Sonos Smart Speaker Latest Rumours: Release Date & Features

Hands On Sony LF-S50G pairs Google Assistant with added smarts and superior sound

	Coming in December for $299

Sony will launch its smart connected speaker LF-S50G that will look like Apples HomePod but will use Google Assistant. Today Sony announced the LF-S50G speaker with Google Assistant. According to Sony, the speaker offers a 360-degree audio experience and has enough power to "comfortably fill the average room with sound". Both Japanese brands confirmed that their products will be integrating Google's virtual personal assistant.

Nearly central to the LF-S50G speaker are LED lights indicating the time, while four LED circles appear above the time when Google Assistant is activated or listening. But this is a trade-off they are willing to make in order to lower their development costs and enter the market faster. Google is well positioned with its search engine to collect language data on the internet and improve the performance of Google Assistant.

Samsung-owned Harman Kardon showed off its smart speaker at IFA, but Samsung has one of its own being released soon, too. IFA is the largest trade show for consumer electronics in Europe.

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Called the LF-S50G, the speaker houses the same Google Assistant AI that runs on Google Home. It's due to be released in late October, but whether it can compete with high-calibre rivals is yet to be seen. But the circa £300 price tag is supposedly justified due to its high-end speaker status, something that can only be put to the test once it arrives. Panasonic has a smart speaker, the GA10 (below), a smart-looking aluminium Bluetooth speaker with a fabric mesh overlay. The product which features a classy design comes in two colors - black and white. But it ditches the cylindrical design in favour of taking an oblong shape, bringing a more traditional edge to this smart speaker.

The speaker can also be controlled without voice. The speaker will also respond to gestures for starting music playback, controlling the volume, and skipping tracks. This rapid increase will result in 3.3 per cent of global households owning at least one device, with 25 per cent of them owning more than one. In a market that is largely dominated by Google, Apple, and Amazon, is there really room for Sony to make a dent?

In the five years to 2021, the market for smart speakers is expected to grow nearly fivefold to $3.52 billion, according to a forecast by the USA market research company Gartner.

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