Vizio has announced its first portable wireless speaker, the $200 SmartCast Crave Go, which offers Wi-Fi connectivity in the home in addition to Bluetooth.
The speaker boasts a six-hour battery life, in addition to a premium build of aluminum and rubberized plastic. It seems pretty portable at 8.6 inches wide and 1.5 inches thick and weighing 3.5 pounds. The Crave Go sports a kickstand at the rear which also houses a 3.5mm input as well as USB port with a 0.5A charging capability.
Users can Cast to the speaker from compatible smartphone apps (such as Spotify, Pandora, Google Play Music), the Chrome browser or the Vizio SmartCast app.
As part of the Chromecast ecosystem, this speaker is able to be part of a multi-room system as well as enabling control by the Google Home speaker.
Vizio says users won’t be able to use a direct Wi-Fi connection between the phone and the unit outside of the house, as they said Chromecast needs to connect to an access point to work.
We listened briefly to the unit at a Vizio event and it sounded pretty even-handed across the audio spectrum. It will be interesting to see how it compares against non-Wi-Fi competitors from Bose and Ultimate Ears.
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