Google’s smart speaker shipments jumped 709% in a year

smart speaker

  • Google reportedly shipped 2.four million smart audio system in Q1 2018, a 709 p.c year-over-year.
  • Amazon additionally noticed an greater choice of shipments, however the build up was once now not as dramatic.
  • Just as notable had been the learners that nipped away at Amazon and Google’s duopoly.

Amazon could be the veteran in the smart speaker marketplace, however Google continues to nip its heels as the hunt large noticed document shipments between January and March, in keeping with analysis company Strategy Analytics.

Back in Q1 2017, Google shipped 700,000 of its Home smart speaker. That compares to Q1 2018, when Google shipped a document 2.four million smart audio system. That is a 709 p.c build up year-over-year and helped the corporate seize 26.five p.c of the marketplace.

Keep in thoughts that, from January via March of 2017, the one smart speaker that Google offered was once the $129 Home. Since then, Google introduced the a lot smaller and less expensive Home Mini and bigger Home Max, giving the corporate a higher and extra versatile presence in the smart speaker marketplace.

Not to be outdone, Amazon additionally noticed year-over-year expansion. Whereas the corporate shipped two million smart audio system in Q1 2017, it shipped 4 million smart audio system in Q1 2018, a 102 p.c build up.

Strategy Analytics

Even despite the fact that that build up helped Amazon care for its place because the marketplace chief, its marketplace proportion in fact dropped year-over-year. That is because of learners like Alibaba and Xiaomi, which shipped 700,000 and 200,000 gadgets in Q1 2018, respectively.

Meanwhile, Apple additionally made its debut with 600,000 shipments of its HomePod, whilst the “Others” class noticed an build up from 100,000 shipments in Q1 2017 to at least one.three million shipments in Q1 2018.

Because of these types of learners and Google’s dramatic expansion, Amazon’s smart speaker marketplace proportion in fact dropped from 81.eight p.c in Q1 2017 to 43.6 p.c. This resulted in Amazon and Google’s mixed marketplace proportion to drop to 70 p.c, down from 84 p.c in This autumn 2017 and 94 p.c in Q1 p.c.

Google remains to be Amazon’s greatest competitor, however each corporations could be smart to concentrate on the learners. Alibaba and Xiaomi’s achieve in the smart speaker marketplace will most effective develop over the years, whilst Apple’s emblem reputation will have to now not be underestimated.

Polk unveils a Google Assistant speaker that is designed for music lovers

Polk Audio

  • Polk Audio unveiled its first actual Google Assistant-powered speaker referred to as the Polk Assist.
  • The corporate says that the Polk Assist is designed particularly for music fanatics.
  • Priced at $199, the Polk Assist will pass on sale on June four in america.

The all-new Polk Assist has Google Assistant and Chromecast integrated, and consistent with the corporate, it’s particularly “designed for music.”

Smart audio system noticed large expansion in 2017, and it sort of feels like that development is proceeding on in 2018. For instance, maximum audio apparatus firms now be offering AI-powered audio system, and Polk is the most recent corporate to sign up for the record. Meet the all-new Polk Assist: america audio corporate’s first actual Google Assistant-powered speaker. Priced at $199, the Polk Assist will probably be to be had for acquire from the corporate’s professional website online beginning June four.

What makes the Polk Assist particular is that it’s designed particularly for music and music fanatics. With its 1-inch tweeter and three.Five-inch woofer, the Polk Assist will ship “room-filling sound” consistent with the corporate. Although Polk is well known for its audio merchandise, given the Polk Assist’s smaller shape issue, its audio high quality is almost certainly extra similar to JBL’s Link collection somewhat than high-end good audio system just like the Google Home Max.

The new SpeakEasy smart speaker packs wood design, old-school knobs

SpeakEasy Speaker Como Audio

  • The SpeakEasy is a new, Google Assistant-powered speaker lately in search of investment on Kickstarter. 
  • The software includes a Three-inch woofer, Three/Four-inch tweeter, and “furniture-grade” wood design. 
  • The “walnut” model (pictured) is to be had for $199 sooner than transport prices for early hen backers now.

