Sony Brings Google Home With Wireless Google Assistant Speaker
Sony unveiled at the IFA consumer technology show in Berlin, Germany Thursday a slate of portable audio products including a wireless speaker that integrates audible Google Assistant technology to bring audible voice interaction and control for compatible automated homes and home entertainment systems.
The company also used the show to reveal pricing and availability on new wireless speakers with built-in synchronized party lighting and a trio of noise-cancelling headphones.
Highlighting the new offerings is the Sony model LG-S50G (shipping in October at a $199.99 suggested retail price) wireless speaker (pictured at top) with built-in Google Assistant. The speaker is designed to let users play high-quality music while controlling functions, like volume adjustments or track skipping by spoken commands, which can be triggered by the activation phrase “Ok Google.”
Read more on Sony’s new wireless speakers and headphones after the jump:
In addition, users can use the new speaker connected to a home Wi-Fi network to ask Google to retrieve information from the Internet, or perform a variety of tasks, like timing an egg, or controlling compatible home automation devices like Nest smart thermostats, or connected lighting.
The speaker also responds to a variety of gesture commands to execute actions when silence is required.
The LG-S50G will also link via Bluetooth and NFC on Android devices to smartphones and tablets.
For music listening, LG-S50G is billed as a 360-degree wireless vertical two-way speaker system with a built-in dedicated subwoofer and an omni-directional two-stage diffuser that spreads low bass tones throughout a room for a full-range of sound reproduction.
Sony also revealed pricing and availability on three previously announced wireless speakers, with built-in synchronized party lighting. The GTK-XB60 ($349.99 suggested retail) and XB90 ($449.99) wireless speakers go on sale at authorized Sony dealers this week and the “high power audio system” MUTEKI MHC-V90W will be available nationwide starting in October.
The new GTK-XB60 and XB90 wireless speakers are billed as Sony’s largest and loudest wireless speakers to date, and both offer Sony’s EXTRA BASS Sound. Other features include a lighting display for parties with the multi-color line light, speaker lights and strobe light which synchronize with the beat of the music. The XB90 adds the InfinityMirror light.
Also included in the series are Sony Music Center and Fiestable mobile apps for wireless party-chain linking via Bluetooth technology that synchronizes up to 10 compatible speakers for even more dynamic audio/visual presentations. The GTK-XB60 and XB90 will connect wirelessly with Sony’s SRS-XB40/30/20.
The GTK-XB60 features two tweeters (5cm) and two woofers (13cm), and comes in two color variations: black, blue. The GTK- XB90 features three tweeters (6cm) and two woofers (18cm) and comes in black. Both models include a microphone input and provide up to five hours of battery life in stamina mode. Battery charge life for the XB60 is 14 hours and the XB90 is 16 hours.
Meanwhile, the MHC-V90W ($1,299) sound system delivers high sound pressure for wider coverage area. The MHC-V90W includes party speaker lighting effects synchronized with the beat of the music. The MHC-V90W also includes built-in Chromecast and compatibility with Google Assistant voice assistant technology. It also includes the Sony Music Center and Fiestable mobile apps, and can wirelessly synchronize up to 10 compatible speakers over Wi-Fi for a large party speaker chain. The MHC-V90W will wireless connect with Sony’s MHC-V77W.
The MHC-V90W stands 5.6 feet tall and features four tweeters, four mid-range speakers and two woofers. It has built-in casters to ease transport and positioning, and features a Spread Sound Generator (an open back-type cabinet), which supports the spread and distance of music. To increase the range and spread of sound, the front facing mid-range Angled Speakers and tweeters are angled outward 20 degrees, and each speaker encompasses a horn style to maximize the reproduction of sound across the room or venue.
Sony also said it is shipping in September three wireless noise-cancelling headphones, which are added to the 1000X series. All three models offer wire-free operation and are designed to fit snugly in the ear to help defeat ambient noise around the listener.
Sony said it designed the WI-1000X especially for commuters and others that prefer the behind-the-neck style of headphone comfort.
The headset provides 14 hours of battery life with noise cancelling via wired audio connection or up to 10 hours on battery. The WI-1000X incorporates new
Atmospheric Pressure Optimizing technology that further optimizes noise cancelling performance for long flights and business trips. A zip style cable management system and vibration alerts for incoming calls are offered for added convenience.
The WI-1000X ($299.99 suggested retail) has a 9mm hybrid driver unit with dynamic bass to deliver premium sound quality while offering support for such technologies as High Resolution Audio, LDAC, DSEE HX and S-Master HX.
The new WH-1000XM2 ($349.99) is an enhanced version of the popular around around-the-ear style headphones with more options to tailor the sound to the listening environment. In addition to Sony’s acclaimed noise canceling technology the headphones offer support for support for Hi-Res Audio, Ambient Sound mode, Personal Noise Cancelling Optimizer, and the Quick Attention Mode.
The WH-1000XM2 adds support for new Atmospheric Pressure Optimizing technology as well as ambient sound control, surround sound and equalizer adjustment.
The WF-1000X ($199.99) is a minimal design wireless earbud style earphone with what Sony calls “an innovative minimal design.”
The Sony WF-1000X are designed for comfort, high quality music reproduction and the ability to tune out interfering noise.
The wireless earbuds automatically power on when taken out of the case and connect to the most recently used source device, while the equalizer enables users to set the sound to personal preference.
The WF-1000x feature a 6mm driver to provide dynamic sound and small size. The case is designed to assist quick and easy charging for up to 9 hours of listening.
Sony also announced that its NW-ZX300 Walkman will be available at the end of October from Sony authorized dealers for $699.99 suggested retail price. The premium portable music player features balanced output using S-Master HX technology and a sophisticated and easy user interface made for music lovers, Sony said.
The ZX300 offers High Resolution Audio playback with S-Master HX digital amplifier. It is equipped for both 11.2MHz DSD native playback and 384kHz/32bit PCM playback. The ZX300 also offers balanced standard connection with fully-discrete left and right channels for less noise and clearer sound.
Listeners can also enjoy music from a PC with the USB-DAC function, which allows streaming directly from existing devices through the ZX300 for a better sound experience. Also supported are MQA format Hi-Res Audio.
The NW-ZX300 Walkman features a slim and light weight design and provides more than 30 hours of battery life. It is equipped with 64GB built-in memory capacity and will support external memory as well. The Walkman connects wirelessly via Bluetooth or NFC and and supports Sony’s LDAC CODEC. The ZX300 will also be compatible with Qualcomm aptX HD audio format.
By Greg Tarr
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