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- The Syng Cell Alpha is a “triphonic” speaker that creates an enveloping listening experience.
- The speaker comes from former Apple designer Christopher Stringer and DC Shoes co-founder Damon Way.
- The Syng Cell Alpha is now available for $1,799.
Former Apple designer Christopher Stringer has helped develop a number of game-changing products including the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.
Now, four years after leaving the tech giant, he’s looking to bring a spatial sound experience to listeners with the new Syng Cell Alpha “triphonic” speaker.
This high-end speaker is built to fill a room with sound thanks to multiple points of distribution on its globe-shaped design. You can combine the speaker with two additional units and place them around a room, as well, to provide an even more enveloping listening experience.
The speaker operates via Syng Space, an app that lets you place sounds — such as music from Spotify — in certain corners of a living room. The app is currently only available in the Apple app store but will be available in the Google Play Store in summer 2021, according to Syng.
Syng Cell Alpha price and release date
Syng released its Cell Alpha speaker on May 14. It’s available in two options on Syng’s website: the Cell Alpha with a table stand for $1,799 and the Cell Alpha with an adjustable floor stand for $1,969. Shipments are expected to go out in six to eight weeks.
Individual $79 table stands and $249 floor stands are now available for preorder, with shipping expected in summer 2021.
The Syng Cell Alpha is boosted by two woofers — one facing up and the other facing down — along with a three-element, two-way beamforming array. The speaker also includes three microphones that scope out the room around it to create the feel of live music.
The Cell Alpha‘s stem, which connects to its table stand or floor stand, includes a
input. The speaker can also be connected with AirPlay 2, Spotify, and HDMI ARC. HDMI connectivity will only work with a $49 Syng Link USB-C-to-HDMI cable, now available for preorder.
Insider Reviews was invited to attend an in-person demo of the new Syng Cell Alpha speaker. Christopher Stringer and Syng acoustic researcher Elisabeth McMullin were in attendance and walked us through the Cell Alpha‘s unique features while directly comparing the speaker to two competing models.
Syng Cell Alpha vs. Sonos and Bang & Olufsen speakers
As someone who regularly attended concerts prior to 2020, I felt more present in the sound space with the Cell Alpha than I did when hearing the music through the Bang & Olufsen and
speakers. The Cell Alpha was also more interesting visually, as the vibrating top of the globe-shaped speaker was exciting to see when backed with kicks and drums.
Syng’s overall audio performance produced a crisper, more moving experience compared to the competing speakers. Even when the volume was turned low, the bass was still present and balanced with the music. The triphonic design also made the sound more disperse and room filling than the other speakers, creating a pleasant advantage when compared to a traditional 2-channel design.
Syng’s Space app lets you place the speaker’s sound around your room
McMullin then showed me the Syng Space app, an app that lets you drag, change the size of, and place sound around your room after you set up your Cell Alpha.
The speaker’s technology helps it read the room, and the ability to emphasize sound in specific areas can be great for people standing in a certain corner or sitting in a certain chair, for instance. The app makes the sound you’re listening to appear in a bubble so it looks like a mobile game as you navigate where you want to hear music.
While this feature was interesting when used with one speaker, it was even more impressive when multiple Syng speakers were paired together in a triangle around the room. McMullin played singer Daniel Caesar’s “Best Part” — a song I heard live years ago — and asked me to walk around the space. As I walked from one speaker to the next, it never felt like I was moving away from the sound. The song sounded similar to how I remembered it when I heard it live.
The Syng Cell Alpha is impressive in its presentation of audio, specifically with its app’s ability to customize how you want sound to play among multiple speakers. And while this listening experience is fantastic, it’s important to remember this is a high-end speaker geared toward buyers with big budgets.
A single Syng Cell Alpha costs $1,799 and buyers who want a multi-speaker experience will have to pay even more. Replicating the triangle-shaped arrangement I heard would cost you anywhere from $5,397 to $5,907.
This price is likely to turn away the average listener, but it could be a worthwhile purchase for buyers on the hunt for a high-end luxury speaker with a unique design. I could also see the Syng appealing to creators and performers who can arrange these speakers for a memorable, customizable listening experience for their audiences.