We've all had our fill of speakers housed in wooden boxes, so when NewTec Audio Systems unveiled its latest offering in Hong Kong, I was curious to find out what was special about them. The showroom was filled with music when I arrived, although I had no idea where the sound was coming from. There wasn't a speaker box in sight, just a couple of wall-mounted designer lights changing colours. These were the speakers. Not only did they look fabulous, the sound was astounding. Of course, there was HK$250,000 worth of equipment driving them. Already a brand bandied around by European architects and interior designers, NewTec Audio Systems' speakers can be found in exclusive European hotels, as well as BMW's main showroom in Berlin. One of the biggest challenges for NewTec was that some of these showrooms and conference rooms would be made of marble, concrete, steel and glass - not ideal conditions for sound dispersion. 'A fundamental property of sound is that it naturally dissipates in a 360-degree radius from its source,' says Kenneth Yun of Betrue, which distributes NewTec in Hong Kong and on the mainland. 'This represents a problem with conventional box speakers because sound waves can only exit them in a forward direction.' This means the sound is limited to a 80- to 120-degree radius in front of the speakers. 'A person sitting outside the sound 'cone' will only marginally hear the music or voice emitted from the speaker,' Yun says. With its patented Convex speaker technology, NewTec has found a way to deliver true surround sound since there's no casing to limit its natural scope. Fewer speakers are needed to cover the same area, and a decrease in sound volume is only the result of physical distance from the speakers, not their relative position or the way they're pointing. Full stereo effect is preserved, no matter how much a listener moves around. NewTec's speakers come in different sizes and designs, but the Cono Solo Lux range we tested had tremendous depth and clarity wherever you sat. Listening to Joni Mitchell's Blue, I felt as if she was in the same room. You can also programme the lights to disco mode should Gloria Gaynor join the party. Although NewTec has been marketing the speakers for commercial use, there's a growing trend to have them installed at home. 'Some people like to have music in every room of the house, but they don't want unsightly speaker cabinets on the floor or on the walls,' Yun says. 'They want something less conspicuous.' However, they do come at a price. A pair of Cono Solo Lux will set you back HK$42,000, but think of it as getting two for the price of one - great sound and superb lighting.