Loud and Clear: 360 Degree Glass Speakers

Tapered glass speakers amplify a full 360 degrees of sound

GreenSound Technology Frazil Speaker Set

Frequency response: 300 hertz-15 kilohertz; Dimensions: 49 x 18 x 18; Price: $8,000. Find more info here.Danny Schumpert

A speaker's sound comes from the diaphragm, a flat or cone-shaped piece that pushes air. It can be made from almost anything: metal, carbon, fabric, paper, even wood. California-based Greensound Technology, however, has taken a new approach, sending vibrations pulsing through a half-inch pane of tempered glass.

Since sound comes off both sides of the glass, the speaker projects a full 360 degrees of sound that envelops listeners. By design, this glass sheet can reproduce notes from nearly every instrument, from an upright bass to a piccolo. A sound generator in its 10-inch-tall base sends the pane vibrating, and its sail-like shape helps it handle varied tones: Bass emanates from the lower portion, midrange comes off the midsection, and high frequencies radiate from the tip. The heft of the base deepens low frequencies, while three holes near the top cut mass to tune high notes.

The glass's range and wide reach replicate a studio soundstage better than other speakers—a pair of these and a subwoofer can put you virtually dead center at a concert hall.