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FABRIQ Chorus review: Standing out from the crowd

Fabriq is a relatively-new speaker brand. Its first product was the Fabriq RIFF, a speaker about the size of an Echo Dot, but covered with a soft fabric in a variety of patterns. Not only did it have the Amazon Alexa voice assistant, but you could connect more than one for synced multi-speaker playback (like Google Cast/AirPlay). The Riff used either a direct microUSB connection for charging, or the included charging dock.

Today, Fabriq unveiled its second speaker, the Chorus. In most regards, it's a larger and more powerful version of the Riff, but with the added bonus of Alexa always-listening for commands (the Riff required a button press to activate Alexa).

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Harman Kardon and DTS announce new Alexa-powered speakers

There is no shortage of Alexa-powered smart speakers at this point. Even though the first third-party Google Assistant smart speakers were the stars of IFA in Berlin this past week (at least as far as audio products go), Amazon hasn't been resting on its laurels. A few more Alexa speakers were revealed at the event, including ones from big-name companies like DTS and Harman (parent company of JBL).

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FABRIQ, an Amazon Alexa-enabled wireless speaker, goes on sale for just $50

Amazon's Alexa voice control assistant is undeniably slick, but the initially limited availability and high price of the flagship Echo device kept it out of the hands of a lot of people. New Alexa-powered gadgets like the Echo Dot and Amazon Tap have lowered the barrier to entry, but the real opportunity is in devices that license Alexa for use on other hardware. Such is the case with FABRIQ, an inexpensive wireless speaker that works with Alexa out of the box.

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