Sony shows prototype next-gen speakers

Sony has developed next-gen prototype speakers based on the same technology in its Sountina that hang from a ceiling or come with an audio system in the base.

Sony's prototype Kanade speaker on show in Tokyo.

Sony's prototype Kanade speaker on show in Tokyo.

Sony has developed next-generation prototype speakers that hang from a ceiling or come with an entire home audio system built-into the base, utilising the same technology in its distinctive Sountina .

The two working prototypes were unveiled Wednesday at a Sony event in Tokyo held for electronics retailers and its dealers. Like the Sountina, they emit sound from long, glass tubes, said Nobukazu Suzuki, an acoustic system engineer in Sony's audio business group and developer of the speakers.

Also like the recently-launched Sountina, the glass tube in the prototypes is energized by small drive devices that couple with the tube and vibrate vertically. Waves travel up through the tube and are dispersed in a 360 degree spread horizontally from the tube. What all this means is that sound spreads out from the tube in a uniform manner and can be heard equally well from any position around it.

The hanging speaker, dubbed "Hibiki," looks like a stylish light and is envisaged as something that could be positioned over a table or in a room where it could hang without looking like a speaker, said Suzuki.

The second prototype, named "Kanade," is an upright speaker not dissimilar to the Sountina only smaller and not as imposing. Just under the speaker a digital audio player is integrated into the device so the unit can function as an all-in-one audio system with nothing but a power cable required.

Technology development of both devices is complete, so the biggest hurdle standing between them and the store shelf is a marketing decision. That's something that Sony hasn't yet taken so there's no word on when or if they might ever become products.

Sony's NSA-PF1 Sountina, which was unveiled in May, went on sale in Japan in June at the premium price of ¥1 million (US$9,295). It's also becoming available in major markets around the world.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?