Polk Audio Launching Company First Google-Powered Smart Speaker
Learning that Polk, a company that has held a positive reputation for the past reputation for both innovation and horsepower, is just now getting into the smart speaker game is honestly a bit surprising. And to be fair, their MagniFi Series of soundbars can all be connected and controlled with Google Home products, and their Amazon Alexa stocked Command Bar have shown their prowess in the ecosystem, but this is the first born and bred smart speaker.
Dubbed the Polk Assist, the otherwise compact speaker includes Chromecast built in, enabling it to control and play music over the home WiFi. It gives customers a lot of options to stream Pandora, TuneIn, Google Play Music, YouTube Music, iHeartRadio, NPR, and Spotify anywhere int he home. The speaker will sell for $199, cheaper than the premium Google Home and HomePod options, and sports a reasonable one-inch tweeter, 3.5-inch woofer, and 40 watts of onboard amplification.
Polk also boasts the speaker as one of the first smart speakers built on certified Android Things System-on-Modules (SoMs) which benefit from a regular feature and security updates from Google, a big deal if a client is looking for a certified mid-range option.
"Polk Audio is committed to providing premium audio solutions enabled by the Google Assistant and Chromecast. With the addition of the Polk Assist smart speaker, consumers can easily add Google Assistant's hands-free convenience and Chromecast's hi-res multi-room audio streaming to their home," said Michael Greco, global brand director, Polk Audio. "Polk Assist complements and works with our existing Chromecast-enabled sound bars, including the MagniFi Mini and MagniFi Max."
It's an appropriate time for Polk to launch a speaker, Google made a ton of hype at their last I/O meeting and Apple will surely have updates to their HomePod in the coming weeks for WWDC. Beyond that, every corner of the industry, association, and buying group is well aware of the power of voice control, even if its a bit infantile right now.