Polk Audio today announced the latest addition to its speaker lineup, the Polk Assist. A name that is specifically designed to highlight this is a smart speaker and one powered by Google Assistant. In fact, this is a highly Google-integrated speaker in general, as not only does it feature Assistant, but also Chromecast built-in, as well as Google’s IoT-focused platform, Android Things. The latter of which is of note as Polk Audio points out this makes the Polk Assist “one of the first smart speakers built on certified Android Things System-on-Modules (SoMs).” One of the direct benefits of this is the Polk Audio will receive new feature and security-based updates directly from Google.
As a result of this multifaceted Google integration, on top of making use of the various Assistant-related features the Polk Assist is also capable of receiving signals from any and all Cast-enabled apps, while also capable of being used as part of a multi-room setup with other Cast-enabled speakers. This is in addition to its compatibility with some of the company’s other home audio solutions, such as the MagniFi Mini and MagniFi Max. All of this, is also while maintaining the “premium sound” quality and design associated with the Polk Audio brand in general. Speaking of the design, the Polk Assist is a little reminiscent of the original Google Home with the Assist adopting a compact form factor that consists of two distinct parts where the upper (majority part) makes use of a material covering, compared to the molded and non-covered base portion. All of the main controls are positioned on the top of the device and this control panel includes a dedicated Google Assistant button for manual activation – although as to be expected voice control support is included.
In terms of availability, Polk Audio has confirmed the Polk Assist is due to arrive to market at some point in June, 2018, and when it does it will arrive with a $199 price tag attached. At launch, the Polk Assist is expected to be available in two color options, midnight black and cool gray. Both of which can be seen in the images below.