While we've seen transparent speakers before, they've usually consisted of regular opaque woofers and tweeters encased in a see-through body. ClearView Audio's 24-watt Clio Bluetooth speaker, however, is different. While its base is easy enough to see, the actual sound-emitting part is composed entirely of clear acrylic.
The Clio utilizes a 2-inch woofer and piezoelectric actuators in its base, which stimulate two thin membranes (one per channel) running along both sides of its transparent curved transducer. This causes the transducer to move back and forth in a "piston-like" fashion, producing 360-degree stereo sound that is emitted from both the front and rear faces of the 1 mm-thick acrylic material.
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A similar strategy is used by Greensound Technology in its Luno glass speakers.
Like other Bluetooth speakers, the Clio can be placed pretty much anywhere within a room, without having to run any cords. Music or other audio is streamed to it wirelessly from the user's Bluetooth-enabled device (up to 30 ft/9 m), although it also has a 3.5-mm line-in port.
We recently had a chance to hear the Clio for ourselves at CES, and can attest to the fact that its sound quality is indeed superb. Additionally, its design definitely does allow it to pump sound over a wider area than a traditional cone speaker, which more just projects sound forward.
The Clio is available now for pre-order, with shipping expected to begin in late March. It's priced at US$349, and comes in silver, bronze or charcoal color choices.
Source: ClearView AudioView gallery - 6 images