The audio experts and creators at Xperi took to Business Wire on Wednesday to reveal that Alibaba's latest smart speaker, the Tmall Genie C1, exclusively utilizes the company's DTS Sound post-processing technology, though do keep in mind that an image of the device is not yet available. While this is not the first collaboration Xperi has undertaken to include DTS Sound in a smart device, it should make the Chinese tech giant's offering much more appealing. Mainly, that's because it should equate to benefits centered a decent boost to sound quality and optimization from the latest of the Alibaba AI Labs-developed listening device.
As to the device itself, Xperi didn't provide any real details on that front. The speaker is said to be up for sale in China, as of the announcement and will likely follow in the same vein as the original Tmall Genie smart speaker – launched in July of last year. That speaker was a direct competitor to Amazon's Echo lineup and sold at $73 at launch. Like that other speaker, this is described as taking a small form factor and packing a punch for its size. So it stands to reason there won't be a big change in pricing. However, the company has probably updated the internals. The previous model utilized a quad-core Cortex A35 CPU SoC and it wouldn't be at all surprising to learn that this one boosts the power on those cores to support better integration via Alibaba's Tmall Genie voice assistant. The speakers of that particular speaker also featured an active noise reduction mechanism and both far and near-field pickup systems. The two inclusions still make perfect sense in a connected voice-interactive speaker. So those have probably been further optimized for the new C1 model of Alibaba's smart speaker.
However, it's harder to guess at the other aspects of the device such as color availability or whether or not Alibaba has opted to keep the original's RBG user-controlled light ring. That added a bit of personalization to the first Tmall Genie speaker, allowing users to pick from 16 million colors, while the speaker itself was only available in black or white. It's possible that the company chose to offer even more options with this year's Tmall Genie C1. The inclusion of DTS Sound should deliver substantial improvements regardless. So users in China who want to check out the device will want to head over to Alibaba to have a look at the new IoT device for themselves.