It’s not the moon: Apple’s veteran designer unveils a $ 1,799 Cell Alpha speaker


Christopher Stringer, a former Apple designer who worked with everything from HomePod to the original iPhone company for 22 years, has unveiled the first speaker in his new startup center. It is called Cell alpha, a futuristic Death Star shaped connected speaker with an emphasis on spatial sound. It costs $ 1799 or $ 1969 if you want a model with a floor base.

The top and bottom of the Cell Alpha have subwoofers arranged in “power balance”. These are connected to three mid-level drivers distributed around the equator, where they are presumably connected by a small heat removal port – Cell Alpha’s only known weakness. With the exception of jokes, Stringer’s company Syng claims that this configuration of three controllers (called “The Triphone”) is able to project sound with “accurate accuracy” around the room.

Two floor models.
Photo: Syng

Syng makes strong claims about the sound characteristics of Cell Alpha mode. It has been shaped from it into the world’s first “Triphonic” speaker because it offers spatial sound features in addition to stereo sound, which has long been a traditional standard. In practice, it is meant to let the speaker fill the entire room with surround sound and create the impression that certain sounds or instruments are coming from separate areas of the room. Three microphones are built into the speaker stand to measure the geometry of its space, similar to HomePod, which helps create the impression of surround sound with just one speaker.

Even the speaker model on the table stand is hefty.
Photo: Syng

While Syng says one speaker can provide surround sound, anyone with $ 5,397 can combine three Cell Alpha speakers in one room to get “perfect Triphonic sound expression.” – according to the report Financial Times, Syng hopes to generate revenue from the licensing of audio technology in addition to hardware sales.

In terms of connectivity, Syng says Cell Alpha supports AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect over a Wi-Fi connection. Physical connectivity is handled by a pair of USB-C ports, and Syng also says it plans to release a USB-C to HDMI cable so Cell Alpha can connect to TVs (it can also send audio from the TV using AirPlay). The included Syng Space application is available for configuration and playback control.

USB-C ports handle physical connections.
Photo: Syng

Syng currently has about 50 employees by Wired, and is said to have raised $ 15 million in funding. FTAccording to last year’s report, these employees include former Apple designers and engineers, as well as former Nest, Ring, Nike and Facebook employees. Others have reportedly joined the record companies Harman and Bowers & Wilkins.

Cell Alpha is now available for purchase on Syng’s website. After this writing, delivery is expected in 6-8 weeks.

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