It’s not just Sonos that is adding Google Assistant to speakers for around the house, as Bose looks to offer something as well.
You can talk to a virtual Google Assistant on your phone, but if you’re sitting in your home, this might not be the ideal approach. We all have our phones out, but there are other devices making it possible to connect to virtual assistants as well: speakers.
Already becoming a part of the landscape, speakers are no longer just something you have at home to listen to music. They can be used for much more.
While tunes are typically what we run through them, they can be used to act as a white noise generator and play the soothing sound of rain when you’re trying to sleep. You can use speakers to play a podcast or two while you’re doing something, listening and potentially learning as you multitask, maybe while cooking.
And in recent years, many speakers can get more done. You can talk to them to do a search, or tell them what you want played.
Welcome to the world of the virtual assistant, where Google and Alexa and Siri (and maybe Bixby) can jump from the phone to the speaker, and act on your command without needing to take your phone out.
This month in Australia, Bose is connecting a new speaker to the first couple of those, as the company builds a smaller take on the meaty screen-equipped Bose Home Speaker 500, a multiroom capable device that will play nicely and connect to other Bose multiroom speakers.
The new speaker is the Bose Home Speaker 300, a slightly smaller take on Bose’s new Home Speaker products, that wraps a 360 degree sound system in an ocular aluminium design to send sound everywhere it sits.
The Bose 300 includes six preset buttons like its Home Speaker 500 sibling, but places them on the top as touch points, sitting near controls to turn off the microphone, switch to an auxiliary connection, play and pause, and control the volume, as well.
And it supports both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, meaning each can talk to their respective services and load music, podcasts, web search, or activate one of the many skills they support. Much like a Sonos One, you can control your home using your voice.
In fact, much like a Sonos, the Bose Home Speaker 300 will play with other multiroom Bose speakers to spread music across the home. It won’t talk to Sonos speakers as they’re a different system, but if you end up liking one of the Bose Home Speaker models, you can equip another room with another, and they should sync up music in a multiroom fashion. Included in this batch are the Bose Soundbar 500 and Bose Soundbar 700 models, which are also built to talk to Bose’s multiroom capability.
As for pricing and availability, you’ll find the Bose Home Speaker 300 in stores now, arriving for a recommended price of around $399.95. That makes it a good hundred more than the Sonos One, the current entry level for its major competition, though it delivers the Bose name and reputation alongside it.
In terms of how it performs, that’s something we’re not sure of yet, but with the IKEA-compatible Sonos speakers on the way to Australia in the coming months, it will definitely have some interesting competition very shortly.