Launched in October 2016 with the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, the Google Assistant digital companion is the company’s entry in the growing, and highly competitive, virtual connected helper race. While it was relatively late in the running, launching well after Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana, Google Assistant has quickly become a major player in this space, and more and more smart speakers are using it.
Of course Google wanted to see its Assistant inside of more hardware than just phones, so in late 2016 the Google Home was introduced, offering consumers a smart connected speaker that was powered by Google Assistant. In 2017, Assistant also expanded to even more handsets, in fact it now supports virtually all Android Nougat and Marshmallow-based smartphones. That’s only the beginning, though.
At IFA 2017 a number of third-party Assistant-powered smart speakers were announced, making it apparent that Google wants to put its assistant everywhere. This model is pretty familiar — create a great platform and allow others to use it, while still making your own competing products to keep the market moving. Yep, it’s pretty much exactly the strategy Google is currently applying to Android.
In this feature, we will go over all of the announced Google Assistant-based smart speakers that are either already available, or have been announced but not yet released. This list of Assistant smart speakers will be updated regularly as they go on sale, and more are announced.
Google Home smart speakers family
The Google Home is the Google’s first venture into the smart speaker space, which Amazon essentially kickstarted with its lineup of Echo smart speakers that use the company’s own Alexa assistant. It was designed to be small and to hopefully blend better into the home, compared to the black and tall cylinder of the main Amazon Echo speaker. It does have embedded LEDs light on the top that light up to indicate the volume level, or when a user makes an “OK Google” Assistant command. Only one button is available, and that’s just to mute its microphones.
The speaker does require that the user access the Google Home app on their smartphone, so he or she can link it to its home Wi-Fi network. Even though it its pretty small, it manages to pack in an excellent audio experience that is widely considered superior to the Amazon Echo. Since its launch, Google Home has added a number of features via software updates, including hands-free voice calling, for US and Canadian owners, along with multi-user support.
The normal price of Google Home in the US is $129, although that price has been lowered from time to time by Google and other retailers. You can also purchase alternative bases for the speaker, with a variety of colors and finishes to choose from. The Google Home speaker is also available in the UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, and Japan.
In 2017, a smaller Google Home smart speaker was released, the Google Home Mini. Priced at $49, the speaker doesn’t offer as good of an audio experience as its bigger brother, but aside from that it can do do everything the regular model can do.
Also in late 2017, the Google Home Max was launched. It is supposed to be 20 times louder than the regular Google Home, thanks in part to its larger 4.5-inch subwoofers and custom 0.7-inch tweeters. It also has a a “Smart Sound” system that combines sound coming from the devic with the ambient noise in the room you place it in, so it can continuously tune the speaker to your space. It’s priced at $399.
Mobvoi TicHome Mini
This small, battery-powered disk-like smart speaker, which was first announced a few months ago, is supposed to be IPX6 water resistant and can even be used as a Bluetooth speaker when connected to another device like a smartphone. It is now on sale for $99.99, in several different colors. Mobvoi is actually a China-based company, which Google has a minority investment. This speaker could be a way to introduce the huge Chinese audience to Google’s services (the company’s own Google Play Services are currently blocked in China).
Anker Zolo Mojo
This speaker comes from Anker, who may be best known for their external batteries. The Zolo Mojo speaker has a cylindrical design that looks like a shorter, fatter version of the Amazon Echo. It will also feature Bluetooth wireless support. Anker hints this may be the first in a lineup of Google Assistant-powered smart speakers from the company. It’s now available for $99.99.
This speaker from the well known electronics and appliances company has a design that looks, at first glance, like any other speaker that you might find for your TV or stereo. Panasonic says the GA10 has two 20-mm soft dome tweeters inside and will come in black or white colors. It’s due out in early 2018 for an unknown price.
