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Smart Speakers

7

Qualcomm announces QCS400 chips to power smart speakers

Smart speakers are big business these days, and Qualcomm wants to be at the heart of as many of those products as possible. The new QCS400 series systems-on-a-chip (SoC) could get it there. The QCS400 comes in several flavors for different levels of speaker power, and the more capable versions offer dedicated AI processing hardware.

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Report: Google's 2019 hardware plans include Pixel 'Lite,' Home refresh, new Nest cameras, and wearables

Google's first-party hardware options may be set to ramp up this year according to a recent report. Based on the details, we might see new product lines as well as refreshes of existing ones. In addition to the already knownupcomingcheaper Pixel "Lite," Nikkei is reporting that Google plans to release its own wearables (plural), a Google Home refresh, and security cameras this year.

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1

Marshall Stanmore II review: A powerful but pricey Assistant speaker

You are no longer stuck with a few Google-branded speaker options if you want to invite Assistant into your home. There are speakers from JBL, Sony, and many others—including Marshall. The updated Marshall Stanmore II speaker launched recently, and it looks like a feasible alternative to Google's best-in-class Home Max. It combines classic Marshall styling with modern voice assistant features, but it comes with a steep $400 asking price.

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5

House of Marley announces refreshed Get Together Mini speaker with Google Assistant

The House of Marley makes a bunch of retro-looking audio gear with an emphasis on sustainability. The company has announced several new products coming this year, among them a refreshed version of its Get Together Mini portable speaker that'll feature everybody's favorite virtual assistant.

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7

Anker Soundcore Model Zero and Zero+ review: Premium wireless speakers, with or without Google Assistant

Anker's Soundcore sub-brand sells all kinds of wireless audio gear, from earbuds to soundbars. They generally target a pretty midrange market; they're not chintzy by any means, but historically, they haven't been expensive, either. Starting at $200, though, Anker's new Soundcore Model Zero and Model Zero+ speakers are decidedly more premium than the company's previous offerings. And while they're not quite a home run, there's a lot to like here.

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7

Google Assistant versions of Marshall's retro-inspired smart speakers are now available

Marshall announced its first smart speakers, the Acton II and Stanmore II, back in August. They released in October, the initial batch packing Amazon's Alexa. Marshall said Google Assistant models were to follow later in the year. Well, it's later, and the company made good on its word: Assistant-compatible versions of the Acton II and Stanmore II are now available.

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30

Google Home Max is way down to $262 ($137 off) with coupon code at Belk

The Google Home Max is Google's biggest and best smart speaker, which makes it a front-runner for best smart speaker, period. It comes with a price tag to match, though, usually fetching $399. It's currently on sale all over the place for $349, but one retailer has an even better deal: department store Belk is selling the speaker for $262 — $137 off MSRP.

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5

The Sonos One is down to $179 for a single ($20 off), $348 for a two-pack ($32 off)

Sonos makes some darn fine and darn expensive audio gear. The popular Sonos One is a small but powerful streaming speaker, and normally sells for a very premium $199. It's $20 off right now in Sonos's holiday sale, bringing the price down to $179. A two-pack can be had for $348, which is $30 to $50 off, depending on who you ask.

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6

[Deal Alert] Get a UE Megablast speaker for $175 ($125 off) on Amazon

Ultimate Ears' Megablast speaker, by all accounts, sounds great. It's pricey, though, at an MSRP of $299.99. Back in April, we saw it going for $190, which was its lowest-ever price up to that point. Right now, it's even cheaper than that: just $175 on Amazon.

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Marshall Voice smart speakers with Amazon Alexa launching October 2, Google Assistant versions coming later this year

Marshall, famed maker of guitar amps and, more recently, cutesy Bluetooth speakers that resemble guitar amps, has announced that it's got a slew of new devices on the horizon. The lineup includes refreshes of both its Acton and Stanmore speakers that will each include support for Amazon Alexa, coming October 2 — with versions sporting the Google Assistant coming later this year.

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