Danish luxury audio brand Bang & Olufsen has brought voice activation to its range of speakers with the new Beosound 1 and Beosound 2.
Featuring Google Assistant integration, the new 360-degree speakers have an innovative conical design which allows the bottom of the speakers to hover slightly above the surface they're sat on, releasing thumping bass from below.
To ensure Google Assistant can pick up your voice the speakers have built-in echo-canceling technology and include five different microphones that analyze whether sound is coming from the user or the speaker itself.
The new speakers have been designed to cater for the different ways people listen to music; the Beosound 1 is crafted for portability and has a rechargeable battery, while the larger Beosound 2 relies on a constant power supply, allowing it to pump out a more powerful sound.
As well as controlling the speakers with your voice, or you phone or tablet, you can also use the touch-sensitive wheel on the top. The speakers have inbuilt sensors that detect which angle you’re approaching it from and orient the controls accordingly – so, for example, you can always swipe to the right to play the next track, no matter where you're standing in relation to the speaker.
Both speakers feature four ‘favorite’ buttons on the top of the casing, allowing you to assign the tasks you use most often to each button, including playing your favorite radio station or reading the weather report.
Both Chromecast and Apple AirPlay 2 are integrated into the Beosound 1 and 2, and the speakers can also play audio streamed from your smartphone. You can use Google Assistant via the speakers to control other smart devices you have around the home, as well as the speakers themselves.
The Beosound 1 will be available in mid-September for a recommended retail price of $1,750 (£1,250 / just over AU$2,400), while the Beosound 2 will cost $2,250 (£1,650 / AU$3,100) and be available from early October.
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Olivia was previously TechRadar's Senior Editor - Home Entertainment, covering everything from headphones to TVs. Based in London, she's a popular music graduate who worked in the music industry before finding her calling in journalism. She's previously been interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of multi-room audio, chaired panel discussions on diversity in music festival lineups, and her bylines include T3, Stereoboard, What to Watch, Top Ten Reviews, Creative Bloq, and Croco Magazine. Olivia now has a career in PR.