Transparent speaker


38 Responses to “Transparent speaker”

  1. flowergardenslayer says:

    Very cool idea!  Unfortunately there seems to be less and less reason to own a decent set of speakers…. :(

    • TooGoodToCheck says:

      why no reason to own good speakers?

      because you only use headphones?
      Because music these days sucks?
      because you’re using compressed audio anyway?
      because time and loud music have wrecked up your hearing?

      hope it’s not the last one.  

    • Rob Gehrke says:

       And if it’s just to hook up to an IPod to play mp3s, there is no need to have state of the art speaker technology anyway, but it is visually elegant and beautiful. I wonder how it is engineered – I mean, designing good loudspeakers is complicated.

      • prion says:

        High bit-rate MP3s can benefit from the very best speaker technology.  I’ve found them to be often indistinguishable from CDs.  Lossy formats haven’t deterred sound nuts from hi-fi in the past, so there’s no reason to be deterred now.

    • ultranaut says:

      I recently got a decent set of speakers and an AVR. Movies really are significantly improved by 5.1 surround sound, and with blurays the audio quality is fucking amazing. I can’t believe what a difference the new speakers have made in how much I enjoy watching stuff. I think there is more of a reason to own a decent set of speakers now than there used to be, at least if you own a bluray player.

  2. Rob Gehrke says:


  3. jimkirk says:

    Needs goldfish swimming inside.

  4. LightningRose says:

     Knowing a bit about speaker design, I predict it sounds like crap.

    And many quality speakers (Bose, Klipsch, etc) have replaceable components.

  5. Listener43 says:

    Glass seems a poor choice of materials for a speaker enclosure.
    Further, one would hesitate to play anything by Ella Fitzgerald – especially if it had been recorded on a high quality cassette tape.

  6. bcsizemo says:

    Umm, am I the only one that see a very opaque speaker?

    I assume they mean speaker BOX.

    So I guess they are selling you convenience, cause I can buy all this for probably less than they are selling it at and have my choice of speakers and crossover design…

  7. bcsizemo says:

    As an engineer I disagree with that.

    A speaker’s primary role is to produce sound, if it can’t do that well then no amount of pretty design will make up for the lack of audio quality.

    It would be similar to Apple building really crappy computers with beautiful exteriors – they wouldn’t sell nearly as well as fairly good quality machines that look beautiful (albeit more expensive than the same components in a PC box.)

    • prion says:

      There must be a market for -good enough- sound from attractive speakers.  If they can avoid major resonance issues with this box, then I don’t have a problem with it. People spend good money on boring crappy (sounding and looking) speakers all the time – this is a step in the right direction.

      • hadlockk says:

        There is a market – and Bose has it cornered.

        • penguinchris says:

          I think Bose stuff looks like crap, though. I’m not sure good aesthetics is really their marketing angle, or why people buy their stuff (I’m not really sure why anybody does, of course).

          I think the real example is Bang & Olufsen. To be honest I have no idea if their stuff sounds any good, I just assume it doesn’t (I don’t think most of it looks that nice, either, although much better than Bose).

    • Charlie B says:

      Careful, there, we don’t want to provoke any jerky knees.

  8. nixiebunny says:

    They didn’t mention the primary resonant frequency of that shallow box, but it’s gotta be a couple kilohertz. Ouch.

  9. Pedant says:

    As other people have stated, I can see a number of issues with that design. My favourite being the sub and the mid(& high?)range both sitting in the same non-ported box…

  10. ackpht says:

    The purpose of a speaker is whatever the owner wants it for. Speakers have been sold on looks (and snob appeal) for decades. Big ones, little ones, boxes and planes and cones and spheres and pyramids and nautilus-shaped and some that mimic furniture and some that look like fetal squids. So- glass? OK, if it doesn’t resonate too much, you could do it.

    Rare are the bunnies who don’t care what speakers look like as long as they sound good- and everyone has their own taste in sound anyway.

  11. bcsizemo says:

    For all the design enthusiasts here is a good commentary on the sound quality issue:

  12. I thought good speakers were to have no parallel sides to avoid resonance.   I bet these will rattle and hum at high volume.   Phil Lesh could destroy the glass.

  13. Bloo says:

    I thought Newt Gingrich held the patent on “transparent Speaker”?

  14. redsrevenge says:

    That speaker would sound so shitty, I mean world class shitty. There’s no internal bracing, the glass surfaces are many times the surface area of the drivers so the flexing enclosure will be almost as loud as the sounds from the drivers (ever hear your windows rattle when a loud truck goes by?).

    It’s a 2 way system with what looks to be a 15″ woofer and a 5-6 inch tweeter, I’ve actually never seen a speaker configured like that. Mostly because it makes absolutely no sense (that is if you want to listen to music, if you want to use it to try and get laid, that’s another matter).
    Based on the above I can only assume the crossover is also hosed.

    So, it’s not a loudspeaker it’s a see thru POS (but, hey, buy one, cause ya never know, ya might get lucky).


  15. godisafiction says:

    I expected a transparent speaker, but this is a transparent box with regular opaque speakers attached to it.

  16. plainsaman says:

    Surely the sheet holding the components is provided, and I’m guessing that panel ISN’T glass, but acrylic (ever try cutting or drilling holes in glass?)  so you could just as easily use acrylic for the rest of it – not that it would sound any better, but a heck of a lot less breakable.

  17. danegeld says:

    It’s a cool idea. I would want to see some graphs comparing the performance of this “speaker” against Bose and some random highstreet hifis like Sony before parting with any cash, though. My first first guess is that it’s going to resonate like a motherf. and so is only goin to be useful for playing Prince. Though with DSPs being so cheap, I wonder if you could absorb all of the resonant response of the enclosure as preemphasis, use cheap components and a mechanically suboptimal design to give good results nevertheless?

    • prion says:

      That sort of thing makes me want a DSP to play with.  We are all dealing with suboptimal setups – whether time alignment issues or room modes or a big tv between the front speakers messing with the stereo image.

  18. danegeld says:

    It looks a bit PovRay’d too. Have they actually built it?

  19. Thorzdad says:

    I suspect that electronics box hanging off the front of the box is doing a ton of signal-shaping in order to make-up for the very real lack of bass response this thing probably suffers from (judging from the general size of the box in relation to the size of the low-end driver, along with the use of bare glass) Without the electronics, I bet these things sound brittle as hell.

  20. felsby says:

    - but where is the tweeter?
    Allow me to present some free advice ;-)  
    The midrange MUST have its own separate airtight chamber. As the design is conceived now, the midrange cone will move in antiphase with the bass driver, considerably weakening the bass output and causing midrange doppler distortion. (Unless, of course, you are running both drivers full range in the bass.)
    Alternatively, one could emplay a smaller 6½” bass driver operating up to 3kHz, crossed over to a normal dome tweeter. No need for an additional chamber.
    And yes, glass is resonant. And there is no fibrous damping to attenuate standing waves. A simple diagonal glass brace could remedy both problems to a certain degree, though.

  21. Ryan Lenethen says:

    Come on people. How has no one commented on the fact that a “Swedish” design firm has made a speaker called “Speaker” and not something like “Lombdarp” with an umlaut over the “o”.

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