Asus joins the Alexa smart speaker party with Lyra Voice

Asus Lyra Voice
It’s becoming abundantly clear that Amazon’s Alexa is having a really great year at CES 2018. The voice assistant is popping up everywhere, and no one wants to be left behind. That growing list now includes Asus, with its first smart speaker, the Lyra Voice.

Already honored with a CES Innovation Award, the Lyra Voice is a smart speaker that aims to do more than just pump out the tunes. While it can certainly do that — and do so with Alexa’s uncanny ability to understand what you want — it’s also a tri-band AC2200 mesh Wi-Fi device.

Sonos famously builds all of its products to act as part of a wireless mesh network, but the goal there is to provide seamless connectivity for the music. With the Lyra Voice, your other Wi-Fi devices benefit as well.

With the exception of its OnHub router, Asus isn’t exactly known for its sit-out-in-the-open designs, so it’s interesting to see that it has taken a decidedly conservative approach to the Lyra Voice’s styling, opting for a gray fabric that looks like it could have been lifted straight from a Google Home Max.

Though it’s too early to know how the Lyra Voice performs, it’s good to see a smart speaker design that emphasizes true stereo separation. With its wide stance, and separate left/right driver compartments, we can see this being a good option for people who want genuine stereo sound without having to shell out for a pair of speakers.

There’s no pricing info from Asus at the moment, but the company says it will let us know as soon as the Lyra Voice gets its retail launch later this year.

Smart Home

August celebrates No. 1 ranking with white, limited-edition smart lock

One billion lock operations is a pretty huge milestone for a smart home manufacturer and the top-selling brand, August, is celebrating by releasing a limited edition version of its classic smart lock - in white.
Smart Home

Google Home Mini vs. Amazon Echo Dot: Which smart home speaker is better?

We put the two most popular smart home speakers -- the Google Home Mini and the 3rd generation Amazon Echo Dot -- together and tested them on appearance, audio, and abilities. So which should you buy? Find out how they did in our showdown.
Smart Home

Amazon to add home mesh router maker Eero to its smart home ecosystem

Amazon will acquire the Eero mesh Wi-Fi router system brand. After the deal clears regulatory hurdles, Amazon will own another piece of a complete smart home package. Eero's Wi-Fi infrastructure covers the whole house with fast internet.
Smart Home

DI you just get a brand-new Amazon Echo? Here's how to set it up

This hands-free, voice-controlled device can do so much. Here's how to set up your Amazon Echo, how to customize settings to get the experience you want, and how to set up more in-depth commands like smart device control.
Cars

All U.S. 2020 Toyotas will have a trial subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio

This fall, with the introduction of the 2020 model year vehicles, all Toyotas sold in the continental U.S. will include SiriusXM satellite radio installed with a three-month trial subscription of SiriusXM All Access.
Gaming

Where to catch the encore of Marshmello's Fortnite concert if you missed it

EDM star DJ Marshmello performed a different sort of concert today: one held live in-game in Fortnite. The concert was held in Pleasant Park, where the usual football field was transformed into a stage and a massive dance party broke out.
Mobile

Schubert left Symphony No. 8 unfinished. A smartphone’s A.I. just completed it

We all know computers can be used to make music, but can artificial intelligence be used to not only generate music, but complete one of the most famous unfinished symphonies of all time? Huawei has used its A.I. to find out.
Music

The best free music download sites that are totally legal

Finding music that is both free and legal to download can be difficult. We've handpicked a selection of the best free music download sites for you to legally download your next favorite album.
Music

Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which service is the streaming king?

Apple Music is giving Spotify a run for its money, but which service is best for you? In our Apple Music vs. Spotify showdown, we compare and contrast all we know about the two streaming music services.
Music

The best new music this week: Cass McCombs, Jessica Pratt, and more

Looking for the best new music? Each week, we find the most compelling new releases just for you. This week: New music from Cass McCombs, Jessica Pratt, LCD Soundsystem, Panda Bear, Said The Whale, and Y La Bamba.
Music

Spotify could terminate accounts of listeners using ad blockers

Bad news for those who block annoying ads on Spotify -- the company has updated its Terms of Service to explicitly ban ad blockers. Consequences for users found circumventing the rules include suspending or terminating your account.
Home Theater

Apple's new AirPods could arrive within months, pack health sensor tech

Apple may release new AirPods in the first half of 2019. A wireless charging case, health sensors, water resistance, and better Siri integration are some of the improvements rumored to be part of the new package.
Music

Donald Glover is (somehow) first rapper to win a Grammy for Song Of The Year

Donald Glover (AKA Childish Gambino) has become the first hip-hop artist to win Song Of The Year, an award that had illuded countless other popular rap artists for decades.
Home Theater

How to master your equalizer settings for the perfect sound

You may know what an EQ is, but do you know how to adjust equalizer settings for the best possible sound? We go through the basics of the modern EQ and lay out some guidelines for how to achieve tip-top sound from your system.