If you appreciate immersive audio and a uniquely designed speaker system that represents your exquisite taste, then you may want to check out the Syng Cell Alpha Wireless Speaker.
Syng Cell Alpha Wireless Speaker is the first product of Los Angeles-based startup Syng, founded by former Apple’s designer Christopher Stringer who was involved in the design of a range of iconic Apple products, ranging from PowerBook to iPhone to HomePod.
Some people described the Cell Alpha’s look as “futuristic” but personally, it felt more mid-century modern. It is futuristic in a way it would have felt like in the 50s or 60s, or even the 70s. Thanks to the acrylic enclosure that lets you peek inside some of its innards, the speaker is quite a sight to behold. I think it will look fabulous next to the Dieter Rams’ The Wandanlage, and the Vitsœ 620 chair, or any Charles Eames’ pieces.
The transparent treatment does kind of reminds us of the Harmon Kardon SoundSticks with its clear sub and stick-style upright speakers, which has always been the apple of my eye.
Syng claimed that Cell Alpha is “the world’s first Triphonic speaker” but Syng’s idea of Triphonic may not be the same as everyone else. We came across an expired patent filed by CBS Broadcasting ages ago and from the patent description, it does not sound like it is the same tech as Syng’s Triphonic.
The “Triphonic” may very be Syng’s own definition because a quick Google search revealed that the term “Triphonic” is mostly, if not all, relating to Syng and Syng only and so…
But what really is the Triphonic sound anyways? Well, it is essentially spatial sound. From the horse’s mouth:
“The next generation of audio technology, Triphonic enables the world’s first true spatial sound experience designed for the home. Cell Alpha uses Triphonic audio to adapt to the characteristics of your space and precisely project sound to the exact dimensions of your room, creating an immersive and unified soundfield. When sound is all around you, it’s intimate, totally enveloping and unlike anything you’ve ever heard – that’s why we call it Super Spatial Sound.”
The 11.8-inch diameter ball-shaped, transparent speaker features two force-canceling 5.6-inch woofers with flat, carbon-fiber composite diaphragms that allow for booming bass without distortion.
In addition, there is an array, consisting of three coaxial drivers, positioned equally apart along the equator of the spherical speaker to pump sound in all directions.
The coaxial drivers, comprising of a 3-inch inverted-dome midrange driver and a 0.75-inch silk-dome tweeter, are packed inside a specially designed horn. Each driver is hooked up to its own Class D power amp.
What really makes this speaker stands out is, of course, the Triphonic Audio which bestows full control to you, letting you pull off the precise placement of sound using an app.
This means you put sound wherever you desire within a room. Of course, you can also like Cell Alpha to decide on your behalf on where the sound should be placed. Wait a minute. These sound techs sound like a marriage between marriage Dolby Atmos and Sony’s 360 Reality Audio, doesn’t it?
But as good as it looks and sounds, it has limited connectivity. It does not stream Bluetooth audio which may be a major deal-breaker for many, especially for a speaker that commands U$1,799 or more (yes, that’s how much it costs).
The primary connection is via 2.4/5.0 GHz Wi-Fi 5 (i.e. wireless 801.22ac) with support for AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect. Anything else beyond that, you have to go through the wired route via two USB-C audio inputs.
Interestingly, it does have physical basic controls over the music despite the lack of buttons on the speaker itself. Cell Alpha achieved volume and play/pause using a control ring located at the top of the stand.
The stand is also home to three microphones that are needed for setting up and continuous adjustment of the audio in the space. This means that stand is mandatory and thankfully, the price does include the said stand.
There are two stands available: a 17-inch tall tabletop version and a floor-standing version that can be adjusted between 36 and 48 inches. The stand attaches to the speaker system using a proprietary thread system.
The stand also serves to keep the lone power cable hidden and lead it discreetly away from the speaker.
The Syng Cell Alpha Wireless Speaker is available to buy now for the aforementioned starting price of US$1,799.