Combining a smart speaker to a mesh router is not a new idea. Netgear was the first to propose the concept with a speaker for its Orbi system, logically called Orbi Voice. An innovative system for extending your mesh network with a device that also fulfils the function of a smart speaker. Smart.
At CES 2019, it was Asus’ turn to present an equivalent product to expand its Lyra range. Very inspired, the Taiwanese company’s marketing team chose to call its new product Lyra Voice and step on its competitor’s shoes….
Asus Lyra Voice: a 2-in-one system
Lyra Voice is a tri-band Wi-Fi 5 (AC2200) mesh tri-band router equipped with AiMesh and AiProtection Pro technologies. Its particularity, as you will have understood, is also to be a smart speaker integrating bass-reflex stereo speakers with a passive radiator, DTS surround sound, but also Bluetooth to broadcast its music wirelessly.
Can be used as a simple router, Lyra Voice can also be used as a Wi-Fi repeater, or even better integrated into an AiMesh system with up to five access points. The list of compatible devices is quite large and will allow many Asus router owners to simply add Lyra Voice to their system (Lyra range, ROG Rapture GT-AX11000, GT-AC5300, RT-AX88U, RT-AC68U, RT-AC86U, RT-AC88U, etc.).
An Alexa router speaker that blends into your interior
As you can imagine, if this system has caught our attention, it is of course because it is compatible with Alexa. Even better, our voice assistant is directly integrated and the Lyra Voice is therefore a two-in-one system: a mesh router and an Alexa smart speaker.
The device logically includes two microphones with omnidirectional voice detection at far field, as well as a Synaptics audio chip for background noise suppression and filtering. You can easily dictate Alexa controls and control your music or home automation as you wish.
Unlike the brand’s routers, this mesh speaker does not have visible antennas and its longitudinal design covered with anthracite fabric will integrate much more easily into your interior. A design very similar to the Sonos speakers recently presented by IKEA and more accomplished, in our opinion, than that of Orbi Voice. Unlike the latter, Asus does not seem to have called on a Hi-Fi specialist, which does not augur well for its audio qualities, as partnerships are sometimes overdone.