Speakers are something that is meant to be heard rather than be looked at, although there are some out there who want their speakers to not only sound good, but look good as well, which might explain why companies such as Bose and Bang & Olufsen pride themselves in their technology as well as their design. However if you really wanted something different, then perhaps a company called ASWY which is based in Taipei might have something that could interest you. The folks at Engadget recently came across ASWY’s booth at IFA in Berlin and noticed that the company is demonstrating a set of speakers which can apparently float.
When I met with OM Audio in Manhattan to check out what the company was calling the “world’s first levitating Bluetooth speaker,” I didn’t bat an eye. I had never myself seen a levitating speaker before that day, and a thorough internet search turned up nil. As it turns out, a Taiwanese company has been showing off a very similar (albeit nonfunctioning) device for months. ASWY, based in Taipei, is here at IFA in Berlin demoing a production-ready version of its own speaker, which at this stage looks much more polished than the OM Audio prototype I saw last month. Audio quality is quite good, as well, and while a noisy trade show floor isn’t the best place to test a speaker, it sounded better than the OM model I was able to experience in a silent room. ASWY’s product, simply called the Floating Bluetooth Speaker, has three watts of output, five hours of battery life and Bluetooth 4.0 support. You can also plug an audio source directly into the 3.5mm input, and, since there’s an integrated mic, you can use the device as a speakerphone as well. Like with OM Audio’s version, you’ll need to use a powered base to keep the speaker in the air, but it’ll operate untethered as well. The base also includes an integrated USB port, so you don’t need to use a secondary adapter to charge up the device (though you can if you like). ASWY reps expect distributors to sell the speaker for $149 beginning this November. Check out the demo video below to get a feel for how it works — we captured the audio straight from a mic attached to anOlympus E-M1 camera, and for a portable Bluetooth speaker, it really does sound good.