All products featured are independently chosen by us. However, SoundGuys may receive a commission on orders placed through its retail links. See our ethics statement.
The new Whyd speaker combines voice commands with good sound
If wireless audio was the future of 10 years ago, smarter speakers are the future today. Amazon has already had some success with their Echo line of products, Bluetooth speaker with a voice-activated virtual assistant named Alexa built in. You can ask it questions, set timers, and of course play music. Even Google thought this was too good an idea to pass up on and UE also pushed an update to two of their speakers that let them piggyback off of the AI built into your smart phone. But now a company named Whyd is entering the fray with what could be the best sounding one yet.
The simply named Whyd speaker stands 11.5” tall and weighs 134 ounces. It isn’t exactly an ultra portable speaker but then again, it isn’t meant to be. It’s designed to be left on a coffee table or entertainment system and forgotten about until you want to fill the room with music. Up top is a simple touch-sensitive interface that’ll let you control what’s playing with a few simple taps and swipes, assuming you don’t want to just use your voice. Underneath the quality fabric that covers the speaker is a small RGB LCD display which lights up with different icons depending on what you’re doing.
But on to the fun part.
But on to the fun part. The Whyd uses five omnidirectional microphones with an advanced noise cancellation processor. That means that it will pick up your voice up to 5 meters away even while you’re playing music. Besides basic playback controls like pausing and playing music, skipping between tracks, and volume control, the Whyd will also play specific songs, artists, or playlists when commanded. It’s like your own personal robot DJ.
It aims to give you all the functionality that comes along with a voice interface, but without skimping out on the audio quality in the way that other smart speakers do. It has a 100mm subwoofer designed for a deep and enjoyable low end and four 40mm full range drivers to cover everything. Each driver is pointed in a different direction, meaning that the speaker can play music in 360-degrees so you’ll get great sound anywhere in the room.
You can still control it from anywhere in the house.
You can connect it to your devices using Bluetooth 4.0 if you choose, but you can also connect it to your home Wi-Fi network for a multi-room setup since it’s Airplay and Google Cast compatible as well. For multi-room playback you’ll need to have more than one Whyd speaker but if you only get one you can still control it from anywhere in the house. Simply download the free app and choose which speakers you want to control. The app is also where you’ll go for new software updates as they come out. The speaker comes in a few different color options so you’re sure to find one to match your preferred aesthetic.
The speaker isn’t available just yet, but you can pre-order it now at the Whyd website if you want to be one of the first to get this speaker when it begins shipping in early 2017. It will retail for $499 when it’s officially released but if you pre-order it now you can get one for only $299. On top of that if you enter the promo code “GETWHYD” at checkout you’ll receive an extra $50 off. Welcome to the future, where we talk to our speakers.