A couple days ago, Polk Audio announced a new speaker aptly called the Assist. Not only does it have full Chromecast capabilities, but it also comes with Assistant for voice commands, searches, and smart home controls. Available next month, it will cost $199 according to Polk's press release.

Looking to be a bit bigger than a Google Home, the Assist is built on Android Things — actually, it's the first speaker to sport a System-on-Module, so it will get security patches and updates directly from Google. All in all, this sounds like an intriguing product, potentially a more powerful Home for $70 more.

It will come in either white or black. And since it's a Chromecast speaker, it supports multi-room, too. Again, Polk says that the Assist will be available in June for $199.

Press Release

VISTA, Calif. (May 10, 2018)Polk Audio, a high-performance audio brand with a 45 plus-year legacy of sound engineering and design, today announced the Polk Assist. The voice-controlled smart speaker features Polk premium sound and the Google Assistant built-in for hands-free help around the house, music streaming and control of your smart home devices. Additionally, with Chromecast built-in, users can group multiple Chromecast-enabled speakers and sound bars for effortless multiroom playback from compatible audio apps including Pandora, TuneIn, Google Play Music, iHeartRadio, NPR and Spotify[1].

“Polk Audio is committed to providing premium audio solutions enabled by the Google Assistant and Chromecast. With the addition of the Polk Assist smart speaker, consumers can easily add Google Assistant’s hands-free convenience and Chromecast’s hi-res multi-room audio streaming to their home,” said Michael Greco, global brand director, Polk Audio. “Polk Assist complements and works with our existing Chromecast-enabled sound bars, including the MagniFi Mini and MagniFi Max.”

Optimizing set-up and control, users simply plug in the Polk Assist and download the free Google Home app in the App Store for iOS or Google Play for Android to begin using the smart speaker. Available in midnight black and cool gray, the superb-sounding compact smart speaker will fit in most spaces and complement any home.

Built on the Android Things platform, Polk Audio leverages Google’s intelligent learning algorithms and the Android development and partner ecosystems to deliver a smart, hands-free premium audio experience. The Polk Assist speaker is one of the first smart speakers built on certified Android Things System-on-Modules (SoMs) which benefit from regular feature and security updates from Google.

High-Level Polk Assist Product Features:

  • Heritage Sound—For the love of music Polk designed the tweeter, woofer and amplifier to deliver amazing room-filling sound from users’ favorite music app.
  • Hands-Free Control—Powered by the Google Assistant and Chromecast, users can easily stream music, find answers on Google Search, plan their day, set timers, make calls, and control smart home devices.
  • Chromecast Built-In—Users can cast from compatible audio apps, including Pandora, TuneIn, Google Play Music, YouTube Music, iHeartRadio, NPR and Spotify.
  • Multi-Room Playback—Group multiple Chromecast enabled speakers and sound bars for a whole-home wireless music experience.
  • Easy Setup with Google Home app—Simply plug-in power and download the free Google Home app for iOS or Android devices.
  • Always Getting Smarter—The Assist will automatically update itself with the latest Google Assistant features.

Available in June 2018, the Polk Assist will retail in the U.S. for $199. For more information about the Polk Audio Assist Smart Speaker and additional voice assist products from the Polk brand, please visit polkaudio.com.