The rumours were true after all, as Sony finally did introduce the world to its first smart speaker at the IFA. The capsule-shaped speaker is slightly different from its contemporaries and features Google Assistant as the brains of the device. Hopefully, the small speaker will manage to create big waves in the smart speaker segment.
Sony did not create its own Virtual Assistant for the speaker and instead opted for Google’s own, owing to the already rich database of knowledge and features that Google’s AI is composed of. The most unfortunate feature of the speaker however, is in its name. Sony calls it the LF-S50G. With names like Echo and Home, the model number will not be quite memorable to consumers. Users will be able to command the speaker with the “Ok Google” hot-word and through Google Home, the speaker can control music and a range of services from weather updates to receiving traffic updates as well as controlling the smart thermostat and other appliances.
Considering Sony does have a way with audio technology, the speaker’s sound is impressive. It comes with a 360-degree speaker array with a woofer facing downward and a tweeter upward. What make the speaker more appealing is its build, whose shell is also splash-resistant. This will make Sony’s offering a better option to the Google Home and a few other third-party smart speakers out there. There is also a small display that can be seen through the speaker’s grills, that show the time, and perhaps other notifications that have not been delved into by the company yet, but the interface will most likely be minimal at best.
Some might mistake the speaker’s design to the upcoming Apple HomePod speaker, but it most likely will be minor similarities. Not much has been explained about the speaker, but in terms of audio prowess, the speaker can supposedly fill an average-sized room, which is difficult standard to go by. The speaker comes with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC. Interestingly, Sony have also allowed for the speaker to understand gestures to control the playback of music, adjusting the volume and skipping tracks. Regarding pricing and availability, the speaker will be shipped in the month of October and will cost $200, which is a competitive price tag, especially if users are willing to overlook the uninspired design and the lack of a catchy name for a smart speaker.