Priced below the Apple HomePod, plus loads of headphone announcements from JBL
Making a sneaky appearance at the Samsung keynote was Harman’s Allure, yet another smart speaker – this time with Amazon Alexa.
The speaker will cost £250 making it a bit more expensive than Sony’s forthcoming splashproof unit, but cheaper than the forthcoming £349 Apple HomePod.
Expect the device to be available in time for Christmas – the official release date is slated as ‘Winter 2017’.
What’s interesting about the Allure is its potential to have some serious audio chops – which Amazon’s own Echo speaker doesn’t. OK, so Echo is pretty good up until a point – like in a kitchen – but isn’t an option to fill an open plan flat with sound like in one of those trendy YouTube videos.
You get 360-degree sound, says Harman, with a built-in subwoofer. Music can be ordered up via Alexa (Spotify or Amazon Music) or you can Bluetooth into the device. There are four microphones for Alexa with noise cancellation tech built in.
However, Harman’s JBL brand hasn’t gone for Alexa, instead adding the Google Assistant to the JBL Link series – three are available; Link 10, 20 and 300 (quite the jump in numbering, there). There’s also a batch of new JBL Bar soundbars (2.1, 3.1 and 5.1).
There are also stacks of new headphone announcements from JBL, too.
JBL Reflect Fit: behind-the-neck sport headphones with heart rate updates.
Under Armour Sport Wireless Train: wireless sports headphones feature UA SuperVent fabric ear cushions and JBL TalkThru.
JBL FREE: cord-free Bluetooth earbuds.
JBL Soundgear: a neck-cushion design for a hands-free and ear-free.
JBL E65BT: active noise-cancelling Bluetooth headphones.
JBL Jr: including both wired and wireless models specifically designed for children ages three to ten.