People are sick and tired of speakers that look like speakers. At least, that seems to be the idea behind Sony’s LSPX-S3, a Bluetooth speaker that looks like an old-fashioned oil lamp—it even uses an LED to imitate a fiery red wick. But is it worth $350?
Sony introduced its “glass speaker” line in 2016 with the release of its LSPX-S1, a grossly overpriced $800 speaker. It followed up with the $450 LSPX-S2 in 2019, and is now gearing up to launch its LSPX-S3 in August 2021.
While the LSPX-S3’s $350 price tag is much more compelling than that of previous models, it still seems like a hard sell. Sony claims that the speaker features a powerful midrange with deep bass and delivers incredible “360 sound” by radiating noise through its glass tube. Reviews for previous LSPX “glass” speakers corroborate these claims, but of course, you can get much larger speakers with better sound quality at this price. (I should mention that the LSPX-S3 supports High-Res audio and LDAC, though the difference may not be very noticeable on a wireless speaker of this size.)
Those who are willing to drop $350 on the latest “glass” speaker are probably more interested in its design than its sound quality, though. The LSPX-S3 form factor looks amazing, and its built-in LED lamp can mimic the feel of candlelight with up to 32 levels of illumination. It can even pair to another LSPX-S3 for immersive stereo sound. That said, this isn’t the kind of speaker you’d want to take to the beach, and its 8-hour battery life is underwhelming for the price.
If you’re willing to drop the big bucks on a cool-looking, indoor-only wireless speaker, then the LSPX-S3 is an interesting option. Sony plans to start selling the speaker this August, though you can sign up for an email reminder on the company’s website.