This year’s main theme for multi-room products is embedded digital assistants with Google Assistant or Amazons Alexa.
The one and the three from Klipsch will be released with Google assistant.
Altech lansing releases three speakers with Google assistant built-in, GVA1, GVA3 and GVA4.
Bang & Olufsen will launch devices this year with Google Assistant. They will also support other voice assistants when they become available to third parties (Siri) or support multiroom for third-party devices (Alexa).
B&O also announced that 10 of their devices will get AirPlay 2 support, including the Beoplay M3, M5, A9 mk2 and the Beosound range. There will be a software update shortly after the official AirPlay 2 launch.
Smart displays are a new type of products that in some cases could be part of a multi-room music setup through built-in Chromecast support. They do not however have powerful speakers due to their slim design, so a compliment in a kitchen maybe, but not as the main music source in the living room.
JBL Link View is an interesting example with two front-facing 10W speakers and a rear-facing passive radiator for more bass. It also has support for 24-bit HD audio streaming and built-in Chromecast.
Vifas new version of their Copenhagen speaker has Bluetooth, Qualcomm aptX HD audio and Apple AirPlay. It also has a rechargeable battery. With their app Vifa Home, you can play music from Spotify, QQ Music and TuneIn.