UK price and release date
The Sony speaker has a confirmed price of £200 (you can pre-order one here), and is due to come out on the 1st December 2017.
This is a very competitive price, and sure to be popular. Its competitors include the Google Home speaker, which is currently selling for £130, and the Amazon Echo that runs Alexa and is currently selling for only £99.99.
Build quality and design
The small speaker has a cylinder shape that was encased in an off-white mesh colour and a metal base.
Its distinct and effective LED display sets it apart from other speakers. The small display shows the volume and current time, and it can also be used to view your alarm. The entire display can be disabled if you prefer it that way.
The speaker is IPX3-certified, which means it will cope with a small splash, but it won't survive and downpour if let in the garden.
Gesture controls, are a feature of the Sony LF-S50G, rotating your finger at the top of the speaker will adjust the volume, and shifting your palm over it will change the track.
If you prefer to push the buttons, you’ll have to look at the back of the speaker to find a dedicated Bluetooth pairing button and a mic-qmute that prevents Google Assistant listening in. There are two microphones that are used to work with Google Assistant.
The speaker connects through a Bluetooth 4.2 connection and, due to its Google integration, has 802.11abgn Wi-Fi built-in. This means you can connect the speaker to your home network and use its multi-room functionalities to seamlessly play music with other LF-S50G speakers in your home. NFC and Chromecast are also built into the Sony speaker.
I didn’t really get to hear the Sony speaker in its full glory, due to it being at an open public show and not getting the chance to try it out properly. However, first impressions reveal that the speaker to has good 360-degree sound. This is thanks to its downward-firing woofer that produces a punchy bass, while the upward-firing tweeter handles the treble.
The sound is better than that of the Google Home and Amazon Echo devices, which is unsurprising given Sony's pedigree. The lows have a solid presence and the trebles extend relatively well, albeit being rolled off at the top end.
First impressions, the Sony LF-S50G offers a valid alternative to the Google Home and Amazon Echo devices. With Google Assistant built in, the Sony offers superior sound at a superior price. The addition of a display is a great addition, and integrates well within the speaker. Until I get chance to put it through it paces we will have to wait and see, but I do think it will be popular and does offer something different.