Netgear Orbi Voice is a wireless mesh satellite and smart speaker in one

Netgear Orbi Voice

With Netgear Orbi Voice, the network company finally produced what we wanted to see since smart speakers and wireless mesh routers first arrived: one product that does both. Announced at IFA 2018, Netgear Orbi Voice is a wireless mesh satellite and smart speaker in one.

Netgear Orbi Voice is the logical continuation of the company for its Orbi line of wireless mesh products, bringing Amazon Alexa smarts and a 35-watt audio system into an almost identical-looking product on the line of wireless mesh routers. The biggest difference in design is the touch-sensitive surface at the top to activate Alexa with your fingers.

Well, that and the fabric that surrounds the whole thing … and the subwoofer in the base.

Anyway, the Orbi Voice is designed to complement an existing Netgear Orbi wireless mesh network – you can not start an Orbi network with this product because it is not a router. For that reason, Netgear sells the Orbi Voice only for $ 299 (£ 279, € 329) or in combination with an Orbi Tri-Band WiFi Router for $ 429 (£ 429, € 499) later in September.

Netgear Orbi voice linked to an Orbi Tri-Band WiFi router.

Exciting news – for smart home news

Although this WiFi booster-meets-smart speaker incorporates Harman Kardon-tuned audio through a 3.5-inch front-facing woofer and 1-inch tweeters on top of boosting a tri-band Wi-Fi network over 4,500 square meters, it's sure one of the the more expensive smart speakers out there. For example, an Amazon Echo speaker by itself is only $ 99 (£ 89, AU $ 119).

If you know that, it's clear that the Orbi voice is best for people who just step into this very smart homework that does not have a smart speaker or a wireless mesh router. Getting both essential items into a smart home in a single package is handy enough.

The cross-section of people who own one of these necessary smart household items and not the other is a scary one, and neither situation will save you money with this solution. Nevertheless, Orbi Voice can be an ideal express ticket for a well-functioning smart home for many interested homeowners and tenants.

  • IFA 2018 is Europe & # 39; s biggest technical show. The TechRadar team is in Berlin to bring you all the news and practical first impressions of new phones, watches and other technology as they have been announced.