─ How was the concept of the Glass Sound Speaker created?
Matsumoto: The Glass Sound Speaker has its roots in the “Sountina” NSA-PF1, which originated in 2008. Its concept began with the desire to create something along the lines of a ‘fountain of sound’ that would make it seem like sound was flowing upwards from the center of a given space. It was developed with the objective of successfully fusing a feeling of space that is filled to the brim with translucent sound, together with excellent design that blends seamlessly with any interior. Although the Sountina retailed for over JPY 1 million at that time, it was received with great enthusiasm. The Glass Sound Speaker has evolved dramatically since then: it is equipped with an updated version of the Sountina’s technology, is now substantially more compact, has lower sound distortion and enhanced responsiveness. Furthermore, it can play music wirelessly and can be battery operated.
─ So the sound expands from the organic glass tube in a 360-degree span. That’s a unique feature. Can you describe some of the other features and how the Glass Sound Speaker is used?
Matsumoto: Most ordinary speakers have directionality, which means that the best position for listening to the sound is limited to being directly in front of a speaker (in the case of monaural speakers) or in between two speakers (in the case of stereo speakers). A special feature of the Glass Sound Speaker is that sound is generated from the organic glass tube in a 360-degree span, ensuring that the same sound field can be experienced from anywhere within the space. For example, regardless of whether the Glass Sound Speaker is placed in the corner or the center of a room, the same even sound field will permeate throughout the space. This even sound distribution demonstrates the non-directional nature of the speaker, and the listener will find it difficult to pinpoint exactly where the sound is coming from simply by listening. We believe that the Glass Sound Speaker delivers a comfortable sound space experience without making the customer aware that they are listening to a consumer electronic device.
The acoustics of the sound with its sense of translucence distinctive of organic glass, combines with the warm glow of the illuminating LED to create a truly whimsical feeling.
─ So the built-in battery enables the glass sound speaker to be used even in locations without power?
Matsumoto: Yes, that’s correct. The Glass Sound Speaker distributes the sound evenly in a 360-degree span, so it can be placed anywhere. We wanted to take advantage of this feature in order to freely place the speaker in any location, regardless of whether there was a power socket nearby or if bulky cables would become an obstacle, so we decided that it was critical that the speaker could be battery operated. In addition, Bluetooth functionality facilitates wireless playback, enabling a completely cable-free experience that allows the user to enjoy music in any location. We really hope that as many customers as possible will be able to try out the ultimate spatial experience in light and sound produced by Sony’s Glass Sound Speaker.