Telecomms giant Altice USA has announced its first smart speaker, the Altice Amplify – and the firm has teamed up with none other than French audio brand Devialet for the project.
The Amplify is somewhat unique in that, as well as Devialet's sound technologies and the typical voice-controlled features provided by Amazon Alexa, it offers hands-free voice control of the Altice One all-encompassing TV streaming and broadband platform.
With the speaker, Altice One users can, therefore, leverage Alexa to, for example, change channels and launch apps using their voice.
The Altice Amplify takes advantage of several of Devialet's patented technologies, including SPACE spatialisation sound processing, Speaker Active Matching (SAM) technology (which works to minimise latency and distortion from whatever is playing), and Adaptive Volume Level (AVL), which automatically adjusts volume to eliminate the need to manually adjust volume at key moments – like during crucial movie dialogue.
In terms of the speaker's configuration, the Amplify comprises two Diamond woofers, designed by Devialet, in a “Push-Push” configuration that's designed to reduce vibrations and deliver "implosive" bass. Also inside are six, far-field microphones promising to pick up sound from across the room (yes, even if the TV is on) with an instant mute button to turn off listening when necessary.
With Alexa built-in, the Amplify naturally supports popular streaming music services like Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music, Apple Music, Tidal, and iHeart Radio, as well as Audible for audiobooks and TuneIn for radio.
Altice Amplify will be available for purchase later this year on Amazon.com and in the retail stores of Altice’s Optimum and Suddenlink brands. Pricing will be $399 for Optimum and Suddenlink customers, and $499 for non-customers.