Sony LF-S50G Wireless Speaker launches with built-in Google Assistant

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

The reason for music being the battleground in the smart-speaker market was outlined by Scott Huffman, VP engineering at Google and responsible for Google Assistant, talking exclusively to WIRED Germany. Not simply Sony but rather different organizations have been building up their own savvy speaker, for example, Facebook is chipping away at a smart speaker with 15-inch Touch show.

Sony (SNE) is entering the market with a new speaker that recognizes your gestures that also uses Google's voice assistant.

While Amazon's Echo and Google Home have been praised for their assistant innovation, their audio quality is notoriously patchy.

From the looks of it, the Sony LF-S50G looks similar to the Apple HomePod speaker, which was introduced during the WWDC 2017 conference earlier this year. You need a reliable WiFi and the Google Home app installed on your smartphone to get started. Smart speakers combine voice control and smart hub capabilities with a wireless speaker.

With the integration of Google Assistant, Panasonic and Sony will deviate from their respective brand strategies. At the IFA trade show in Berlin, Sony announced a speaker that cribs the best from an Echo, Home, and HomePod, all rolled into one terribly-named device. It too has built-in Google Assistant and so works nearly identically to Google Home. Additionally, you can also use it to control other smart devices found in your home. The LF-S50G is capable of responding to a multitude of voice queries your throw at it. Of note, the Sony smart home speaker includes a full-range speaker for vocal and treble notes, a subwoofer for bass, and a diffuser to give the feel of a surround sound system. However, it's not something you should go swimming with. The speaker can also connect to additional JBL Connect+ speakers using Bluetooth for a portable multi-speaker setup. Want to know what the traffic will be like on your route to work, set an alarm to wake you up in the morning or retrieve the flight booking details for your next trip, then simply bring the speaker to life by saying "Ok Google" and you can open up a world of opportunities. The main drawback of this speaker is the fact that it's only compatible with Lenovo's family focusing Tab 4 tablets. The audio is louder than the Home, and the music it played was clear - I was surprised I could hear over the noise in the convention hall.

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