One of the most productive issues about Amazon and Google’s AI assistants is that they are able to be built-in into third-party audio system. The newest of those, Como Audio’s “SpeakEasy,” has simply hit Kickstarter, and it without a doubt sticks out from the smart speaker crowd.

The SpeakEasy includes a Three-inch woofer, Three/Four-inch tweeter, and a rear cutout to toughen the bass reaction. It integrates with Google Assistant, permitting you to pose common queries, behavior voice instructions, and keep an eye on your smart home equipment. However, it’s the design that differentiates this speaker from others.

The SpeakEasy is comprised of “furniture-grade” wood, versus plastic noticed on maximum different smart audio system. Then there are the knobs for quantity keep an eye on and Bluetooth/microphone toggling. An LED panel completes the unfashionable design, appearing a clock in addition to icons for the alarm and sleep timer.

Another fascinating selection is the power to price your telephone, because of the inclusion of a 5V/1A USB port at the speaker. ComoAudio may be touting the power to make use of an non-compulsory 2,200mAh energy financial institution to ship as much as 8 hours of playback (although the Google Home Mini and Echo Dot paintings with energy banks too).

What’s the wear?

The SpeakEasy is ready to retail for $349, however the Kickstarter web page has quite a few discounted provides. If you go for the (lately ongoing) 48-hour promotion tier, you’ll get the walnut model for $199 sooner than transport prices. Missed the 48-hour sale? You can nonetheless grasp a walnut SpeakEasy for $219. Those in need of a black, white or hickory speaker can go for the following tier, at $239. 

Como Audio may be providing a couple of tiers that come with a significant other speaker for stereo sound. These get started at $299 for the Early Bird walnut tier (the retail value is $478), all of the method to $339 for a white, black or hickory pairing. 

Estimated transport is ready for November 2018 for merchandise and the Kickstarter marketing campaign has already won greater than $22,000 of its $50,000 purpose, with 29 days to move. 

SpeakEasy speaker Como Audio

Whether you’re partial to those unfashionable designs or completely loathe them, it’s nonetheless nice to have choices outdoor of the first-party smart speaker design lineup. These alternatives are set to increase too, because the likes of Facebook and (in all probability) Spotify get entangled within the AI speaker marketplace. 

Interested within the Como Audio SpeakEasy? Check it out on the Kickstarter web page beneath.

The LG G7 ThinQ looks to bring the boom with the Boombox Speaker

LG G7 ThinQ

  • LG introduced that the upcoming G7 ThinQ will characteristic a “Boombox Speaker” that permits for louder sound with extra bass.
  • The G7 ThinQ can even support the headphone jack with audiophile-friendly options.
  • LG plans to announce the G7 ThinQ May 2 in New York and May three in South Korea.

Having already teased the G7 ThinQ‘s incredibly bright display, LG turned its attention to another of the upcoming flagship’s options: the “Boombox Speaker.”

Speaking with Engadget, LG claimed the Boombox Speaker will increase the sound degree via over 6dB and doubles the bass output relative to a normal smartphone. As a pleasant bonus, you’ll position the G7 ThinQ on a flat floor or field to additional enlarge the bass.

LG achieved this via having the Boombox Speaker depend on a different resonance chamber design inside of the G7 ThinQ. The chamber looks to be 10 instances the measurement when compared to earlier generations and will have to permit for the aforementioned louder and bass-friendly sound.

LG didn’t say whether or not the G7 ThinQ will characteristic twin stereo audio system. The V30 and V30S ThinQ characteristic bottom-firing audio system, so this is hoping that the G7 ThinQ greenbacks the pattern and lines two audio system.

Whether it has one or two audio system, the G7 ThinQ can even characteristic a headphone jack. Quickly turning into extinct in the land of flagship smartphones, the G7 ThinQ’s headphone jack gets lend a hand from the telephone’s Hi-Fi Quad DAC to fulfill high-end headphone customers.

Even higher, the G7 ThinQ helps DTS:X. The characteristic is apparently a primary for smartphones and brings three-D encompass sound at up to 7.1, even for people that use common headphones.

In all, LG promised that the G7 ThinQ will ship stellar sound, whether or not you might have headphones on or no longer. The corporate in a similar way made daring claims with the telephone’s show, so we can have to wait to use the G7 ThinQ for ourselves to see how the claims cling up.

