Christopher Stringer, a former Apple designer who works on everything from the HomePod to the original iPhone during his 22-year tenure at the company, unveiled the debut speaker for his new startup. It’s called the Cell Alpha, a futuristic connected Death Star-shaped speaker with an emphasis on surround sound. It costs $ 1,799, or $ 1,969 if you want a floor-standing model.
Cell Alpha has top and bottom speakers arranged in a “balanced power” configuration. They are paired with three mid-range drivers that are distributed around its equator, where they are probably joined by a small thermal exhaust port ̵
Syng makes great claims to the spatial sound capabilities of Cell Alpha. He designed it as the world’s first “Triphonic” speaker because it offers spatial audio capabilities beyond stereo sound, which has long been a traditional standard. In practice, it should allow the speaker to fill an entire room with surround sound, giving the impression that specific sounds or instruments are coming from separate areas of the room. The speaker stand has three built-in microphones to measure the geometry of the space in which it is located, similar to the HomePod, which helps it create the impression of surround sound using only one speaker.
While Syng says a speaker can offer surround sound, anyone who can spend $ 5,397 can pair three Cell Alpha speakers together in one room to get “the fullest expression of the triphonic sound.” According to a report by Financial TimesSyng hopes to generate revenue from licensing its audio technology in addition to selling hardware.
In terms of connectivity, Syng says Cell Alpha supports AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect over Wi-Fi. Physical connectivity is controlled by a pair of USB-C ports, and Syng also says it plans to run USB-C to an HDMI cable to allow Cell Alpha to connect to TVs (it can also output audio from a TV using AirPlay). An accompanying Syng Space app is available to set up and control playback.
Syng currently has about 50 employees according to Cable,, and reportedly raised $ 15 million in funding. The FTLast year’s report said those employees included former Apple designers and engineers, as well as former employees of Nest, Ring, Nike and Facebook. Others were reportedly joined by audio companies Harman and Bowers & Wilkins.
You can purchase Cell Alpha from the Syng website. At the time of writing, shipping is expected in six to eight weeks.