Bose unveils Alexa-powered smart speaker and soundbars, aligning with Amazon on ‘next chapter’


Bose Home Speaker 500. (Bose Photo)

Bose today showed off a new smart speaker and pair of soundbars powered by Amazon’s digital assistant Alexa as it battles other high-end speaker makers like Sonos.

Bose paints the new speaker lineup, set to be released in October, as the “next chapter in its legendary home audio history.” Bose boasts that each device “crushes the limitations of spaciousness from a single enclosure.”

In its announcement, Bose said the speakers and soundbars will come with WiFi and Alexa built in, with “other voice assistants to follow, and AirPlay 2 for simple streaming from Apple devices added in early 2019.”

Bose Soundbar 500. (Bose Photo)

“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 a statement. “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.”

The Bose Home Speaker 500 will sell for $400, making it one of the most expensive smart speakers, ahead of the $349 Apple HomePod. The Bose Soundbar 500 and 700 will retail for $550 and $800, respectively.

Amazon has encouraged device makers to build Alexa into their products by opening up the digital brain to developers. As a result, Alexa, who boasts more than 45,000 capabilities, is starting to show up in a variety of devices, including the $200 Sonos One smart speaker.

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