Acer Halo is a Google Assistant-powered smart speaker with DTS audio
Acer has joined the smart speaker party with an impressively specced first offering—the Acer Halo. The speaker, which hits American shelves in early 2021, is among the first to offer DTS sound processing at a surprisingly modest price tag, which should give it a competitive advantage over the competition.
The Halo promises to offer “high-quality audio that is projected in 360 degrees to fill any room”. An impressive boast, and to add visuals to that sound, there are RGB lights on the base and a customizable dot matrix-esque display behind the speaker fabric. This will require an additional app that should be ready in time for release, which will let you adapt that display to be a clock, weather forecast, emoji, or another pixelated but motivating image.
Acer points out that the lights and display can be switched off, but more importantly, there’s also a slider for the microphone if you want some privacy. Other controls on the top of the unit cover Play/Pause, Volume +/- and a Google Assistant button that also acts as power control. You shouldn’t need the latter though, thanks to the two far-field microphones for voice control.
From everything we’ve been told, there are still a few things about the Halo that remain a mystery—its exact size and weight (we think it looks around the size of an OG Amazon Echo) and whether two units can be paired for a stereo array (we assume so as most Google Assistant speakers are configured for this).
Assuming these hunches are right (and we’ll update this article when we know more) this looks like a strong entry into the third-party Google Assistant canon. The proof will be in the listening, but from what we’ve seen, this shows promise.
The Acer Halo launches in North America in Q1 of 2021, priced at $109, but lucky European readers may find it in stock in time for Christmas. Initial stocks will be found on the Acer website.