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Vizio announces portable Smart Audio players, powered by KitKat
Android is quickly making its way to more than just your typical mobile devices. Not only does the mobile OS have a presence on set-top boxes, smartwatches, computers and automobiles — now it’s also making its way to Vizio’s speakers.
The Vizio Portable Smart Audio player series are more than your typical wireless speakers. While they are more than capable of streaming music from your existing devices over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, the real magic is the ability to directly play music and video using built-in Android 4.4 KitKat and a quad-core CPU! There’s even a USB port that allows you to expand your music/video content using external storage.
The Portable Smart Audio player is fully certified for Google Play, meaning that you can use it with just about any audio and video apps you can think of. It also means that you can get in a round of Angry Birds directly from your smart speaker, if you so desire.
Why make a speaker that has its own self-contained Android installation? The idea is that you no longer have to worry about maintaining a connection with a separate device, nor will you be interrupted when your phone gets a call or notification. And then there’s just the coolness factor of having such a device.
The smart speakers will exist in two different models: a 3.6-pound 4.7-inch and 8.8 pound 7-inch model. It’s not just screen sizes that differ, as the heftier 7-inch version also is capable of playing at a lower 60Hz frequency, giving it a quality of sound that is noticeably better than the 80Hz 4.7-inch smart speaker.
Vizio has yet to unveil its exact release plans or pricing, though we imagine that the Portable Smart Audio players won’t exactly come cheap. It is believed that the speakers will likely arrive in the second half of 2014, though Vizio has yet to confirm this.
What do you think, like the idea of an Android-powered speaker system or is a wireless Bluetooth/Wi-Fi speaker more than good enough?
IRVINE, Calif. and LAS VEGAS, Jan. 6, 2014 — IRVINE, Calif. and LAS VEGAS, Jan. 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — VIZIO, America’s #1 Sound Bar company1, announced today a revolutionary new product category with the debut of the VIZIO 7″ and 4.7″ portable smart audio. A solution for today’s streaming audio fan, VIZIO’s portable smart audio line-up differs from existing Bluetooth or wireless speakers by delivering a complete “smart” audio experience.
Combining unparalleled high-quality audio performance with a built-in touchscreen display that runs Android KitKat, VIZIO’s latest audio innovation is built for easy direct streaming. Rather than being tethered to a Bluetooth-enabled or docked device, the VIZIO portable smart audio collection offers consumers all-in-one portability that allows audio and video apps to be streamed independently from smartphones or tablets. Thanks to Android KitKat, streaming content like music, TV shows, movies and games is easier than ever. VIZIO will be showcasing its new smart audio products at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, NV at the Wynn Hotel, by appointment only.
As an established leader in the audio space and America’s #1 Smart TV company 2, VIZIO is uniquely positioned to deliver on the needs of today’s users, who consume as much audio and video content over the Internet as they do through conventional channels. The VIZIO 7″ and 4.7″ portable smart audio products feature superior audio quality that even discerning audiophiles can appreciate, complete with integrated deep bass modules for low frequency fidelity. From the office, to kitchen, to beach or backyard BBQ, the portability of VIZIO’s portable smart audio line-up marries convenience with high performance audio quality in a unique, no-compromise mobile design.
Current wireless speakers or docks that solely rely on Bluetooth or a physical connection often interrupt the audio experience when incoming calls, e-mails, text messages or other notifications come through the connected device. With VIZIO portable smart audio, consumers can now discover an uninterrupted entertainment experience from a complete, standalone solution.
“After looking very closely at the audio space, VIZIO decided it needed to be disrupted with a combination of our leading audio and smart TV technologies,” said Matt McRae, Chief Technology Officer, VIZIO. “Our new portable smart audio line-up reinvents the category by combining class-leading audio performance with a full touchscreen Android platform, delivering a first-class device capable of streaming music, playing games and watching video directly from the cloud or local storage.”
The innovative VIZIO portable smart audio line-up will debut with two sizes, offering either a 7″ or 4.7″ touchscreen display for easy access to Android apps for streaming audio and video playback. Equipped with 802.11n, apps can be downloaded and accessed whenever the portable smart audio device is connected to Wi-Fi. When out of wireless range, users can also play content from their smartphone or tablet using Bluetooth, or utilize the portable smart audio’s on-board memory for local playback of their favorite tunes. Alternatively, a USB port is available for additional storage expansion.
Designed with performance and convenience in mind, the innovative all-in-one design maximizes both volume and audio quality in a compact design, with the 7″ display model featuring a sleek integrated handle for grab-and-go portability. A simple out-of-the-box set-up, similar to that of a smartphone or tablet, allows consumers to start enjoying content quickly and easily. The built-in, rechargeable lithium ion battery ensures the device can deliver hours of entertainment for a completely mobile and uninterrupted entertainment experience that frees the user to use their smartphone or tablet for other tasks.
More information on VIZIO’s innovative smart audio device, including price and retail partners, will be released closer to product availability. For more information on VIZIO’s complete product line-up, visit VIZIO.com/CES.
1 The NPD Group / Retail Monthly Tracking Service, Sound Bar Units Sold, Jan 2010 – Jan 2013 2 The NPD Group / Retail Tracking Service, Q2 2013 LED TV units with Apps included
VIZIO, Inc. is headquartered in Irvine, California. In Q2 2007, VIZIO skyrocketed to the top by becoming the #1 shipping brand of flat panel HDTVs in North America and in Q3 2007 became the first American brand in over a decade to lead in North American LCD HDTV shipments. VIZIO was #1 in North America LCD for 20101. VIZIO is now also America’s #1 Smart TV5 and large size LCD company2 as the leading seller of 60″ and larger HDTVs in the U.S. with 30% of the market in this class2. VIZIO was the #1 Sound Bar Company in the U.S. for Q1 20134 For over a decade, VIZIO has remained committed to what it does best — focus on the consumer to deliver visionary products at a great value. VIZIO offers a broad range of award winning consumer electronics that now include PCs and mobility products. VIZIO’s products are found at Amazon, Best Buy, BJ’s Wholesale, Costco Wholesale, Sam’s Club, Target, Walmart and other retailers nationwide. VIZIO has won numerous awards including a #1 ranking in the Inc. 500 for Top Companies in Computers and Electronics and made the lists of Ad Age’s Hottest Brands, CNET’s Editor’s Choice, CNET Best of CES 2011 – Television, CNET Best of CES 2013 – Home Theater and Audio, Home Theater Magazine’s Top Picks, Good Housekeeping’s Best Big-Screens, PC World’s Best Buy and Popular Mechanics Editor’s Choice among many other prestigious honors including “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with HDTVs Less Than 50 Inches in a Tie” from J.D. Power6. For more information, please call 888-VIZIOCE or visit www.VIZIO.com.
1 DisplaySearch Market Tracker Quarterly Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report. 2 The NPD Group / Weekly Tracking Service, Large Size includes 60″+, Q2 2013 units sold. 3 The NPD Group / Retail Tracking Service, Q2 2013 LED TV units with Apps included. 4 The NPD Group / Retail Monthly Tracking Service, units sold, Q1 2013. 5 The NPD Group / Retail Tracking Service, Q2 2013 LED TV units with Apps included. 6 J.D. Power 2013 High Definition Television (HDTV) Satisfaction ReportSM.
SOURCE VIZIO, Inc.