BOSE HAS SET ITS SIGHTS on Sonos with a trio of new speakers that come stuffed with Amazon Alexa.
Bose is no stranger to virtual assistants, as its SoundTouch systems offered support for Amazon's AI assistant, though need to be linked to a smartphone app rather than offer native support. This time around, the new speakers will have Alexa properly baked in.
The Sonos-rivalling lineup comprises the Home Speaker 500, Soundbar 700 and Soundbar 500, all of which will also offer support for more AI-powered assistants, think Google Assistant for one.
The latter two are pretty standard looking soundbars, and promise some sweet audio performance coupled with smart tech that calibrates the speakers' output to the room they're in, as well as simulate surround sound by placing discreet sound in places where there are no speakers; all audio witchcraft if you ask us.
Priced at $550 and $800 respectively, we can expect the soundbars to kick up some pretty nice sounds, as is expected from the Bose brand.
The more interesting smart speaker is the $400 Home Speaker 500 which comes with a small display designed to show the album art of the track that's playing at the time. When we say interesting, we perhaps mean bizarre as that's apparently all the screen does; there's no serving up of extra info or any touchscreen controls.
This gives the speaker a somewhat unique aesthetic although we're not sure if we completely dig it. But hey, at least Bose is doing something a bit different compared to its previous rather monolithic, if quite excellent, streaming speakers.
While the speakers will come with Alexa, they look to be more targeted at people who want a speaker for the audio chops rather than something that is willing to spout information at a seconds notice or come flush with clever non-audio tech.
And given Google and Amazon already have enough devices out there erring more on the side if assistance rather than audio pleasure, that's no bad thing. µ
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