It's becoming more and more common for regular consumers to install mesh router systems in their homes, and Netgear's Orbi is a popular option. At CES earlier this year, the company introduced a robust outdoor satellite to its lineup, and another new router has been unveiled at IFA 2018 in Berlin.
Orbi Voice takes what the series already does very well and adds an Amazon Alexa-capable speaker to the mix. To ensure the best sound possible, Netgear partnered with premium audio brand Harman Kardon, which has also announced a range of new products here at IFA.
The device offers WiFi performance of up to 3Gbps and when used with the Tri-band Orbi WiFi System you can get coverage of up to 4,500 square feet. This Voice-controllable satellite also comes with two Gigabit Ethernet ports for rapid file transfers. As with any Alexa speaker, you can get it to play music, check the news, or control your other smart home devices — it does everything an Amazon Echo can do.
With Harman Kardon providing the audio hardware, you can expect high-quality sound that will fill almost any room. Orbi Voice packs a 3.5-inch Woofer and a 1-inch tweeter, 35W of peak output, and has a frequency response of 63Hz-20KHz. There are also four microphones with far-field voice recognition so that Alexa won't struggle to hear your commands. Touch controls are to be found on top, including a neat volume adjustment slider (below).
In the US, Orbi Voice will set you back $299.99, but you'll need the Orbi Mesh WiFi System to use it with. You can get both together for $429.99. The package will be available next month, with the Voice satellite going on sale by itself in the Fall.
We spent a few minutes with the device here at IFA 2018 in Berlin, and it seemed like an interesting piece of kit. The speaker sounded decent enough, even with the hustle and bustle of the trade show floor in the background, but we didn't have enough time with it to test it out properly.
NETGEAR DEBUTS THE WORLD’S FIRST MESH WIFI SYSTEM WITH
ALEXA BUILT-IN SMART SPEAKER AND AUDIO BY HARMAN KARDON
Use your voice to play music and control smart home devices while enjoying award- winning WiFi everywhere with the Orbi Voice WiFi System combining WiFi mesh and a premium smart speaker for incredibly rich, room-filling sound
BERLIN — August 30, 2018 — NETGEAR®, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTGR), the leading provider of networking devices that power today’s smart home and small business connectivity, today announced at the IFA trade show in Berlin, the world’s first mesh WiFi System with OrbiTM Voice Smart Speaker and WiFi Mesh Satellite with Built-In Amazon AlexaTM. Orbi Voice as part of any Orbi WiFi System creates expansive whole home WiFi coverage up to 4,500 square feet (186 square meters) or more of high-performance WiFi up to 3Gigabits per second combined WiFi speed, along with premium audio by Harman Kardon® for incredible sound in any room. With the built-in Amazon voice assistant capability fully integrated into Orbi Voice Satellite, Alexa can be asked to play music from the most popular music services as well as, set alarms, control IoT devices, check traffic, weather, sports scores, and so much more, without needing a separate Amazon Echo device.
“The two fastest growing consumer trends for Smart Home technology have been the popularity of the voice assistant control and the growth of WiFi mesh systems. NETGEAR, the established leader of WiFi Mesh with our award- winning Orbi Whole Home Tri-band Mesh WiFi systems and Nighthawk Mesh WiFi extenders, today, is driving the next step in innovation with by combining Alexa and a WiFi mesh satellite into a single consumer solution,” said David Henry, senior vice president of Connected Home Products for NETGEAR. “Orbi Voice is the result of combining the three key
technologies used in the Smart Home environment in order to deliver both exceptional WiFi and quality sound from our audio technology partner Harman Kardon. It is also widely known that the most popular skill employed with smart speakers is to enjoy streaming music services. To address this need, we have taken our expertise in WiFi and married it with a legend in the industry, Harman Kardon, to deliver superior sound quality while aligning with the leading providers of streaming music to give our customers the best WiFi and HiFi in one package.”
Orbi Voice will delight your friends and family with superior sound clarity providing a captivating listening experience. Premium audio by Harman Kardon® creates exceptionally rich, room-filling sound. A built-in four-microphone array and far-field voice recognition enables Orbi Voice to hear you from across the room. To easily adjust the volume and equalizer controls, simply use the Orbi mobile app to adjust the treble and bass emanating from the 3.5-inch front-facing woofer and 1- inch tweeter.
With its sleek, modern design, Orbi Voice is the perfect smart speaker to display on a bookshelf, side table or kitchen counter, so you can listen to your favorite music and podcasts in any room, without missing a beat. Combining a voice service, high-end audio and high-performance WiFi in one device, eliminates the clutter of three individual products to deliver the same features. With Orbi Voice, you will ask Alexa to enjoy music from the most popular music streaming providers, such as Spotify®, Amazon® Music, Pandora®, iHeartRadio®, TuneIn, Deezer and other services. You can also turn to Orbi Voice and ask Alexa to paly audiobooks from Audible, podcasts, radio stations, news briefs, and more – all you have to do is ask.
The Orbi Mesh WiFi System
WiFi Systems are designed for a broad range of home environments, from apartments and lofts to single family homes and sprawling estates. The new Orbi Tri-band Mesh WiFi System with Orbi Voice Smart Speaker and WiFi Satellite (RBK50V) delivers up to 3Gbps* high- performance WiFi coverage for homes up to 4,500 square feet (418 square meters) for a nearly zero buffering and no dead zones WiFi experience.
The new Orbi System is ready right out of the box and will work with current internet service providers. Setup for an Orbi System is easy using a mobile device through the free Orbi app. It offers easy network management and helps to keep the device current with automated Orbi software updates for new features and WiFi enhancements. Through the Orbi app, set Circle® Smart Parental Controls on NETGEAR to manage content and time spent online on a per-child or per-device basis. You’ll also benefit from a separate guest WiFi network and other advanced router features.
Each Orbi Voice Satellite offers two Gigabit Ethernet ports for connecting wired devices for even faster file transfers and reliable connections.
Pricing and Availability
An Orbi Mesh WiFi System (RBK50V) consisting of the Orbi Tri-Band WiFi Router plus one Orbi Voice Smart Speaker and WiFi Satellite will be available later next month for an MSRP of $429.99 (USD) £429.99(GBP) and €499.99 (EUR).
For those who have an Orbi WiFi system, the add-on Orbi Voice Smart Speaker and WiFi Mesh satellite (RBS40V) by NETGEAR will be available this fall through authorized NETGEAR partners and other reseller channels, ecommerce sites, and major retailers, at an MSRP of $299.99 (USD), £279.99(GBP) and € 329.99 (EUR).
Orbi products are available through authorized NETGEAR partners and other reseller channels, ecommerce sites, and major retailers. Please visit the NETGEAR website to see other models available in the Orbi Tri-Band Home WiFi System family.