Smart speakers are getting serious at IFA 2017, with Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa duking it out to see which voice-controlled digital helper will rule the home. Siding with Google’s offering is the JBL Link series.
Launching at IFA 2017, the smart speaker range comprises of three different models – the Link 300, the Link 20 and the Link 10 – each featuring Google’s voice assistant as a built-in feature. The Link series is only coming to the UK, USA (with pricing to be announced on that side of the Atlantic), France and Germany however, so if you’re reading from elsewhere, you may want to shoot off now.
The Link 300 is the top-of-the-line offering, coming in at £249.99 this November. Offering 50W output, it’s got Chromecast built in, uses a far-field mic for picking up voice commands from a distance, and can wirelessly stream music using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
It’s the beefiest speaker in the range (and has to be mains-powered) measuring 236 x 134 x 154mm, and is a curved design with buttons along its top side. It’ll be available in either black or white.
The Link 20 and Link 10 (also out in November and costing £179.99 and £149.99 respectively) mix things up a bit by going portable and adding IPX7 waterproofing, enabling you to chat with Google Assistant by the pool.
All the connected features of the Link 300 are here too, with the added benefit of 10 hours wireless playback for the Link 20 and five hours for the Link 10. They’ll also be available in black or white, standing tall in a cylindrical shape.
Leaving perhaps the best feature to last, all of the Link series speakers can be linked up and grouped for multi-room playback, Sonos style, letting you throw different tunes to different speakers around the house seamlessly.
Google Home may have started the Google-Assistant-in-a-speaker trend, but the third-party support on show at IFA sees the accompanying feature sets now expanding in a really exciting way.
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