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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 May 2008, 11:35 GMT 12:35 UK
Introducing the 5,000 speaker
By Jim Reed
Newsbeat technology reporter

Japanese music fans with thousands of pounds to burn will soon be able to get their hands on Sony's first glass tube speaker system.


The futuristic-looking Sountina is almost two metres high and slightly thicker than a baseball bat.

It vibrates to produce a "clear, natural sound", according to Sony.

Most loudspeakers push sound out in one direction by quickly moving a solid "skin" or diaphragm.

The Sountina works by vibrating a glass tube, spreading the sound out in a 360 degree wave.

Sony says the distance the sound reaches depends on the room itself.

The Sountina is 6ft tall and designed for halls and large rooms
Small coloured lights line the bottom of the cylinder and are reflected in stainless steel at the top.

If the room is dark enough, the LEDs reflects off a metal string inside the tube.

The colours are set by hand using a remote control.

Pricey option

The speakers go on sale in Japan at the end of June for 1,000,000 (4,900).

There are no plans at the moment to sell the system in Europe or the US.

Sony said it was targeting "sophisticated, niche consumers" and companies that want to make a statement.

Senior manager Noriyasu Kawaguchi admits the system is unusual.

"Maybe it doesn't work in the way some American consumers are expecting their speakers to work," he said.

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