LG will announce the G7 ThinQ May 2 in New York City and May three in South Korea.

Amazon Echo Dot Kids smart speaker turns Alexa into a digital nanny

Amazon Echo Dot Kids Amazon

  • Amazon launches Echo Dot smart speaker variant for children with a protecting case and two-year ensure.
  • Echo Dot Kids Edition priced at $79 to be had or pre-order forward of May nine delivery date.
  • FreeTime carrier introduced with progressed parental controls and tweaked Alexa options.

Amazon has printed a sort-of-new Echo tool designed for a more youthful target market. Available for pre-order from these days forward of a complete release on May nine, the Echo Dot Kids Edition is priced at $79 and is derived with a yr’s loose top rate subscription to Amazon’s new FreeTime parental controls carrier.

Let’s get started off with the ‘new’ tool, which is available in pink, blue, or inexperienced. If you’re acquainted with Amazon’s Kindle Fire Kids Edition sequence, you realize what to anticipate — it’s a common Echo Dot with a brightly-colored rubber duvet to give protection to towards bumps and bruises (at the tool and kids). Amazon may be pledging to switch that it is going to exchange any Echo Dot Kids Edition tool if it will get broken inside the first two years of acquire, experiences The Verge.

You can learn extra in regards to the Echo Dot right here, however briefly, it’s a miniaturized model of Amazon’s Echo smart speaker line provided with the e-commerce large’s digital assistant, Alexa.

As with the common type, which retails for reasonably much less at $49, the Echo Dot Kids will also be attached to different Bluetooth audio system for an progressed audio enjoy.

So what makes the Echo Dot Kids value an additional $30, apart from the protecting case and new packaging? That’d be the FreeTime carrier, which Amazon says may also be to be had for different Echo units at an added top rate within the close to long run.

There are two tiers to FreeTime, one loose and the opposite beginning at $2.99 for any individual with a Prime subscription, however each principally turn out to be Alexa into a kid-friendly assistant for youngsters elderly between five and 12 years previous.

On a elementary degree, FreeTime limits positive Alexa options equivalent to buying groceries, smart house instructions, and any third-party talents, whilst additionally including parental controls for limiting what number of hours a youngster can get admission to Alexa in keeping with day. There’s a dashboard with choices for proscribing get admission to to express songs and audiobooks too.

The main exchange, alternatively, is to Alexa, whose function set has been altered to fit a more youthful user-base. With FreeTime energetic, Alexa will ship longer, extra element responses to queries, however with a more practical vocabulary. Amazon has additionally tweaked Alexa’s voice popularity to grasp mispronunciations. Another unbelievable addition is “Magic Word,” which activates Alexa to dish out reward each time the person says “please” following a request.

For the top rate tier, dubbed FreeTime Unlimited, Amazon is providing get admission to to over 300 child-friendly Audible audiobooks, customized alarms and Alexa talents from Disney, Nickelodeon, and extra, in addition to ad-free get admission to to iHeartRadio Family.

You can pre-order an Echo Dot Kids Edition by way of the button under. Let us know your ideas at the kid-friendly smart speaker within the feedback!

Facebook’s smart speaker launch may have been delayed until October

Lenovo Smart Display.

The Lenovo Smart Display.

  • Facebook’s smart audio system at the moment are tipped to reach in October, months after the primary reported launch date.
  • The social community has reportedly lower order volumes for 2018, however left 2019 volumes unchanged.
  • Facebook shall be coming into a tricky marketplace lately ruled by means of Amazon.

Earlier this yr, we heard that Facebook smart audio system had been set for a July launch. Now, it sort of feels like the corporate may have moved the launch to This autumn 2018 as an alternative.

According to DigiTimes, bringing up resources within the “upstream supply chain,” mass manufacturing of the smart audio system will kick off in June as in the beginning deliberate. However, the launch date has reportedly been moved to October. It’s believed that the order quantity for 2018 has been slashed by means of 20 p.c, however that 2019 orders are unchanged.

News of a delayed product launch turns out to line up with Bloomberg‘s article last month. The business outlet reported that Facebook originally planned to unveil the smart speakers at its F8 developer conference in May. It’s claimed that the smart audio system had been delayed because of the Cambridge Analytica knowledge scandal.

