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They may look futuristic, but levitating Bluetooth speakers have been around for years. Until recently, however, these speakers hadn’t caught the eye of major electronics brands, so they never became overly popular. This situation changed at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) when LG introduced the Levitation Station.
In this article, you’ll learn more about LG’s newest device and see how it compares to other levitating speakers that are already on the market.
What Is a Levitating Speaker?
Levitating speakers use magnetic levitation, or maglev, which occurs when an object suspends in mid-air, using only magnetic fields for support. Strong magnets in both the speaker and the base create oppositional forces that counteract gravity and allow the speaker to float a few inches from its base.
In all levitating speaker models the elevated speaker provides 360-degree sound with the base often acting as a subwoofer (depending on the product). When plugged into an electrical outlet, the base also serves as a charging unit for the speaker.
LG Levitation Station
Officially called the PJ9, the LG Levitation Station uses electromagnets to allow the egg-shaped speaker to hover over its round base. The Bluetooth portable speaker promises 10 hours of battery life on a full charge. After that, the speaker automatically descends back to its base for recharging.
According to LG, this base acts as a subwoofer, with “flush mid-range tones and crisp range.” Multipoint technology enables the speaker to connect to two Bluetooth devices simultaneously.
IPX7 compliant, the LG Levitation Station can be immersed for up to 30 minutes in water depths up to one meter. This feature makes the speaker an excellent choice for pool parties or other outdoor events.
LG expects to launch the LG Levitation Station later this year for between $150 and $200.
Levitating Speakers Available Now
Can’t wait for the LG Levitation Station to arrive? There are plenty of levitating speakers available to purchase right now.
The two-part Mars Bluetooth speaker features a circular base, which acts as a subwoofer, and a UFO-shaped disk (called the Mars Craft) that hovers above. This disc, which features LEDs for added effect, serves as the device’s main speaker, offering mid-to-high sounds.
Using the free CrazyBaby app (available for iOS and Android), you can control the speaker’s levitation height, the style and brightness of the LEDs, and add a second Mars speaker for a stereo experience. Additionally, the app can modify the speaker’s equalization controls, depending on the type of music you are playing.
The Levio is a portable levitating speaker that’s perfect for anyone on the go. Like other products on this list, the Levio features 360-degree surround sound, which distributes sound equally in every direction. As a bonus, Levio offers a USB port that allows you to charge your smartphone while listening to your music.
The Levio is the least expensive levitating speaker on this list, priced at $90.
Seeing a Star Wars themed levitating speaker shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Created by Hellosy, the Star Wars Death Star Portal speaker spins in mid-air while you listen to far-out music.
With the ability to float 10mm off its base, the speaker includes an always-on glow and flashing effect that would make Darth Vader himself proud.
The ICE Orb levitating speaker looks a lot like the Star Wars Death Star thanks to its galactic appearance.
This model contains a magnetic base and LED lights for constant illumination. It offers up to eight hours of continuous music between charges, and boasts a powerful volume level with excellent sound quality.
Wasserstein Sci-Fi Speaker [No Longer Available]
The Wasserstein Sci-Fi levitating speaker features a matte black look with LEDs around the base that emit a pulsing dark blue light. Compact and lightweight, the Sci-Fi speaker offers touch-sensitive controls. Just tap and swipe to control the sound and speaker movements.
Do you need to make a call? Wasserstein Sci-Fi’s hands-free calling feature allows you to answer incoming calls with a touch of a button. However, the speaker doesn’t have a microphone. You’ll be able to hear your caller through the speaker, but will need to speak into your phone.
You can purchase the Wasserstein Sci-Fi (UK) for $100 [No Longer Available].
The Air 2 also features a built-in microphone for hands-free calling. It connects to smartphones, tablets, and other Bluetooth devices up to 30 feet away.
As you can see in the image above, the speaker on the Air 2 isn’t round like other levitating speakers. Instead, it has a flat surface on one side. This unique design, available in black, purple, and white, pushes the price of this speaker to around $150.
Are They Worth It?
Levitating speakers serve as an interesting conversation piece for parties and gatherings. Once you get past the novelty of floating speakers, they aren’t much different from other Bluetooth speakers on the market. In most cases, the regular speakers are less expensive and offer comparable sound quality.
For levitating speakers to gain popularity, other companies like LG will need to get on board. Ideally, these future products should also provide voice assistant capabilities, such as those available with Google Home and Amazon’s line of Alexa speakers.
As it stands, levitating speakers are nice, but niche. Hopefully, future technologies will improve on existing models to make them less gimmicky.
Have you tried out a levitating speaker? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!