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Speakers in Glass Houses for $1,000

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 21 comments

Got money to blow? Why not sink your wad in a set of glass-encased speakers!

Is it a work of art, or just plain ugly? As with any painting, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder. For some who behold Harman/Kardon's new GLA-55 two-piece speaker system, they may wonder what's the point; others may willingly shell out the $999.99 for the set of speakers made out of... glass? That's an assumption anyway, given the press images and the play on the word "glass."

PCLaunches originally pointed the way to the product, and seems to really like the sound produced by the speaker system. "From the facets of the bass reflex enclosure and custom copper tubing, to the powerful bass of its Atlas woofers and crystal-clear highs of the CMMD tweeters, the GLA-55 is an expert in both beauty and sound," the site reads, yanking from the official product description.

According to the actual specs however, the driver technology used by the speakers is Atlas AL, and has a frequency response (-10dB) of 35 Hz - 20 kHz. Additional tech specs report of an input impendence of >5k Ohms and an input sensitivity of 250 mV for rated power. As for power consumption, each speaker sucks in 56 Watts at 1-percent THD.

Naturally, the GLA-55 two-piece speaker system is for those with a little money to blow. Consumers can sink their funds into a shiny set that can be used not only for the PC, but for the iPod or any other audio device with a 3.5 mm (1/8-inch) output.

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  • 15 Hide
    ryall , December 7, 2009 10:04 PM
    Speakers in glass houses shouldn't play the Stones ;p
Other Comments
  • 6 Hide
    wildwell , December 7, 2009 9:42 PM
    Glass doesn't seem like it would sound good as a speaker enclosure? Then again, it doesn't really matter since I'm not gonna waste $1k on those little things.
  • 8 Hide
    AMW1011 , December 7, 2009 9:51 PM
    Glass enclosures aren't new, they just aren't common. A glass enclosure is supposed to give a slightly boomy bass while retaining definition and clarity. The trade off? Very suppressed mids. At least that is the general quality, these may be made from any sort of clear material and the shape may have a large impact on the performance. I'd give them a listen before righting them off. Oh and is it me or does the writer seem to think that $999 MSRP for a pair of new and just released speakers is only for the enthusiast? Blowing $1000 on good speakers is extremely easy for those so inclined, its the ones with thousands in their other equipment, not counting speakers, that are verging on the ridiculous.
  • 0 Hide
    AMW1011 , December 7, 2009 9:52 PM
    I would like to add that I in no way own or plan to own any $1000 speakers, but that's just my budget as a minimum wage teenage worker.
  • 15 Hide
    ryall , December 7, 2009 10:04 PM
    Speakers in glass houses shouldn't play the Stones ;p
  • 1 Hide
    winner4455 , December 7, 2009 10:10 PM
    I could build a computer with 1k...
  • 2 Hide
    superblahman123 , December 7, 2009 10:12 PM
    Add a little "bling to your ring"? Not these anyway lol.

    I would expect these things to be made out of crystal before I buy them, but thats not even saying that I would anyway. Not even a subwoofer for $1k!
    I could see some richies/artists get these, but only because they can, but I could guarantee they'd be disappointed with them w/o a subwoofer.
  • 0 Hide
    Camikazi , December 7, 2009 10:14 PM
    ryallSpeakers in glass houses shouldn't play the Stones ;p

    I see what you did there.
  • 0 Hide
    Supertrek32 , December 7, 2009 10:24 PM
    AMW1011Glass enclosures aren't new, they just aren't common. A glass enclosure is supposed to give a slightly boomy bass while retaining definition and clarity. The trade off? Very suppressed mids. At least that is the general quality, these may be made from any sort of clear material and the shape may have a large impact on the performance. I'd give them a listen before righting them off. Oh and is it me or does the writer seem to think that $999 MSRP for a pair of new and just released speakers is only for the enthusiast? Blowing $1000 on good speakers is extremely easy for those so inclined, its the ones with thousands in their other equipment, not counting speakers, that are verging on the ridiculous.

    Wouldn't being inclined to buy $1000 speakers then give you the title of enthusiast? Unless you're a professional, of course, but then you wouldn't be concerned with this pair of $1000 speakers anyway and would be springing for well known, professional-grade speakers.
  • -2 Hide
    gorehound , December 7, 2009 10:47 PM
    MY speakers are really good.
    ATC Professional Studio Monitors
    They have an awesome sound and I also use these to mix and master music.
  • -2 Hide
    amabhy , December 8, 2009 12:42 AM
    Nice specs, but they look like rabbit shit.

    If I saw those on a friends desk I would probably be like yo you pick that shit up off the street or something?
  • 0 Hide
    buwish , December 8, 2009 1:02 AM
    No thanks. What a rip. If you want to be covert about your speakers, there are much easier methods and set ups.
  • 0 Hide
    bitpirate , December 8, 2009 1:12 AM
    kinda ugly to me..maybe its my poor taste though.
  • 1 Hide
    NoCaDrummer , December 8, 2009 3:14 AM
    Not just expensive, ugly and impractical (what if they tip over or are dropped?) but glass is NOT a particularly good building material. It's hard (though technically a "liquid") transmits sound at a high speed, is not self-damping (tap a wine glass to get an idea of the "ring" it produces) and is difficult to work with. Polycarbonate would have been a better enclosure material if you absolutely must have "clear" loudspeakers. But we're talking something similar to that used at the bank, not CD jewelboxes.
    I'm just waiting for someone to play Ella Fitzgerald and have them shatter!
  • 0 Hide
    rambo117 , December 8, 2009 3:59 AM
    ryallSpeakers in glass houses shouldn't play the Stones ;p

    lol, that was good
  • 0 Hide
    techguy378 , December 8, 2009 7:26 AM
    I would love to have a pair of speakers like these that I could use with my home theater receiver's Audyssey MultEQ software. Audyssey can make the worst speaker sound like a speaker that costs thousands of dollars.
  • 1 Hide
    Manos , December 8, 2009 9:10 AM
    High price but they look damn sexy to me.
  • -4 Hide
    shamgar , December 8, 2009 12:21 PM
    with those speakers my FPS would go up so much when i would play crysis
  • 0 Hide
    Socnom , December 8, 2009 12:58 PM
    Unlike the rest of the Electronic world, Speakers do not become obsolete. They either work or they don't. I can see someone shelling out big bucks on speakers, its not like they will be replaced in 1 year.
  • -1 Hide
    sailfish , December 8, 2009 2:40 PM
    FAIL
  • 0 Hide
    deadlockedworld , December 8, 2009 2:51 PM
    *for mac users only* :-)
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