Whyd, a French startup that was once a music-based social network, has announced its first physical device, and it's a speaker that combines two things I love: high-fidelity audio and yelling at things. The Whyd speaker is a wireless home speaker with four drivers and a subwoofer that can be paired together over Wi-Fi to create a multi-room system much like Sonos, with the added benefit of voice recognition.
The pill-shaped speaker uses five microphones to allow you to give commands up to 5 meters away using natural language. You can play songs, look up artists, and start playlists all with your voice. There's also an app and a glass touchpad on top of the speaker, in case you don't feel like talking to inanimate objects all day.
Whyd works with every major streaming service including Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play Music, Tidal, SoundCloud, and Deezer, and you can use your local music using Bluetooth, AirPlay, or Google Cast. It will be available in five different colors; white, gray, blue, yellow, and peach. There are questions surrounding how well the voice recognition actually works — many have tried an only a few have succeed at making great natural language voice recognition software. Most importantly, how good is the sound quality on the not-so-cheap speaker?
Whyd isn't short on competition either, having to jump over Sonos, Bose, Samsung, LG, and a slew of other competitors. But if you're interested, you can preorder Whyd today for $299, a noticeable discount from the $499 retail price it will hit shelves with when it's released sometime before the end of the year.