Sony Announces Smart Speaker Powered by Google Assistant

Today at IFA 2017, Sony announced a new smart speaker powered by the Google Assistant. We just heard yesterday that Google would be opening the Assistant up to third-party companies to make additional smart home speakers, so it’s nice to see Sony jumping on the bandwagon so soon.

For whatever reason, its name is the LF-S50G, but everyone’s gonna call it the Sony speaker anyway. It features a 360-degree two-way facing speaker system with a full range speaker paired with a dedicated subwoofer. There’s also an omnidirectional two stage diffuser which spreads sound around a room. You can also pair your smartphone to the speaker and play music over Bluetooth or NFC. It’s even IPX3 rated so it can take light splashes.

Something unique to Sony’s offering is the way you control the speaker. By using different waving gestures on the top of the speaker, you can skip a track, pause your music, or even turn up the volume. This goes against other smart speaker’s hardware controls like the Google Home’s touch controls on the top. Sony seems to be going a no-touch route with this option, and I kind of dig it.

Oh, and there’s a clock. Which is probably the most genius thing I’ve ever seen put on a smart speaker. Cudos, Sony.

The LF-S50G will retail for $199.99 when it goes on sale this October. Other announcements from the company today include the Xperia XZ1, XZ1 Compact, and XA1 Plus smartphones.