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.