Voice assistants don't seem to be going anywhere. If anything, they're becoming more and more ubiquitous. Case in point: Bose's new line of soundbars and speakers with Alexa and other smarts built in. Out of the box, the Home Speaker 500, Soundbar 500 and Soundbar 700 will react when you start shouting commands at Amazon's digital assistant this October. Bose promises that other voice assistants will follow at some ambiguous point, and early next year there will be an update that adds AirPlay 2 streaming.
The company thinks what will set its products apart from the competition its mic system carried over from its smart headphones, which launched with Google Assistant before adding Alexa earlier this month. Specifically, the mic array is tuned to better hear voice commands when you've got the volume up louder. Smart. Bose says that you only need a single 8x6x4-inch Speaker 500 (below) for "true stereo separation," without the need to pair another for accurate stereo imaging. That's thanks in part to the two drivers pointed in opposite directions, rather than using a single cone and software like other speakers. At $399.95, you'd hope that'd be the case.
If you're in the market for a new soundbar, maybe the 500 and 700 (above) series will do the trick for you. They too feature Alexa, along with a bunch of proprietary software designed to simulate surround sound regardless of the room you're in. Like other Bose products though, these don't come cheap: The smaller (31 inches long) 500 will set you back $549.95, while the 700 measures in at over 38 inches long and comes with a remote will cost $799.95 in just over a month.
Assuming you don't want to deal with the hassle of running copper wire around your apartment or invest in a proper surround sound setup though, these could be what you're looking for -- just know that there are cheaper options available. Bose says the next speakers should be available in October.
Update, 3:40PM ET: This post has been updated with timing for the speakers' launch.
Follow all the latest news from IFA 2018 here!