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Alexa and Google Assistant: The competition smarter loudspeaker is changing

Monday, September 4th, 2017 | Gadgets

Still the possibilities of use of smart loudspeakers are limited, as has been demonstrated by all our tests. However, giving commands with the voice is one of the major topics at the Ifa 2017. Eight manufacturers have introduced new smart speakers that are fully voice-operated. Amazon's Alexa vies with Google Assistant for the favor of buyers.

    Home Assistant (Photo: Ingo Pakalski / Golem.de)

Even at the electronics trade fair CES earlier this year, Google had played no role – many manufacturers announced the integration of Amazons Alexa. In May 201, Google announced at its developer conference Google I / O that third-party developers would receive tools to integrate the Google Assistant into their speakers. The result is now on the Ifa: The Google Assistant is used in 6 of the 15 presented new loudspeaker models. The remaining nine speakers use Amazons Alexa. The possible applications are comparable to those of Amazon's echo speakers or Googles home speakers.
Many of the manufacturers integrate batteries into their loudspeakers so that they can be used on the road or simply in another room. Some models should stand out with many connection possibilities and above all with the Hi-Fi manufacturers a particularly good sound is promised. The most unusual approach comes quite clearly from Lenovo.

Smarter speaker for a tablet model range
For the Lenovo Tablets of the Tab-4-series was presented basically a docking station with smarter loudspeaker, which uses Alexa. The loudspeaker is equipped with two high-sensitivity microphones, so that Alexa can be used for calling.

    Home Assistant (Photo: Ingo Pakalski / Golem.de)

Alexa responds to inquiries not only with spoken, but also with information, which then appears on the tablet display, as is known for example from the Fire TV devices and is also the case, for example, at the Echo Show, which has not been so far in Germany is offered. On all devices, there is more information on sports results or weather reports on the screen.
The whole thing is called Lenovo Home Assistant Pack and works only if the corresponding tablet is connected. We also see this as a disadvantage: if the tablet is not in the docking station, the smart speaker can not be used individually. The docking mechanism on the loudspeaker can be changed so that all Tab-4 sizes can be used with it. It is therefore only suitable for customers who want to buy or buy the appropriate Lenovo tablet. Lenovo wants to bring the Home Assistant to the end of September 2017 for 80 euros on the market.
Anker's first speaker with Google Assistant
For an additional 80 euros an anchor under the Zolo brand wants to bring a google-assistant loudspeaker for the Christmas business on the market. The mojo supports Bluetooth 4.2, he has no other connections. This makes it different from the Alexa Eufy Genie speaker, which will initially launch an anchor without a Bluetooth function. The new version offers a cost-effective entry into the market of smart loudspeakers.

    Zolo Mojo (Photo: Ingo Pakalski / Golem.de)

At the trade fair Anker also showed the Halo loudspeaker. This is another Alexa loudspeaker with Bluetooth. When and at what price he comes to Germany is still unclear. As a special feature, it has a 3.5 cm clinker input to connect other audio devices via cable. The Halo loudspeaker will also be available as a larger Halo +, but it was not shown on the show at the show.
Tichome is reminiscent of Google's Chromecast
For this, the Chinese startup Mobvoi showed its Tichome mini-speaker, running with Google Assistant. It reminds of the housing to google's streaming stick Chromecast, however, is much larger. The device with Bluetooth plugged into an IPX6 housing and is thus protected against splashing water.
The Tichome Mini can be suspended from a loop, but it can also be used in a horizontal position. Inside, there is a 2.600 mAh battery, which is designed to allow up to six hours of music playback, and allows the speaker to be used in other rooms. By the end of the year, the Tichome Mini will appear at a price of less than $ 100 and is thus an entry-level device. The manufacturer has not yet announced a euro price, but wants to start with a pre-order campaign in which first-time buyers are to get the smart loudspeakers cheaper. Details will be announced later.
In this case, the loudspeaker must take up the competition of Medion.


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