Innovation

Bose Launches Smart Speakers With Alexa Built In

Bose, the home audio company, announced news on Tuesday (August 28) of the launch of its Bose® Home Speaker 500 for music and the Bose Soundbar 700 and Soundbar 500 for music and home theater, which comes with Alexa already integrated.

In a press release, Bose said the speakers will support other voice assistants in the future as well as AirPlay 2 for streaming from Apple devices in the early part of next year. The smart speaker and soundbars use the proprietary mic technology found in Bose headsets and headphones to hear commands better over louder listening levels. With Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Alexa built in, users get access to millions of songs and tens of thousands of skills for information, entertainment, smart home control and more. The speakers go on sale in October, with the Home Speaker 500 going for $399.95 and the Soundbar 500 and 700 costing $549.95 and $799.95 respectively.

“Voice-controlled speakers aren’t new, and there are plenty of great options to choose from. But we had a different vision for ours, inspired by what we could uniquely do to make the experience better,” Doug Cunningham, category manager in the Bose Consumer Electronics Division, said in the press release. “All of our new smart speakers double up on functionality. It takes just one Home Speaker 500 to deliver true stereo separation — there’s no need to pair two. Our Soundbar 700 and 500 are thin and discreet with jaw-dropping surround sound — whether you’re streaming Spotify or watching a movie. They combine Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for unbeatable ease of use, can be mixed and matched to play in sync or separately, and, with new Alexa functionality and more VPAs on the way, they’ll only get better over time.”

Bose’s plans to add more digital assistants to its devices come as the smart speaker market is taking off, with integrations happening all across the space. Amazon and Microsoft earlier this month announced a public preview of their plans to integrate Alexa with Microsoft Cortana. In a blog post, Amazon said users can now use Amazon Echo devices to access many of Cortana’s features, such as checking a calendar, booking a meeting and reading email, among other tasks. In order to access Cortana on an Echo device, users just have to say, “Alexa, open Cortana,” and they will be connected directly to Cortana.

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