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Sony brings Google Cast and party lights to its wireless speakers

Sony brings Google Cast and party lights to its wireless speakers


Speakers for everyone

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If you’re in the market for wireless speakers, Sony just announced a ton of them, beefing up its offering from high-end Sonos competitors, down to run of the mill portable Bluetooth options.

At the high end, Sony’s new four-speaker SRS-ZR7 is the newest addition to its home audio system designed to compete with Sonos. The speaker can playback hi-fi audio and stream music using Google Cast and Spotify Connect. It can also be used in a multi-room setup and controlled via Sony’s SongPal application. Sony has made a smaller version, the SRS-ZR5, which can be paired with the SRS-ZR7 for stereo sound. Both speakers are also equipped with an HDMI ARC port, which will let you easily send the sound from your TV and components through the speakers.

In an expansion of its Extra Bass line of products, Sony has announced three new speakers, the SRS-XB2, SRS-XB3, and the GTK-XB7. (At this point, you may be asking yourself; why doesn’t Sony name its speakers with fun names? Well you just keep reading and you’ll find out why not.)

Sony's wireless speakers at CES 2016


The SRS-XB2 and SRS-XB3 are Sony’s Beats Pill competitors, and offer hi-fi audio playback, and NFC and Bluetooth support. The SRS-XB3 features a USB port that will allow you to charge your smartphone with the speaker, which Sony says will last 24 hours on a full charge. The smaller SRS-XB2 will last 12 hours on a single charge according to Sony. Both speakers are water-resistant and will be available in black, red, and blue.

The GTK-XB7 is a boombox-sized speaker that comes with a USB port allowing for direct playback via a smartphone or tablet (it also supports NFC and Bluetooth). Sony has clearly built this speaker to handle parties, as the speaker can light up in concert with the music it’s playing. You can also select your own lighting settings, use an equalizer feature, and pair the speaker with a second GTK-XB7 for stereo playback via the Sony SongPal app.

Speaker party lights

Sony is bringing that same hi-fi audio playback down to its Bluetooth speakers with the unfortunately named h.ear.go, which the company is touting as the smallest speaker ever with hi-fi audio playback capabilities. The speaker will come in a number of different colors, and Sony says it will last 12 hours on a single charge. It also features one-touch NFC connectivity, and users will be able to combine multiple h.ear.go speakers to create surround sound using the SongPal app after a software update this summer.

Sony says its new wireless speaker lineup will be available this spring, but has not shared pricing on any of the devices.

See all of our CES 2016 news right here!