Would you purchase Facebook smart audio system?

The two smart audio system are tipped to characteristic 15-inch touchscreen shows, drawing parallels to the Amazon Echo Show and Google Smart Display circle of relatives. And just like the Amazon and Google merchandise, Facebook’s audio system are set to ship video chat and tune streaming options.

The actual query is whether or not shoppers will desire a Facebook-owned smart speaker of their house. Concerns about an always-listening speaker have triggered the likes of Apple, Google and Amazon to construct mute capability into their units (each Google and Amazon’s merchandise have devoted mute keys). Facebook may come with the similar with its smart speaker, however within the wake of the new scandal, shoppers may well be uncomfortable with putting in this sort of Facebook tool meant inside of their house. Particularly when it’s designed to pick out up voices from any place in a room.

Then there’s the query of gross sales, as Apple’s HomePod gross sales are reportedly manner beneath expectancies. Amazon’s Echo merchandise additionally appear to have a large early lead over Google in each the U.S. and Europe. Any new entrant would face an enormous uphill problem, let on my own an embattled corporate like Facebook.

$130 off UE Blast Wi-Fi/Bluetooth speaker with Amazon Alexa

UE Blast Amazon

Looking for a sensible speaker that may ship an unbelievable audio revel in? Then glance no additional than Ultimate Ears’ Blast—a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth speaker with Amazon Alexa voice keep an eye on that, for lately most effective, is to be had for simply $99.99.

That’s a saving of a whopping $130 off the standard $229 retail worth and whilst there are a lot inexpensive Alexa and Google Assistant-enabled audio system, there are only a few that may cling a candle to UE’s merchandise in terms of construct or audio high quality.

For your cash, you’re getting a beefy moveable speaker with 360-degree sound, a rugged protecting design, and an IP67 score. The latter approach you’ll be able to submerge the UE Blast in as much as a 1 meter of water for so long as 30 mins.

The Blast’s giant merit over UE’s common Boom audio system is Wi-Fi make stronger, which permits Amazon’s virtual assistant. Much just like the Echo vary, you’ll be capable to ask Alexa questions, set reminders, keep an eye on sensible house tech, store, and a lot more.

You’ll additionally be capable to keep an eye on tune playback with simply your voice thru Amazon Music, Pandora, iHeart Radio, and TuneIn. Unfortunately there’s no make stronger for Spotify simply but, even if you’ll be able to at all times use Bluetooth to play tracks from Spotify, or every other streaming provider reminiscent of Google Play Music or Apple Music.

The UE Blast is to be had in Graphite Black, Blue Steel, Merlot (crimson), and Blizzard (white/grey). Hit the button beneath to go over to Amazon to take hold of one whilst you nonetheless can!

Buy Now: UE Blast at amazon

This top Bluetooth speaker is now just $35

Roll up! Roll up! Get your funds indestructible Bluetooth speaker right here!

Ok most likely no longer relatively indestructible, however the G-DROP Adventure Ready Submersible Bluetooth Speaker can take just about the rest nature can throw at it. It’s the very best outside significant other, and it’s handiest $35.

‘Once again, G-Project simply blows my mind with what it offers per dollar – it’s merely uncontested on this marketplace’ – Android Police
Named a Top 10 Best Outdoor & Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker via Heavy
Named 2015 Best Budget Speaker of the Year via iLounge

The ultra-durability of this Bluetooth speaker is extraordinarily spectacular. It has an IPX7 water resistant score, because of this it’s wonderful in as much as three toes of water. Basically so long as you don’t go away it at the backside of the pool it’ll paintings completely.

And that may be tricky to do, as a result of it floats.

Bluetooth speaker

The sturdiness is a large perk, however actually this Bluetooth speaker has the whole thing you wish to have. In one fee it will possibly come up with 6 hours of constant playtime, and robust sound with complete bass.

The G-DROP at a look:

  • Play & skip tracks wirelessly with buttons proper at the speaker.
  • Microphone permits you to take calls wirelessly so your telephone is saved out of injury’s method.
  • Fully submersible for as much as 30 mins underneath as much as three toes of water.
  • Built-in steel loop permits you to cling it from a tree department, backpack, or roof rack.
  • Line-in to glue any tool with a headphone jack with an audio cable.
  • Easily chargeable with a regular USB port or telephone charger.

