The LG ThinQ is a new Google Assistant smart speaker taking aim at Alexa

lg 2018 audio lineup thinq speaker

If you’re in the market for a smart speaker, soundbar, or portable Bluetooth speaker, your decision just got a little bit more difficult. On December 27, tech titan LG announced its full 2018 audio lineup, featuring a Dolby Atmos-enabled soundbar, a premium AI speaker with Google Assistant, and a line of life-proof, portable speakers built to withstand the elements.

The LG ThinQ speaker comes with Google Assistant built in, so you can use your voice to inquire about the weather, answer nagging trivia, and control your smart home devices, among other things. LG is pushing the speaker as an accessory built to interface directly with its other SmartThinQ products, which range from refrigerators to air purifiers to Roomba-like vacuum cleaners. We don’t yet know what sort of specs or pricing to expect; the ThinQ could be a competitor for the Amazon Echo around $100, or more of a Sonos-type solution in the $200 range, depending upon audio quality. In general, the company is uniting all of its A.I.-powered products under the ThinQ brand.

The LG SK10Y Soundbar delivers 550 watts of output, supporting 5.1.2 channels and Dolby Atmos surround sound for maximum immersion while you’re watching your favorite movies (presumably on a shiny new LG television; the C7P OLED, perhaps?) or television shows at home. The SK10Y is outfitted with two ceiling-firing speakers to enhance the sensation of being “enveloped with sound,” and it even has baked-in voice support, so you can say “OK, Google” and request a particular song or radio station.

Like most LG soundbars, the SK10Y boasts a sharp, contemporary form that looks slick and fits comfortably below most LG televisions. The soundbar is even compatible with high-quality, lossless music files like FLAC.

LG also announced the PK portable speaker series, featuring “mood lighting” (a la JBL Pulse, maybe?) and powerful bass response in compact packages. The PK speakers are compatible with aptX HD Bluetooth to stream 24-bit music wirelessly, and they’ve got a preset equalizer which optimizes speech and vocals for clear listening.

Both the SK10Y and the PK speakers utilize proprietary technologies from Meridian Audio; Meridian’s Bass and Space technology improves sound quality, giving listeners a rich and warm sound signature, and the Height Elevation technology improves speech clarity while actually making soundbar audio seem like it’s coming from the TV screen itself.

All of LG’s 2018 audio products will be on display from January 9-12 at CES 2018, located at the LG booth in the Las Vegas Convention Center (Booth #11100, Central Hall).