Panasonic isn’t the only one with a Google Home competitor at IFA 2017, with Sony also unveiling a new smart speaker with the Google Assistant built-in.

Dubbed the LF-S50G, Sony’s smart speaker is pretty much the same as every other. It packs an array of microphones, a collection of speakers, and the Google Assistant. It can play music, answer questions and control smart home devices all through simple voice commands. So far, so familiar.

So why is Sony launching a smart speaker of its very own? Well, the company is leaning on its audio expertise to offer a better sounding smart speaker. Now that’s something we’ve heard time and time again, but Sony actually means it. Its smart speaker is one of the first that beams audio 360° and has enough power to fill an entire kitchen and smaller living rooms.

Sony is calling the LF-S50G a ‘full range speaker’ and supposedly gives equal attention to vocals, treble and bass. It’s not all about sound, however. The Japanese technology giant has also spent considerable time honing the design of this device, with a stylish exterior and a practical IPX3 rating. While that doesn’t mean this smart speaker is waterproof, it is at least splash proof – ideal for use in the kitchen.

Like every other speaker with the Google Assistant, users can set up this speaker through the dedicated Google Home app. From there those with an LF-S50G are free to set the speaker up in a group with other Chromecast-enabled speakers, or fine tune the settings of the Google Assistant to recognise multiple users.

Sony says that its new smart speaker will cost £200 in the UK, an irritating price point considering the $200 pricing in the US (thanks Brexit). Sony expects that the speaker will begin shipping in November.

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