Delicate play of light and sound.
The Yamaha LSX-170 is a desktop audio device designed for a contemporary living environment. Whether it be sitting on a study shelf or on your sideboard, it will make a statement without encouraging too much attention.
It has a very strong aesthetic that can blend in with a variety of décor while being pleasing to the eye. A cylindrical tapering cone design with a metallic base and top cap, with a meshed grill design over the encompassing exterior.
It is also available in 3 colours, black, bronze or gold.
Personally I prefer either the black or bronze, but all of them look nice.
While the primary purpose of the LSX-170 is to be a speaker, it also features a gorgeous lighting system.
There are bright LEDs in the speaker that shoot up vertically, plus there are exterior LEDs that light up the interior of the mesh area, making it almost transparent.
The interior features this stunning inverted double cone design that is used to diffuse both the light and the sound.
Light expands into an ever increasing circle, symbolizing how the sound widens in 360 degrees around the speaker.
It is a beautiful speaker that would suit being the centrepiece of any coffee table.
It casts a lovely glow that isn’t overpowered but is light enough to be useful, we would find ourselves turning it on instead of the nearby standing lamp, as it was far more easy on the eyes.
Onto the sound, we were not disappointed.
Connecting via bluetooth was simple and fast, with the option to plug in via 3.5mm aux input if you want to.
(One thing that would have been nice, is if Yamaha included a 3.5mm cable for those who may not have one at hand, it is a cheap addition especially for a speaker in this price range.)
Using our phone or tablets to stream music directly to the LSX-170 was a breeze and the resulting sound was brilliant.
The diffuse nature of the sound as it emanates from the vertically aimed full range 9cm and 3cm driver, which then bounces off the inverted cones and splays out into the room is warming.
Details in the music come out through the mix by the crispy clean high dynamics, while the bass comes through with surprising power, not overpowering the mids with any muddiness at all.
It is probably the ONLY speaker we have heard that truly has a 360 degree sound, meaning you get the same experience no matter where you are seated.
One of the best sounding speakers we have heard in a compact system like this, that is for sure!
There is an included remote which is a useful especially in larger rooms, allowing you to control the volume, turn off or dim the lighting and turn off the unit.
The same controls are also available on the speaker itself along the bottom metallic section which are slightly harder to see as they are on the downward slope.
(Sadly there is no way to skip or rewind tracks on either the remote or unit itself which is a shame on a luxury unit.)
The 3.5mm aux input is also slightly awkward to get to as it is only accessible by turning the unit over and plugging it in the bottom, something that should have been reworked I feel.
Overall the LSX-170 is a GORGEOUS speaker and lighting system that does the job EXTREMELY well, while having a few questionable design choices in aspects of usability or practicality.
For the price of £399.95 it is most definitely what I would consider to be a luxury audio system, but one that warrants the price if you are looking for a striking look with stunning 360 sound like this unit offers.
While not for everyone, this is definitely a system that should NOT be overlooked. We love it and will use it for years to come as our personal and party audio system.
Be sure to check it out over at: http://europe.yamaha.com/en/products/audio-visual/desktop-audio/lsx-170/?mode=model
You can also follow them on Twitter — @YamahaUKAV
Review item provided complimentary by developer — however all opinions and experiences are our own.