Google’s latest additions to its hardware resume are all the rage at the moment and for good reason. The all-new Chromecast w/Google TV has hit the ground running and is ready to take on the heavy-hitters like Roku and Apple TV. Then there’s the new Nest Audio smart speaker. The Google Assistant-powered sound system offers a much more premium sound than its predecessor while tying directly into all of your connected Google-y things. As impressed as I am with Google’s new speaker, I know that there are a lot of audiophiles out there looking for a connected speaker but don’t care about Assistant integration because it’s all about the audio quality.
Thankfully, there are a handful of premium speakers on the market that offer a high fidelity experience with Chromecast built-in. SōLIS Audio is one such company that has designed premium speakers with Chromecast built-in that are designed to look and sound great without breaking the bank. SōLIS definitely offers a unique aesthetic in the Cast-enabled speaker space and right now, Kohl’s is discounting the entire line of SōLIS Audio speakers as much as $110 off.
SO-3000 & SO-6000
There first two models on offer are identical when it comes to internal specs. The price difference, I presume, is due to one model having an odd vintage look. The SO-3000 and SO-6000 are powered by two 3” Hi-Fi full-range stereo speakers and connect via Bluetooth or Chromecast via your home Wi-Fi. We had the SO-3000 here in the office at one point and I can say that the audio quality is very good. The boxier design of the SO-3000 did result in some distortion of the bass at high volume. I would wager a bet that the SO-6000 solves that problem because of the much larger housing that will allow for more airflow and bass response. The speakers normally retail for as much as $200 and $270 respectively. You can pick them up from Kohl’s online for $159.99 and $139.99.
For an even more premium audio experience, the SO-7000 features 4 X 2″ drivers, a 5.25″ woofer, and is housed in a wooden cabinet for a full, rich sound. This speaker weighs nearly ten pounds so you’re probably not going to throw it in your bag when you travel but for entertaining in a larger space or the back yard, it should pump out ample volume to get the party started. Normally, $299.99, Kohl’s has knocked $100 off the Chromecast-enabled speaker. Oh yeah, the SO-7000 also features a very rare 3.5mm audio input for your old school audiophiles.
If you’re looking for a unique alternative to Lenovo’s bedside smart clock, SōLIS has a clock-wielding, softball shaped Chromecast speaker that also features the smarts of the Google Assistant. Like any decent smart speaker, you can talk to Google to listen to audio, control your smart home, and whatever else you use the Assistant to do. It features 2 x 2″ full-range speakers and two microphones for catching voice commands. Regularly $179.99, you can pick up this Assistant speaker for only $129.99.
We talk a lot about the Google Assistant and smart speakers but the market for connected audio is so much larger than the Assistant ecosystem. These are some great options for users looking to upgrade home audio without getting a bunch of smart home features that they have zero interest in. If you have a SōLIS already, drop a comment below and let us know what you think about the audio quality. We’d love to hear your thoughts.