August 29, 2008 It’s taken us a few decades to fully wrap our brain cells around the fact that a loudspeaker doesn’t need to be box-shaped with an array of woofers and tweeters and equally, that remarkable sound quality can be produced from a single speaker. Taking it one step further is the new Sony Sountina: this single, elegant column, combining glass, leather and room-enhancing illumination, delivers music over 360 degrees, providing a sonic and visual focal-point for any room. The name comes from a fusion of the words ‘sound’ and ‘fountain’; just as people gather around a fountain, so the 1.85m tall Sountina will deliver amazing music to those all around it. Sony calls it a Circle Sound Stage, and it’s all made possible by brand-new Vertical Drive Technology.

Sony is showing this unique speaker technology at IFA 2008. It fuses with the stylish, elegant design to ensure the Sountina delivers exactly the same sound whether you are sitting or standing, and whether you are close to the 1.85m tall unit or some distance away.

The main drive unit in the Sountina is a long, slender organic glass tube, energised by several drive devices to give sound that’s dispersed from along the length of the tube, and all round the speaker in a 360º spread. This technology also gives much less loss of sound with distance: increase the distance from the Sountina and there’s less than half as much loss as with conventional speakers. The Vertical Drive Technology unit is backed up with conventional midrange and bass drive-units, with fully active internal amplification allowing it to work directly with Blu-ray Disc, DVD, Super Audio CD or CD players, plus portable players. Connections are provided on digital electrical/coaxial and optical inputs, and analogue stereo sockets.

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