Bang & Olufsen will launch devices including headphones with Google Assistant this year and says it will also support other voice assistants as and when they become available to third parties (Siri) or support multiroom for third-party devices (Alexa).
B&O also announced AirPlay 2 support is coming to 10 devices including the Beoplay M3, M5 and A9 mk2 and Beosound range. A software update will be available shortly after the official AirPlay 2 launch.
Talking to Pocket-Lint at CES 2018, B&O tech director Petros Belimpasakis said that the company would seek to integrate more voice assistants in its devices but that multiroom support is a pre-requisite.
"It goes back to our core philosophy of basically being agnostic and giving customers choice but the Google Assistant is a starting point," said Belimpasakis. "It’s the only ecosystem that has, let’s say building blocks we need which is the multiroom, the voice assistant, the apps but as other ecosystems mature we will bring more assistants on board.
"Google Assistant will follow you, from your phone…or from future headphones that will have a voice assistant built in.
"Siri? When ready and open to other devices then yes. If you’re an Apple customer you already have the touchpoints with microphones. If it becomes available for third party integration we will be ready."
Belimpasakis also touched on the difficulty of integrating microphones effectively in larger products. "We have been through a lot of work to achieve this with [our] high end speakers - it's...relatively easy in small devices [like Echo or Google Home] but more difficult [for us]."
During CES B&O Play also updated the H8 and H9 headphones with improved designs - plus there are two new colours for the E8 true wireless headphones. The E8s are the fastest selling product in B&O's history.