The Battle Between Smart Home Speakers

IFA Berlin 2017 has kicked off and companies have already started to announce new products. Companies such as LG, Sony, Samsung and more have held keynotes. Today Sony announces their new smart home speaker competitor named the Sony LF-S50G.

2 months ago Apple announced their new smart home speaker called the Apple Homepod. This was a competitor prior to the Amazon Echo and the Google Home. It is a little pricey starting at about $350. On the other hand, Amazon Echo started at $180 and the Google home costs about $130. On Sony’s website, it states that the speaker will start at $200 which is relatively in the middle of the other speakers. Let’s now dive into the specs and features of the product.

Specs

Right off the bat, the speaker will have the built-in Google Assistant. This doesn’t necessarily make them their competitors but it builds a strong relationship between the companies.

It will have Chromecast built in the system which means you can play and videos or songs through YouTube or Pandora through the Chromecast. Something that is depressing is that it will not be able to connect to Spotify which means that you cannot play your favorite songs on the speaker. In that case, you would prefer buying a different smart home speaker such as the Amazon Echo or maybe even the Google Home.

The speaker will be available in two colors black and white. Alongside that, in the box, you will get an AC Adapter which will connect at the back of the speaker.

Features

I want to make this clear. The system will run on Google’s Voice Assistant. This means that if the Assistant gets updated then you will get a notification to update your system. Just like the Google Home in order to start a conversation, you have to say “Ok Google“.

On Sony’s website, it says that you can enjoy playlists, radio, podcasts and more in high-quality audio. That is something to test out later when the product comes out so just keep in mind that not all of these features are that great you will need to wait until the product comes out.

Also on the website, it says that you can listen to the same song or station in multiple rooms when you add Chromecast built-in speakers to your audio network. This means that the Chromecast is not pre-built in the speaker. You will have to buy it separately on their website which will cost an additional amount of time on top of the base price.

Since it is a smart speaker you will be able to control lights, heating, appliances and more from a range of home automation partners. There is not any list on their website which states their partners which means that the speaker will obviously only support certain appliances and lights. Popular companies such as Honeywell and Nest will most likely be there as we know it is in the Amazon Echo and the Google Home.

You will for sure get better sound quality as like the Homepod there are two facing speakers covering the entire perimeter of the speaker which means you will be able to hear the music from anywhere in your house and 360 degrees around your house.

Now, this is one of my most favorite features of the product and that is the Touch Free Gesture Control. Normally on all devices, you have two volume buttons, one being up and the other being down. This has been removed from the device but has been substituted with this Gesture Control feature. If you want to control volume, pause, or play audio without being vocal? Just wave your hand over the top – no contact required. This means that it has a sensor at the top which senses hand motion. This is something that is not there in any of the speakers and that is why it is really unique.

Credit to Sony.com

The second feature that is only currently there in the Apple Homepod is the Auto volume control. In the Apple Homepod based on the location of the Homepod, it will adapt to the setting. This device will also adapt to the noise in your house and it will control the music level. So now you can always listen at a comfortable level. But on their website it says “(To be updated.)“. This shows that the technology in the speaker is not the best and it is still a work-in progress feature.

One thing that we always ask the smart speakers is the time. In this case, you will not have to ask Google for the time as a LED clock will display. You will never need to ask Google for the time. You can dim or turn it off to minimize electric light in your room.

Credit to Sony.com

The last most amazing feature is the Splashproof. If you ever worry about water getting inside the speaker then now don’t worry too much. Your speaker will be able to handle a little water, thanks to an IPX3-rated splashproof design. You can even take the cover off and rinse it under the tap.

Credit to Sony.com

That was all of the features and specs of the smart home speaker. There is more information that will come later in fall. Priced at $200 it is a pretty good speaker. We are currently not sure when the device will be available in stores as on their website shows “Available Soon“. If you want more information on the device then visit their website by Clicking Here.

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