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Vizio Introduces Portable Smart Audio: Bluetooth Speakers With Built-in Android Displays

Vizio, a company mostly know for affordable TVs, is attempting to combine both the Android and Bluetooth speaker game at the same time this year with the announcement of their new Portable Smart Audio speaker lineup. And when I say “both” I’m talking about Bluetooth speakers with built-in touch-screens that run Android 4.4 “Kit Kat” and have access to Google services. Think of a Jambox or Braven speaker with an Android tablet or phone attached. 

Vizio introduced two models, one with a 7-inch display and another with a 4.7-inch display. They are powered by quad-core processors, have built-in 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth, USB ports for adding external storage, and are built to be portable.

As an Android device, each speaker can download almost any app, thanks to Google Play support. You can play music through Google Music or any of your other favorite music services, watch videos or movies directly on the device, or pair the speaker with your phone should you be out of range of a WiFi connection.

As a speaker, Vizio claims that both speakers offer “superior audio quality that even discerning audiophiles can appreciate.” Since they are portable, that would mean a product that “marries convenience with high performance audio quality in a unique, no-compromise mobile design.”

Pricing and availability was not announced.

Press Release

VIZIO Debuts Innovative, Portable Smart Audio Line-Up, Delivering Powerful Audio in an All-in-One Solution

Monday, January 6, 2014 8:11:06 AM America/Los_Angeles

Unique Design Frees Consumers from Mobile Devices Tethered to Speakers, Offering An Uninterrupted Entertainment Experience with High-Performance Audio and Touchscreen Convenience In One Beautifully Smart Audio Solution

Irvine, CA and Las Vegas, NV — January 6, 2014 — VIZIO, America’s #1 Sound Bar company1, announced today a revolutionary new product category with the debut of the VIZIO 7” and 4.7” portable smart audio. A solution for today’s streaming audio fan, VIZIO’s portable smart audio line-up differs from existing Bluetooth or wireless speakers by delivering a complete “smart” audio experience. Combining unparalleled high-quality audio performance with a built-in touchscreen display that runs Android KitKat, VIZIO’s latest audio innovation is built for easy direct streaming. Rather than being tethered to a Bluetooth-enabled or docked device, the VIZIO portable smart audio collection offers consumers all-in-one portability that allows audio and video apps to be streamed independently from smartphones or tablets. Thanks to Android KitKat, streaming content like music, TV shows, movies and games is easier than ever. VIZIO will be showcasing its new smart audio products at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, NV at the Wynn Hotel, by appointment only.

As an established leader in the audio space and America’s #1 Smart TV company2, VIZIO is uniquely positioned to deliver on the needs of today’s users, who consume as much audio and video content over the Internet as they do through conventional channels.  The VIZIO 7” and 4.7” portable smart audio products feature superior audio quality that even discerning audiophiles can appreciate, complete with integrated deep bass modules for low frequency fidelity. From the office, to kitchen, to beach or backyard BBQ, the portability of VIZIO’s portable smart audio line-up marries convenience with high performance audio quality in a unique, no-compromise mobile design.

Current wireless speakers or docks that solely rely on Bluetooth or a physical connection often interrupt the audio experience when incoming calls, e-mails, text messages or other notifications come through the connected device. With VIZIO portable smart audio, consumers can now discover an uninterrupted entertainment experience from a complete, standalone solution.

“After looking very closely at the audio space, VIZIO decided it needed to be disrupted with a combination of our leading audio and smart TV technologies,” said Matt McRae, Chief Technology Officer, VIZIO. “Our new portable smart audio line-up reinvents the category by combining class-leading audio performance with a full touchscreen Android platform, delivering a first-class device capable of streaming music, playing games and watching video directly from the cloud or local storage.”

The innovative VIZIO portable smart audio line-up will debut with two sizes, offering either a 7” or 4.7” touchscreen display for easy access to Android apps for streaming audio and video playback. Equipped with 802.11n, apps can be downloaded and accessed whenever the portable smart audio device is connected to Wi-Fi.  When out of wireless range, users can also play content from their smartphone or tablet using Bluetooth, or utilize the portable smart audio’s on-board memory for local playback of their favorite tunes. Alternatively, a USB port is available for additional storage expansion.

Designed with performance and convenience in mind, the innovative all-in-one design maximizes both volume and audio quality in a compact design, with the 7” display model featuring a sleek integrated handle for grab-and-go portability. A simple out-of-the-box set-up, similar to that of a smartphone or tablet, allows consumers to start enjoying content quickly and easily. The built-in, rechargeable lithium ion battery ensures the device can deliver hours of entertainment for a completely mobile and uninterrupted entertainment experience that frees the user to use their smartphone or tablet for other tasks.

More information on VIZIO’s innovative smart audio device, including price and retail partners, will be released closer to product availability. For more information on VIZIO’s complete product line-up, visit VIZIO.com/CES.

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