Sony Glass Sound Speaker review: it’s not what it looks like – The Verge
Every so often, you get a reminder that Weird Sony is still alive and well. The company might be releasing best-in-class wireless earbuds, gorgeous OLED TVs, and premium soundbars, but it also still dabbles in unusual gadgets that stand no chance of appealing to a mass audience.
It’s fair to say that the $350 LSPX-S3 Glass Sound Speaker is exactly that kind of product. A combined portable Bluetooth speaker and candlestick-like table lamp, the LSPX-S3 is by no means designed for the everyday consumer. It’s not supposed to be your rugged, take-anywhere speaker. It’s a statement piece that could add ambiance to a romantic dinner, a bedside table, or a meal outside on a summer evening. Sony sees enough in this concept to have kept at it for three generations now.
- Convincing candlelight effect
- Crystal clear sound quality
- LDAC support on Android
- No play / pause or track controls
- Glass design is more fragile than other speakers
- Only comes in silver
The LSPX-S3 stands slightly over 11 inches tall and is heavier than it looks at 2.5 pounds, with most of that weight residing in the very sturdy-feeling silver metal base. The heft is reassuring in that there’s little risk of the device tipping over accidentally. You could say the Glass Sound Speaker gives off futuristic oil lamp vibes, maybe, but most people I’ve shown it to have immediately concluded that it most closely resembles a bong. It’s certainly a conversation starter, but any potential appeal will come down to your own taste. To me, this looks like a speaker that belongs in a lake cabin or an art studio. It might feel a little out of place in some contexts.
The LSPX-S3 produces warm ambient light.
Around back, near the bottom of the base, you’ll find a USB-C port for charging the battery and buttons for power, answering a phone call, and controlling the volume. Sony includes a short USB-C to USB-A cable in the box but no power adapter. Under the speaker are additional buttons for Bluetooth pairing and setting a sleep timer. On Android, the LSPX-S3 supports Fast Pair for easy setup. Perhaps most surprising is that Sony also includes its higher-quality LDAC codec among the speaker’s features, allowing you to play music at higher bitrates from services like Amazon Music, Apple Music, Tidal, Qobuz, and others that offer lossless audio. LDAC might seem like overkill for a speaker of this relatively small size, but I’m glad to see Sony extending it to more products — especially considering the price premium of this one.
The buttons are located at the back of the speaker.
The glass tube isn’t there purely for aesthetics. According to Sony, three actuators in the speaker are attached to the end of the glass and vibrate the …….