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

vizio smart audio

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.

  • henk

    When’s the portable speaker in Holland? I can’t wait to buy the speaker

  • Brian Kilbride

    I assume that this is not a battery operated device. The marketing photos depict the speaker being used on a cooler at the beach. Is it rechargeable?

  • QPHALO

    This won’t be cheap.

  • TC Infantino

    If the price is right, I am thinking this would be a great bedside radio/alarmclock/entertainment system. I would buy it in a heartbeat if it isn’t overpriced.

  • Raven

    Nice looking concept, but not the implementation I am looking for. I don’t want another Android device in my boombox any more than I want another one in my watch. They need to think more like Pebble and make a boombox with an energy efficient screen that can be tied to my phone to show track info, show some EQ settings, show a clock with alarms, show incoming messages, that sort of thing. But still last a long time and not cost an arm and a leg because it contains its own quad core processor and memory.

  • walfart

    vizio and audiophile should NEVER be in the same sentence. gtfo walmart

    • Chris

      They sell vizios elsewhere.

      Nice try though

  • rutgersjaffo

    If I didn’t already own a Big Jambox, I would be intrigued.

  • droidify

    My guess is it will be priced at $399 for 4.7″ and $499 for the 7″
    That will be out of range for most people but that is an awesome design and idea. It will definitely be on my wish list if the execution is good. Vizio has a tendency to get products either really right or really wrong.

  • Jason Kahn

    I kind of the dig the idea, just hope the specs are good, and it’s not overly difficult to connect up a bluetooth gaming controller. HDMI out would be nice to.

    • QPHALO

      Now that would probably increase sales and make for a really good device. Playing your favorite games with good sound blasting at you. I like.

  • emoney

    if their 50 inch TVs are around $500 this has got to be under $150

    • http://people.ign.com/mrfrodo24 MrFrodo24

      Not how it works, my friend. You’ll be lucky if the lower-end model is below $200.

    • QPHALO

      Really? How’s the picture quality?

  • Keith Taylor

    So basically a boom box for the 21st century.

  • BeejRich

    Price is everything. I may want one of these.

  • Adrynalyne

    I like my UE Boom, don’t know I would want a screen to go with it…

  • https://twitter.com/KryptosXLayer2 KryptosXLayer2

    Looking forward to it, this will certainly be replacing my Jambox with a dead Bluetooth chip – plays just fine when connected through 3.5mm cable, but won’t connect to anything via Bluetooth. Like others said, keep it priced within reach and thousands will reach for it!

  • fartbubbler

    yum!

  • Jared Denman

    “know” should be “known” in the first sentence. :) cheers!

  • irtechneo

    I like how they show Netflix House of Cards at the end…..cant think of a reason I would want to watch a movie on this thing with such a small screen. You have to get close to see it and then you are right next to them speakers. Weird. I would love this for music though…

    • MasterEthan

      4.7 Inch maybe but there will be a 7″ option too, so it’d be like watching on a Nexus 7 while your out of town or something.

  • joejoe5709

    I can’t believe these things run Kit Kat. That’s crazy. As for the speakers, they have massive potential. Definitely interested in seeing some reviews. These speakers + Dead Trigger or Asphalt 8 + gaming controller = Pure Awesome?

  • MasterEthan

    If priced right this will be perfect.

    • Adam Elghor

      I don’t have high hopes for the pice…

    • Jacko

      The addition of a screen instead of adding a cradle for your device is going to tack on a heftier price tag. Minus the screen and it’ll be $100 cheaper. Jawbox is over priced and will probably price it like their products.

      • MasterEthan

        I could see it priced at or slightly below Jambox. So it’s like buying a jambox but it has a screen built in. If they go much higher then Jambox I don’t see it selling very well.

  • David Narada Brown

    But isnt the screen gonna effect battery life? not really sure i want a screen on my portable bluettoth speaker. Some people may want this so i guess its not a bad idea, just not sure how u convince people they need a screen on their portable speaker.

    • MasterEthan

      I’d assume there’d be a way to turn off the display and keep playing music like any normal android device. Maybe there will be some good power management that dims the screen and puts it to sleep when not needed.

    • fartbubbler

      The screen will affect battery life. The screen will have an effect on battery life.

      #grammarnazi #sorry

    • Sjschwar

      “affect”

  • NickA

    “Pricing and availability was not announced.” The story of CES. We never see half the products, and if we do it’s months later when the buzz has worn off and no one cares.

    IMO, CES is the biggest non-event for tech. It would be nice to see something at CES and have it available right away.

    • trixnkix637

      I had this EXACT same discussion with P3Droid on Twitter. So very true unfortunately.

  • Jeff C

    seems legit if not priced in the stratosphere

  • schoat333

    Finally!