Sony’s LSPX-S3 glass speaker is great and fun, but not for you

The Sony LSPX-S3 Glass Sound speaker is anything but boring. I love that it elicits instant emotion, in a way that most other Bluetooth speakers just don’t these days. And by doing something different, like using glass or adding a flickering candle-like light, it won’t be a speaker for everyone. So is this the best way to listen to music? Is it practical? No. But also, perhaps surprisingly, these questions are not relevant here.

What matters is that the Sony LSPX-S3 speaker sounds pretty good and looks even cooler. This is the speaker for people who care as much about how their speaker looks as they do about how it sounds. The LSPX-S3 is a unique chance for someone to rejoice in a new way.

That said, Sony’s nearly $350 funky speaker isn’t for most people. But that’s its charm. It is not a question of being the spokesperson for everyone, or even for many people.

TL;DR

Advantages:

  • Speaker and light combo can create ambiance
  • Having a sleep timer button is handy

The inconvenients:

  • Expensive for its size and volume
  • Confirmation sounds can be disturbing
  • Some features can be complicated to use without the app

Buy on Amazon.

Characteristics

Sometimes, with unique products, I like to guess how they came to be. In this case, a passive radiator resides at the base for low frequency sounds and a small 46 millimeter speaker is above, lending itself to a natural vase-shaped object. From there I can see how the idea of ​​adding a long glass tube extending upwards came about. These are just guesses, of course, but I think the features of this product are a result of its shape, unlike other products which may have a boring shape to pack more features.

Complementing its shape, the speaker has 360-degree sound. There’s no front or back other than defined by whether you want to see the buttons and the charging port or not.

There are candle mode and flicker-free light mode that can be used as a night light. And best of all, there’s an 8-hour battery inside so it can sit on a coffee table or anywhere there’s an electrical outlet around or not. If you want to use it next to your bed at night, until you fall asleep, there’s a button at the bottom to activate a 60 minute sleep timer.

The pros and cons of this Sony speaker

Out of the box, this speaker is both heavier and smaller than it looks in the photos. It’s a small, dense piece of decor that can fit on a mantel, nightstand, bathroom counter, or just about anywhere. Without the glass tube it could be a travel speaker, but having this generally fragile material means the speaker is only suitable for home or near home use, such as a patio.

It’s great that there are physical buttons for power, answer a phone call, volume, sleep timer and a touch strip for light control. I found the buttons easy to use and convenient to control the device without my phone.

At the bottom are buttons for controlling power, answering a call, and volume. Above the buttons is a touch strip to control the light.
Tyler Hayes

There is a built-in microphone so it can be used as a speaker. I don’t know how common this usage will be, but I tried it and my wife could hear me well on the other side of a call.

The sleep timer button is located at the bottom of the device and press it once to set a 60 minute timer. Press it again to turn off the timer. The intention is good and it works, but without any display it can be difficult to know if you have it activated or not.

This is similar to changing the light settings. Long press the touch strip to switch between candle mode and standard lighting mode. But even the written instructions that come in the box mention that it can be difficult to determine which mode you’re in.

Sony LSPX-S3 Glass Sound Speaker
At the bottom of the device are the buttons for Bluetooth pairing and the sleep timer.
Tyler Hayes

In an attempt to combat this, Sony plays a sound to indicate the various settings. A chime sounds when switching between lighting modes, for example. A chime sounds when the timer is activated. A chime will also sound when you reach the lowest and highest brightnesses. Again, the intent is good here, but the chime also creates a slight pause for audio playback. It can be confusing and annoying if you frequently adjust the settings.

I liked that almost all the features were available through the speaker itself, without needing to use Sony’s mobile app, the Music Center. The app mainly makes the features more convenient and visual.

The light has over 30 brightness levels and multiple flicker patterns. I didn’t feel the need for this level of precision, but the app made it easy to select a very specific brightness level.

I used the speaker as a bedside lamp and was impressed. This is a strong use case for the product. It doesn’t have a room-filling light, so don’t expect to replace a lamp with this speaker. It will provide a candle’s worth of light, more or less. A perfect amount of light to fall asleep.

Sony LSPX-S3 Glass Sound Speaker
The Sony speaker is about 16 inches tall and about 5.5 inches wide.
Tyler Hayes

The first album I listened to on the loudspeaker was Adolescence by Baynk. Electronic music played over the speaker highlights of punchy bass and clear treble. In the Music Center app, there is a setting to enable Bass Boost. Turning it on improves the sound, making most songs a little fuller. The only reason I can see for not keeping this setting on all the time is if you use the speakerphone at night while you fall asleep. But, other than that, you should keep it enabled. Without Bass Boost, the speaker sounds even weaker.

The overall sound is somewhere between a pro or a con. Songs are certainly clear and detailed, but they lack midrange and depth, especially at higher volumes. I compared this Sony speaker directly to a Sonos Roam, and they are a good match sonically. The biggest difference is around $170.

I really wish Sony had leaned into this speaker even more and made it physically bigger. I think it could have been a really good bedroom or living room speaker with a rich, full sound. In the state, the sound is respectable only by its small size. Comparatively, in the Bluetooth speaker market, you can buy better speakers for your money.

Sony LSPX-S3 Glass Sound Speaker
The Sony logo is printed on the glass tube and can sometimes create an unintended (or maybe intentional!) shadow.
Tyler Hayes

Should you buy the Sony LSPX-S3?

The problem with the Sony LSPX-S3 glass speaker is that it’s a great product, but not great value for money. It is a luxury item. The sound is crystal clear and no, I couldn’t go through the entire review without making the pun. The light up feature is fun and unique. Battery life was also excellent and in line with the advertised 8 hours. All in all, it’s just a cool product.

So while this speaker prioritizes style over substance, that doesn’t diminish the fact that it could be the right fit for the right person. It just won’t suit most people.

Buy on Amazon for $348.

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