Transparent – maker of a very cool speaker that is, predictably, see-through – has just announced its first portable speaker, and it looks like an oil lantern. The clear section in the centre keeps Transparent's signature style here, but there's a light that can be activated to shine through the glass with a flickering flame effect. Oh, and there's a full-range speaker driver and passive bass radiator too, since it's also a Bluetooth speaker.
Our list of the best Bluetooth speakers features a lot of tough portable units designed to withstand drops and dunkings, but increasingly companies have recognised that you might just like a nice-looking speaker that happens to work in multiple rooms in your house, and that seems to be very much what Transparent is going for.
In keeping with its lantern looks, the Light Speaker has a carry handle, so it's to quickly grab and cart from place to place. With the light, it obviously looks ideal for taking out for a nice evening on the patio, or equally as a nice relaxing light and speaker combo for a long bath.
The light can be quickly set to just the glow of embers, a flickering flame, or simply a brighter white light for reading or to find your way. You can tweak it just with controls on the body.
A nice touch is that the flickering of the light will match your music, because it all comes from a "vibrating bass-and-light element" in the base of the unit. Sound-wise, there's the 2.5-inch full-range driver and three-inch bass radiator.
It's made from materials like borosilicate glass and aluminium, so aims to be durable enough to take on a camping trip and so on, and the 10-hour battery life could get you through a weekend away, with entertainment for a few hours per night. It's IPX2 weatherproof, which means light rain is okay, but anything else is likely to cause problems – this won't be landing in our list of the best waterproof speakers.
The price of $350 / £290 / AU$470 puts it very much at the top end of Bluetooth speakers, in competition with the likes of the almighty Bang & Olufsen A1 2nd Gen, which isn't exactly bad looking itself. But does it have a flickering light? No it does not.
The Transparent Light Speaker is available to buy today from Transparent directly, and should land in some fancy retails stores too.