JBL Link 10, Link 20, and Link 300
Harman subsidiary JBL recently announced plans to launch a new line of Google Assistant-based smart speakers, under the Link branding. The Link 10 and Link 20 speakers are Echo-like cylindrical speakers that can be powered by batteries as well as AC cords. The Link 10 will have up to five hours of battery life, while the Link 20 doubles that power to 10 hours. Both are IPX7 waterproof rated, in case you want to take them to the pool or on the beach. The much larger, and more torus-shaped, LINK 300 offers more powerful sound, but does not have the battery option. All of these smart speakers can be linked together for multi-room sound.
The Link 10 is out now and priced at $99.99, the Link 20 is selling for $149.99 and the Link 300 is priced at $199.99.
Sony, which continues to release Android-based smartphones with its Xperia line up, plans to enter the connected speaker space later this year. The Sony LF-S50G will use Google Assistant as its virtual companion to give its owners some help with everyday tasks. Its design resembles that of Apple’s own upcoming speaker, the HomePod. Sony’s product will offer 360 degree sound with its two-way facing speaker, along with a two-stage diffuser, and a bass reflex duct. It will also have Bluetooth support and even an LED clock display.
The Sony LF-S50G is currently available for $169.99 in black or grey color choices.
Onkyo Smart Speaker G3
This small device may not be much to look at, in terms of its design, but the Onkyo Smart Speaker G3 seems like it will have more going on inside. While its design may resemble an older stereo speaker, it not only has Google Assistant support inside, but also has Chromecast support, enabling it to cast music to any Chromecast-based wireless speakers, soundbars, and other systems that you might have in your home.
The company says the Smart Speaker G3 has a custom woofer with massive motor, which is inside a thick metal surround. Onkyo claims this will allow for the speaker to have 1.5 times the cone excursion of normal drivers. It will also have support for dynamic noise-reduction DSP technology for high quality audio, no matter how loud it gets. The Onyko Smart Speaker G3 is now on sale for $199.99.
SŌLIS SO-2000 smart speaker
LG ThinQ Speaker
Klipsch Heritage Wireless smart speakers
The well known speaker company Klipsch announced during CES 2018 that two of its Heritage Wireless speakers would add Google Assistant support in the future. The speakers themselves, The One and The Three, have a real wood veneer along with copper switches and knobs to give them a very cool, retro feel. The cheaper Heritage Wireless model, The One, will have a recharable battery and be available with Google Assistant support in the spring of 2019 (no, that’s not a typo) for the price of $349. The more expensive Heritage Wireless model, The Three, is a stereo tabletop with an integrated subwoofer. It will be released in the fall of 2018 for the price of $499.
Altec Lansing GVA smart speakers
The famous Altec Lansing audio hardware company announced three Google Assistant-based smart speakers at CES 2018, under the GVA brand. The smallest is the GVA1 – Live, with a 2-inch ferrite woofer and a 2 x 2-inch passive radiator. It will be priced at $129.99. The GVA3 – Live To-Go is a portable speaker with a 10 hour battery life, and multi-room pairing up to 50 speakers. It will have a price of $149.99. The GVA4 – Live at Home is the largest of the three speakers, with a 100 foot wireless range, an LCD clock screen and even a Qi-based wireless charging pad to charge up any compatible smartphones. It will be priced at $199.99. All three smart speakers with Google Assistant are due for release sometime in the spring or summer of 2018.
Lenovo Smart Display
There’s no Google Home smart speaker released with a video display (yet), but Lenovo is planning to sell a Google Assistant-based smart speaker with a video screen. The Lenovo Smart Display can be controlled by either voice or touch and will let you do things like handle video calls via Google Duo and a 5 MP front-facing camera, view directions on Google Maps and of course watch YouTube videos. Lenovo will sell an 8-inch model and one with a 10-inch Full HD display. Both will have a 10 W full range speaker. There’s no word on a price, but’s both speakers are due for release sometime in July.
As you can see, if you don’t want to purchase Google Home as your Google Assistant speaker, there are many more choices, and more are on the way. We will update this post when these new devices go on sale, and will also add any new smart speakers that are revealed to have Google Assistant built-in. In the meantime, which of these speakers do you think you might want to check out for your own Google Assistant needs? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!