JBL has launched a new lineup of smart speakers known as JBL Authentics 200, 300, and 500. A unique thing about the speakers is they are the first to offer simultaneous support for Google Assistant and Alexa. JBL’s parent Harman partnered with Google and Amazon to bring the “industry first integration” to fruition.
Support for multiple voice assistants means you can utilize their individual capabilities for various tasks. For instance, you can ask Google Assistant for information about a particular food item and then use Alexa to order it from Amazon.
You can set up both voice assistants using the JBL One app and use the wake words “Hey, Google” or “Alexa” at any time to talk to the respective assistant. The speakers also offer support for Universal Device Commands (UDC) which means you don’t need to remember which service you used to start the particular task.
You can play music, start a timer, alarm, or reminders using one assistant, and then terminate it using another. The JBL Authentics series will be up for grabs online and in stores, starting September 15 in Europe and September 17 in North America.
“With Google Assistant and Alexa available simultaneously, customers have the choice and flexibility to communicate seamlessly with both voice assistants and take advantage of their different capabilities, and switch between them for different activities,” JBL said in a blog post.
Apart from multi-assistant capabilities, the JBL Authentics speakers also offer support for Bluetooth, WiFi, Ethernet, multi-room playback, and automatic self-tuning. Their Quadrex grill and retro design are inspired by the JBL L100 speakers released back in the 1970s.
The top-end model Authentics 500 which is priced at €629.99 ($688.34) is the only one among the three to offer support for Dolby Atmos audio. Meanwhile, the cheapest of the pack Authentics 200 comes with a price tag of €329.99 ($360.56).
You will be able to stream music via AirPlay, Spotify Connect, Chromecast, and Alexa Multi-Room Music (MRM). However, only the Authentics 300 is the one to feature a built-in battery that can last up to 8 hours.