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

LG's ThinQ smart speaker, display are now available for pre-order

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. OIn December, tech titan LG announced its full 2018 audio lineup featuring a Dolby Atmos-enabled soundbar, a premium A.I. speaker with Google Assistant, and a line of life-proof portable speakers built to withstand the elements. And now, some of those products are available for pre-order.

The LG ThinQ speaker comes with Google Assistant built in, so you can use your voice to inquire about the weather, answer a nagging trivia question, 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. Now, a pre-order page has gone up for the smart speaker, and the price stands at $197. That means that the LG device is meant to be more of a Sonos competitor than an Amazon Echo competitor. There’s also a new ThinQ View Smart Display, which as its name suggests, is a smart speaker with a built-in screen. Pre-orders for this device are also now available, and pricing is steeper still at $279. The company is essentially 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 or television shows (presumably on a shiny new LG television; the C7P OLED, perhaps?) 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” (à 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 that 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.