Netgear’s Alexa-enabled Orbi Voice Mesh Wi-Fi speaker blankets your home in Wi-Fi and sound

Netgear is bringing a new triple-play addition to its Orbi Mesh Wi-Fi line. The Orbi Voice Smart Speaker and Wi-Fi Mesh Satellite is a single unit that combines a mesh Wi-Fi extender, an Alexa-enabled smart home assistant, and Harman Kardon audio. Netgear announced the new product at IFA 2018.

The mesh Wi-Fi extender gives you broader, more even internet access throughout your home; Alexa is ready for your voice commands; and the Harman Kardon components provide high-end audio.

“Products that solve multiple consumer needs are increasingly in demand, and the exquisite sound quality of Harman Kardon elevates the dynamic Orbi Voice Smart Speaker,” said David Rogers, president of Harman’s consumer audio business unit.

Combining three key features in one compact smart home appliance saves device and cable clutter.

Owners can add and configure the Orbi Voice Smart Speaker and Wi-Fi Mesh Satellite to their existing home networks and internet service using the free mobile Orbi app. The app also includes update, feature enhancement, and network-management controls.

The Orbi app’s Circle Smart parent controls let owners manage content kids can access, and the time they spend online. You can also configure a separate Wi-Fi network for guest use that runs separately from your home network to protect access to your devices and content.

If you still have devices that demand a wired Ethernet cable network connection, each Orbi Voice Mesh Wi-Fi Satellite has two gigabit Ethernet ports for more reliable connections and potentially higher speeds than with wireless hookups.

Netgear’s senior vice president of connected home products, David Henry, explained the reasoning behind the three-feature Orbi Voice Smart Speaker and Mesh Wi-Fi Satellite. “The two fastest-growing consumer trends for smart home technology have been the popularity of the voice assistant control and the growth of Wi-Fi mesh systems,” Henry said.

“It is also widely known that the most popular skill employed with smart speakers is to enjoy streaming music services,” Henry continued. “To address this need, we have taken our expertise in Wi-Fi and married it with a legend in the industry, Harman Kardon, to deliver superior sound quality while aligning with the leading providers of streaming music to give our customers the best Wi-Fi and hi-fi in one package.”

Netgear revealed two configurations. The Orbi Mesh Wi-Fi System, available in September, includes an Orbi Tri-Band Router and an Orbi Voice Smart Speaker and Mesh Wi-Fi Satellite for $430. If you don’t need the router, the Orbi Voice Smart Speaker and Wi-Fi Mesh Satellite will be available on its own later in the fall for $300.

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