If there’s one thing IFA is always good for, it’s a boat load of brand-new audio announcements.
While it’s easy to get swept out to sea by wave-after-wave of in-ear headphones and bookshelf speakers, if you manage to keep your head above water you can notice some real gems in the mix.
One of those aforementioned gems is the new LG-S50G, a smart speaker made by Sony that packs Google Assistant built right into it.
Sony’s speaker borrows a few notes from Google Home’s playbook, obviously, however it promises to a bit more audio prowess under the hood: It’s equipped with a 360-degree speaker array, a downward woofer and an upward tweeter.
This whole aural armada is housed within a splash-proof shell that should help to make it an even better companion for the kitchen than Google’s speaker.
The one area that Google’s OG smart speaker still holds the advantage? Price.
Sony says the new LF-S50G will go on sale starting in mid-October (early December in Australia) for the retail price of US$199AU$299 (around £150) – or, for those doing the math at home, about US$70 more than the Google Home.
- Read our hands on: Sony Smart Speaker LF-S50G review
Say 'Auf Wiedersehen' to airplane noise
Of course, the LF-S50G isn’t the only product Sony’s brought with it to Berlin – it’s also brought three new noise-cancelling headphones and two wireless speakers to the show along with it.
The three new speakers are actually all spin-off products from last year’s flagship Sony MDR-1000X Noise-Cancelling Headphones. There’s the new WH-1000XM2 that shares the MDR-1000X’s over-ear design, plus two in-ear models: the WI-1000X and WF-1000X. The WI-1000X trades a bridge for for a neckband while the WF-1000X offers a completely wire-free experience and bears closer resemblance to a pair of Apple AirPods.
The WH-1000XM2 will come in at $349 (around £270) when it launches later in September, while the WI-1000X and WF-1000X will come in at $299 and $199 (about £230 and £150), respectively.
But if the idea of personal audio is a bit foreign to you, Sony has also brought two new wireless speakers, the GTK-XB60 and the GTK-XB90 to Berlin as well.
The XB60 is like a briefcase-sized Sony XB40, rocking two 13cm woofers and two 5cm tweeters, while the XB90 ups the ante with two 18cm woofers and three 6cm tweeters. The XB60 and the XB90 will be available later this month for $349 (around £270) and $449 (around £349), respectively.
- IFA 2017 is Europe's biggest tech show. The TechRadar team is in Berlin to bring you all the breaking news and hands-on first impressions of new phones, watches and other tech as they're announced.