Gadget Watch: Crystal clear sound in glass speaker

Jan 07, 2014 by Ryan Nakashima
Members of the media photograph a glass speaker called Clio during the International Consumer Electronics Show, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, in Las Vegas. The speaker, produced by ClearView Audio uses a single piece of curved millimeter-thick acrylic glass that sits on a dock which vibrates it in a finely tuned way so that it can play music. It works with Bluetooth streaming and with a 3.5 millimeter jack. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

Ever tried to play a tune by rubbing the rim of a crystal wine glass?

One company has polished that idea so much that the phrase "crystal clear sound" will now have a different meaning.

ClearView Audio has come up with a speaker made of acrylic . It's called Clio.

HOW IT WORKS: Clio uses a single piece of curved acrylic glass that is a millimeter (0.04 inch) thick. It sits on a dock, which holds the glass in place and vibrates it in a finely tuned way so that it can play music.

CHOICE OF MATERIAL: Such a speaker could be used with any type of material, but glass produced the right sound and is thin, making future applications possible.

"You can excite any material if you energize it," and co-founder Allan Evelyn says. "What is difficult is to make it sound good."

IN PRACTICE: The speaker can receive music using a Bluetooth wireless connection or through a cable plugged into its 3.5 millimeter jack.

In a demo, the glass produced excellent sound when connected to a song stored on an iPhone. The sound goes in both directions—toward the concave and convex sides of the glass. Touching it, or even scratching it, doesn't alter the quality, although that might harm its design aesthetic.

Members of the media photograph a glass speaker called Clio during the International Consumer Electronics Show, Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, in Las Vegas. The speaker, produced by ClearView Audio uses a single piece of curved millimeter-thick acrylic glass that sits on a dock which vibrates it in a finely tuned way so that it can play music. It works with Bluetooth streaming and with a 3.5 millimeter jack. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

TARGET AUDIENCE: The Waltham, Massachusetts, company is marketing the Clio to tech-lovers and home decor experts for $349. It's expected to ship in late March.

Explore further: Google Glass gets music integration

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User comments : 2

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adam_russell_9615
5 / 5 (1) Jan 07, 2014
Id doubt that any glass would have good dynamic range. Got a spectrum analysis comparison with a quality speaker?
dirk_bruere
not rated yet Jan 08, 2014
Magnetostrictive tech for flat speaker application is not new