For a high quality Bluetooth speaker, this was once already a cut price at $50. this week a additional 30% bargain is at the desk. Right now you’ll be able to pick out one up for just $35. Time to carry the noise.

Looks like this deal ENDS ON TUESDAY, and summer season is coming. Grab your G-DROP whilst the cost is low via hitting the button.

The AAPicks workforce writes about issues we expect you’ll like, and we would possibly see a proportion of earnings from any purchases made thru associate hyperlinks. To see all our most up to date offers, head over to the AAPICKS HUB.


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New Moto Stereo Speaker is Lenovo’s most affordable audio mod yet

The Moto Stereo Speaker Mod. Motorola

  • The Stereo Speaker mod is the most recent Moto Mod from Lenovo.
  • At $60, it’s less expensive than the everyday worth JBL SoundBoost mods — despite the fact that they’re each these days on sale.
  • It joins a slideout keyboard and scientific add-on as the most recent Moto Mods

The Moto Mod idea is most definitely the most a success tackle smartphone mods thus far, as we see the variability develop at all times. And we will be able to now upload another mod to the record within the type of the Moto Stereo Speaker.

The new mod slaps onto the again of your Moto Z collection telephone like every other, the use of your telephone’s battery to energy the audio revel in.

It’s to be had in pink, blue and black, and provides an built-in kickstand, in case you wish to have to look at movies with a pal or two (small display, be damned). You too can behavior calls by means of the speaker.

As for a worth? The Moto Stereo Speaker will set you again $59.99, making it extra affordable than the JBL SoundBoost Speaker and the SoundBoost 2 Moto mods which usually price $80 every. The JBLs are, alternatively, on sale at this time for $59.99 — and as in addition they be offering an built-in 1000mAh battery (with a urged ten hours of playback) they could be the easier purchase.

It’s no longer the one Moto Mod published in contemporary months, as MWC 2018 noticed Lenovo sing their own praises two extra add-ons. The first is a slideout keyboard accent, whilst the second one is a health-focused mod in a position to monitoring your middle price, core frame temperature and extra.

These new add-ons sign up for a number of current mods, together with the Hasselblad True Zoom Camera mod, the Insta-Share Projector and the Moto GamePad.

Keen on getting the Moto Stereo Speaker? Simply hit the button beneath.

Some sort of Spotify car speaker likely to launch on April 24

spotify car speaker Android Central

Back in February, we advised you about how Spotify used to be on the quest for any person to head up product construction of some sort of tool. Initially, we speculated that the tool in query can be some sort of sensible speaker to compete towards the Amazon Echo and the Google Home.

It turns out that we could have been part proper. Today, by means of Android Central, we realized that customers on Reddit posted screenshots of commercials that gave the impression of their Spotify apps selling what seems to be some sort of tool that connects you to Spotify for your car. Check out the picture beneath.

spotify car speaker Android Central

It’s transparent that the hockey puck-like tool is going within the car and the 2 buttons on the facet level to the tool enjoying track. But is the unit itself enjoying the track like an in-car sensible speaker, or is it linked wirelessly to the car stereo? It seems from the commercials that the unit has voice keep watch over functions, however will it’s Google Assistant- and Alexa-connected, or does Spotify have one thing else deliberate?

Right now, we don’t have a lot to pass on. However, a thrilling bit of data is that pricing gave the impression in some of the commercials. The commercials counsel that pricing for the unit will likely be integrated along with your per thirty days subscription to Spotify, albeit with a little of a worth build up. It may well be – and we’re closely speculating right here – that Spotify will introduce a brand new plan that comes with the hire of one of those car devices, type of like how ISP’s will come with the leasing of a router along with your web plan.

If that is true or a minimum of type of right kind, it might be an important differentiator for Spotify from its opponents like Pandora and Apple Music. The streaming track fashion is just about the similar throughout all aggressive manufacturers now, so if Spotify has one thing that most effective it provides, that may be an enormous boon to its subscriber numbers.

We’ll have to wait till April 24 to see if any of those theories dangle water.

NEXT: 10 absolute best track streaming apps and track streaming products and services for Android