American audio company Bose has officially entered the smart home market with the introduction of its smart speakers with Amazon Alexa built-in.
The Bose Home Speaker 500 features a short cylindrical design and a small display on the body, showing the album being played. The display isn’t a touchscreen, and therefore won’t show other information like the Echo Show does.
On the top of the speaker are several buttons to control playback, with numbers from one to six as shortcuts. Users can program their most-used features into these buttons, from playing their favorite playlist to turning on radio stations.
The speaker, which will cost US$400, delivers “the widest soundstage of any smart speaker available today,” says Bose.
Bose also unveiled two new soundbars. The Bose Soundbar 700, priced at US$800, has a dimension of 2-inch x 4-inch x 38-inch, surrounded by metal grille with a glass plate on the top. The Soundbar 500, priced at US$800, has a similar design with a smaller body.
Both soundbar have HDMI ARC support and feature Bose’s ADAPTiQ technology for automatic audio optimization based on a room’s environment.
The three new devices all have Alexa built-in and eight-microphone array for far-field voice recognition. Bose promised to add AirPlay 2 in early 2019, allowing users to play Apple Music via the devices.
They will be the 50-year-old Bose’s first smart speaker devices. Judging by the device type (speaker and soundbar) and voice assistant support (Alexa and AirPlay), we may conclude that these devices are targeted at Sonos One speaker and Sonos Beam soundbar users. But Bose’s devices are slightly more expensive than Sonos’.
Bose’s US$500 smart speaker is likely to help Amazon push its Alexa speakers into the high-end market, and compete with Apple’s HomePod and Google’s Home Max.
Bose’s new Alexa product line will be available in October.