The Wowee One portable speaker works off the concept of using surfaces, such as tables or walls, as speakers, letting science and vibrations do most of the work.
It isn't the first to use this concept, and it's not entirely without speaker cones; a regular loudspeaker tweeter sits inside the unit, creating a sound similar to what you'd hear from a laptop.
Lay it down on a surface, though, and things improve dramatically. However, you won't want to put it on a table you're working on, as the vibrations are likely to irritate, but it certainly brings a decent whack of rumble and boom to your audio. The more chance you give the sound to reverberate, the more it improves the sound quality and volume: attach it to a plastic bin, and you'll get more definition and oomph than if you just put it against the wall. Even placing it on a trestle table that was slightly hollowed out underneath improved sound dramatically, compared to a plain, flat surface.
It's no miracle speaker — the bass tends to vibrate a little too much and gets muddy — but it's a heck of a lot better than your standard laptop or phone speaker fare, and the distance the audio travels is quite surprising.