, or the brightness of the lamp, Sony has awkwardly placed touch controls on the base of the Glass Sound Speaker. That means you’ll have to pick it up and turn it upside down to adjust them — we much prefer Bang & Olufsen’s touch sensitive, top-mounted controls on its similar Beosound 1 and 2 360-degree speakers.


However, the Sony speaker is considerably more subtle — both in style and sound. There was a very pleasing crispness to the ambient sound delivered by it, but it wasn’t lacking power, and filled the wide space in which we listened well. It’s not without movement, either. The top of the glass cylinder noticeably vibrates — like the dome of a speaker — at higher volumes, and can be felt by placing a finger on it.

The Sony Glass Sound Speaker is a lifestyle gadget intended for buyers with a flair for interior design and a passion for mesmerizing sound from high-tech pieces of equipment. It’s not for everyone, or every situation, and if you want one be prepared to dig deep. It’s $800 in the U.S., and 800 British pounds in the U.K., which is an awful lot of money for a speaker that isn’t a jack-of-all-trades. We can’t overlook the beautiful style though, and in the right setting, it’ll blend in perfectly while filling the room with wonderfully crisp sound.


  • Beautiful design
  • Crisp audio
  • Wide range of connectivity options
  • Internal battery


  • Expensive
  • Operates at its best with particular music types

Brian Eno sets out to change music (again) with Bloom: 10 World

We always felt that Bloom was a musical system that could be developed further -- it was as if we’d built a CD player and only ever released one CD. For this release, we’ve created ten new worlds, starting with a reimagined version of…
Home Theater

A year after U.S. release, Apple HomePod aims for success in China

Approximately one year after the Apple HomePod launch in the U.S., consumers in China will be able to buy Apple's smart speaker in early 2019. Customers cannot pre-order the HomePod, but the device product page details its audio technology.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.
Smart Home

Which is better, the Amazon Echo or the Google Home? We took a look at both

What happens when you compare the Google Home vs the Amazon Echo? Both smart speakers have good qualities, but what happens when you compare they're features side-by-side? We think one of these smart gadgets wins over the other.
Home Theater

Plex amps up its music offerings with tight integration with Tidal

Plex may not be the first platform you think of for music streaming, but that may be about to change. The popular media server has added Tidal to its growing list of features, letting Plex users integrate their collections with Tidal's.
Smart Home

Apple Music hits the Amazon Echo. Is the cold war over?

It's about time. Amazon and Apple seem to have called a truce as Amazon agrees to add Apple Music to an ever-growing line of streaming music services on its Echo smart speakers that includes competitors like Spotify.

Enthusiast alert: Get up to 67% off Polk Audio speakers at Adorama

Any time is a good time to upgrade your home theater sound system, which makes Adorama's Polk LSI Blowout Weekend Sale particularly tempting. Adorama has discounts up to 67 percent on Polk Audio's top-of-the-line LSiM Series for…
Home Theater

An acclaimed Apple analyst says the new AirPods are coming in 2019

Apple plans to release new AirPods much the same as it does new iPhones, and a wireless charging case, water resistance, and better Siri integration are among the improvements we can expect in future models.

You may soon be able to listen to your own songs on Spotify’s Android app

If you love Spotify's streaming, but also have a large collection of niche music, then it can be hard to marry your two passions. Thankfully, Spotify appears to be testing the ability to import local songs to its Android app.

Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which service is the streaming king?

Apple Music is giving Spotify a run for its money, but which service is best for you? In our Apple Music vs. Spotify showdown, we compare and contrast all we know about the two streaming music services.

The best free music download sites that are totally legal

Finding music that is both free and legal to download can be difficult. We've handpicked a selection of the best free music download sites for you to legally download your next favorite album.

Block out the sun and drown out the haters with Bose’s new AR sunglasses

Bose has announced its quirkiest listening device yet, a pair of headphone-integrated sunglasses that allow you to meander the brightest places with your favorite tunes in tow. Called the Frames, the glasses will sport 3.5 hours of battery.
Home Theater

Spotify Wrapped reveals rad facts about your musical tastes and habits

The website may be a bit tough to find at first, but Spotify Wrapped tells you awesome facts about your year in listening. From how many minutes you spent jamming out to your top artists, and beyond, there's a lot to dig into.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.