Bose recently announced that it will release new Alexa-capable smart soundbars and a speaker. Starting in October, Bose will sell a home smart speaker and two soundbars supporting Alexa right out of the box. Bose states that other smart platforms like Apple’s HomeKit and Google Assistant will eventually be added.

A direct competitor of Bose, Sonos, began the summer shipping its new Alexa-powered soundbar Beam as it approached its initial public offering. Bose may be playing a bit of catch-up as it tries to stake its place in the smart home speaker market. No longer is it enough to provide a beautiful sound and ambiance as a luxury speaker company. Consumers now expect to be able to talk to their devices as much as listen to them. 

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Bose Soundbar 700

In a strong initial showing, the Bose Home Speaker 500 should be capable of listening as well as any other speaker with its eight-microphone array for far-field voice recognition, matching the capacity of the newest Echos and Echo Shows. Bose states, “Whether you’re close by or across the room, or a playlist is set for the background, a party, or competing with conversation, they’ll hear you the first time.”

The smart speaker boasts a screen that will display the cover art or information on the current song or podcast. The back of the speaker has buttons for controlling playback and presetting stations or playlists. 

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Bose Home Speaker 500

Bose Releasing Its First Smart Soundbars

Bose has upped the ante in the smart speaker market and will release two distinct soundbars. The larger Bose Soundbar 700 will “have to be heard to be believed, sending multiple channels of a soundtrack or song throughout a space, placing discrete sound in places where there are no speakers.”

The company’s other soundbar, the 500, will sport a thinner profile, but both soundbars will have HDMI ARC support and adapt themselves to fit each room’s unique audio characteristics.

Entering the smart home game with more than one smart assistant has proven difficult for Sonos. Still, Bose asserts that AirPlay 2 functionality will be available in early 2019 while providing no timeline for Google Assistant. The Smart Speaker Games are heating up and consumers can only benefit from the competition. 

Featured images courtesy of Bose.

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