Onkyo, Pioneer Elite, Phorus Add Smart Speakers With Alexa, Play-Fi
Wireless speakers incorporating Alexa far-field voice control and DTS Play-Fi capabilities, will be offered under the Phorus, Onkyo and Pioneer brands this fall.
DTS announced the smart speaker additions this week to underscore their use of DTS Play-Fi technology, which delivers advanced multi-room audio linking and synchronized music sharing capability between compatible devices.
Among a long list of capabilities afforded by the smart speaker platform, the new AI speakers will be able to connect via a line output to supporting home theater and audio systems to control music playback of connected components.
The Alexa/Play-Fi wireless speaker models include Phorus PS10 wireless speaker (shipping in early October at a $249 suggested retail), the Onkyo Smart Speaker P3 (price to be announced) and Pioneer Elite Smart Speaker F4 ($299).
Read more on the new Alexa/Play-Fi smart speakers after the jump:
Each speaker offers a built-in far-field microphone system to pick up users’ voice commands to use the Alexa Voice Service to access information, control playback, control other home automation devices, order products from Amazon, etc.
Each speaker incorporates advanced signal processing techniques to receive and understand spoken commands spoken from up close or at a distance, even in noisy environments and when the speaker is playing music.
All three products will support Amazon Alexa Connected Speaker APIs with a future firmware update, according to DTS. This will enable the products to select and control the playback of music on all DTS Play-Fi-enabled speakers throughout the home.
With DTS Play-Fi streaming, the speakers will stream lossy and lossless multi-room wireless audio over Wi-Fi.
DTS Play-Fi technology enables lossless multi-room wireless audio streaming from the top streaming music services including Amazon Music, Deezer, iHeartRadio, Juke, KKBox, Napster, Pandora, Qobuz, QQ Music, SiriusXM, Spotify, and TIDAL. It will also access thousands of Internet radio stations, and personal music libraries from supported products.
Music selection can be controlled using voice commands picked up by far-field mics in the speakers, or via a DTS Play-Fi app for smartphones and tablets, or using on-device controls and presets.
When compatible DTS Play-Fi products are grouped together, music plays to the group simultaneously regardless of the selected source. Listeners can also control the DTS Play-Fi system using the Apple Watch or Android Wear.
The DTS Play-Fi ecosystem features a large assortment of whole-home wireless audio products, including dozens of interoperable speakers, sound bars, set-top boxes, and receivers. These devices are offered from brands including: Onkyo, Pioneer and Elite, as well as Aerix, Anthem, Arcam, Autonomic, Definitive Technology, DISH TV, Integra, Fusion Research, Klipsch, MartinLogan, McIntosh, Paradigm, Phorus, Polk Audio, Rotel, Sonus faber, Soundcast, SVS Sound, THIEL Audio and Wren Sound.
“By combining DTS Play-Fi with the Alexa Voice Service, these speakers extend Alexa’s capabilities to more than 200 products from 23 different manufacturers, while providing compatibility with the same Alexa skills customers have grown to love,” said Dannie Lau, general manager, DTS Play-Fi at Xperi.
The Phorus PS10 ($249) wireless speaker produces Hifi audio sound, from a built-in 30-watt Class D amplifier with DTS Sound processing, two 65mm neodymium full-range transducers, and dual passive radiators for deep bass.
The PS10 supports playback of up to 24-bit/192kHz high-resolution audio distributed wirelessly via DTS Play-Fi technology. The speaker also features four hard button music station presets, allowing for one-touch access to favorite streaming music stations.
Meanwhile, the Onkyo P3 (model VC-PX30) will be available in October at a price to be announced and will feature a cylindrical shape like the Amazon Echo speaker. In addition to connected to a Wi-Fi network, the P3 also includes a 3.5mm input to make a wired connection to a smartphone or portable music player. A line output on the speaker will enable controlling a home theater or stereo system via Amazon voice control functionality.
Pictured at top, Pioneer Elite will also offer a smart speaker in the Pioneer Elite F4 (model VA-FW40, $299 suggested retail), incorporating Play-Fi and the Amazon Alexa Voice Service. The bass-reflex speaker offers a cylindrical design similar to sister-company Onkyo’s P3 and the Amazon Alexa Echo smart speakers. It is billed as offering “deep, clear, and powerful sound quality” using two 2.5-inch pressed-pulp diaphragms as a woofer and passive radiators. It also features an auxiliary audio input for wired connection to smartphones or tablets and a line output to control connected audio systems.
By Greg Tarr
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