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SpeakEasy smart speaker hits Kickstarter with wood design, old-school knobs

The retro-style smart speaker can be pre-ordered for $199 for early bird backers now.

Published onMay 2, 2018

SpeakEasy Speaker
  • The SpeakEasy is a new, Google Assistant-powered speaker currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. 
  • The device features a 3-inch woofer, 3/4-inch tweeter, and “furniture-grade” wood design. 
  • The “walnut” version (pictured) is available for $199 before shipping costs for early bird backers now.

One of the best things about Amazon and Google’s AI assistants is that they can be integrated into third-party speakers. The latest of these, Como Audio’s “SpeakEasy,” has just hit Kickstarter, and it certainly stands out from the smart speaker crowd.

The SpeakEasy features a 3-inch woofer, 3/4-inch tweeter, and a rear cutout to improve the bass response. It integrates with Google Assistant, allowing you to pose general queries, conduct voice commands, and control your smart appliances. However, it’s the hardware design that differentiates this speaker from others.

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The SpeakEasy is made from “furniture-grade” wood, as opposed to plastic seen on most other smart speakers. Then there are the knobs for volume control and Bluetooth/microphone toggling. An LED panel completes the retro design, showing a clock as well as icons for the alarm and sleep timer.

Another interesting choice is the ability to charge your phone, thanks to the inclusion of a 5V/1A USB port on the speaker. ComoAudio is also touting the ability to use an optional 2,200mAh power bank to deliver up to eight hours of playback (though the Google Home Mini and Echo Dot work with power banks too).

What’s the damage?

The SpeakEasy is set to retail for $349, but the Kickstarter page has a number of discounted offers. If you opt for the (currently ongoing) 48-hour promotion tier, you’ll get the walnut version for $199 before shipping costs. Missed the 48-hour sale? You can still grab a walnut SpeakEasy for $219. Those wanting a black, white or hickory speaker can opt for the next tier, at $239. 

Como Audio is also offering a few tiers that include a companion speaker for stereo sound. These start at $299 for the Early Bird walnut tier (the retail price is $478), all the way to $339 for a white, black or hickory pairing. 

Estimated shipping is set for November 2018 for products and the Kickstarter campaign has already received more than $22,000 of its $50,000 goal, with 29 days to go. 

SpeakEasy speaker

Whether you’re a fan of these retro designs or absolutely detest them, it’s still great to have options outside of the first-party smart speaker design lineup. These choices are set to expand too, as the likes of Facebook and (possibly) Spotify get involved in the AI speaker market. 

Interested in the Como Audio SpeakEasy? Check it out at the Kickstarter page below.

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