Distributed Home Audio 2018 Trends: Smart Speakers and More

April 12, 2018

At Allion USA, we spend a lot of time trend watching within the consumer electronics industry and distributed home audio is an example of a new direction we are seeing in the marketplace. According to a survey from NPR and Edison Research, one in six Americans already owns a smart speaker. Given the rapid adoption rate of this tech, we began tracking a few lesser known concepts that are becoming more common in 2018 and examining how audio plays into the greater connected home ecosystem.

Smart Speakers are the heart of the home

According to Radio World, some broadcasters believe “the smart speaker is the new in-home radio.” The popularity of Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomePod and more have allowed residences to become mini concert halls featuring multichannel and often multi-room audio systems. This new focus on distributed home audio means that consumers never miss a beat; even when moving from room to room.

Voice Control improves ease of use

Another critical tool that has allowed distributed home audio to really take hold is the increased use of voice control through the smart speakers. While this has been a common feature across smart assistants for some time, certain applications are exploring proprietary voice control options to improve user experience. Spotify is experimenting with the option to control their app with voice commands and there are rumors a Spotify smart speaker may even be on the horizon.

Bluetooth Integration opens doors

Residential audio solutions that rely on proprietary connections can sometimes limit the possibilities for consumers. Google Home recently added Bluetooth connectivity, expanding the range of compatible speakers beyond Google Cast-enabled speakers. The integration of Bluetooth creates an opportunity for companies to offer products based on established industry standards and to expand the ecosystem of interoperable devices.

Distributed home audio testing is an essential element of Allion USA’s service offerings. Our latest solution brief about our audio lab and tools highlights Allion USA’s uniquely customizable approach. Contact us today to learn more about how our team can help ensure “the beat goes on” for your customers.