Slated to arrive early next year starting at $109, Acer’s Halo Smart Speaker is poised to compete with Amazon’s revamped EchoRemove non-product link and Google’s new Nest Audio, which both go for $100.
The Halo boasts a rounded, fabric-covered rectangular design, with four telltale Google Assistant LEDs peeking out from beneath.
On top of the speaker are volume and media playback buttons, and there’s also a physical mic mute switch if you need a little privacy.
The Halo’s signature design element has to be the RGB lighting that’s integrated into its clear base. Acer says you can pick and choose the RGB color settings to fit your mood, or you can set the lights to sync with your tunes.
Another key design feature is the Halo’s optional LED display, which (like the Google Assistant LEDs) peek out from behind the fabric.
Similar to the LED display on the Amazon Echo Dot with clock, the optional LEDs on the Halo can display the time or current weather conditions, while an app that’s “under development” could also let users display messages or simple pictures.
Acer didn’t specify how much a Halo with an optional LED might cost. For comparison’s sake, the Amazon Echo Dot with clock costs $60, versus $50 for the standard Echo Dot.
Besides its RGB lighting and the optional LED display, the Halo will also feature “rich, high-quality” 360-degree sound with DTS audio processing, along with a pair of far-field omnidirectional microphones.
Acer says the Halo will debut in North America in the first quarter of 2021, and in Europe starting in December.
Ben has been writing about technology and consumer electronics for more than 20 years. A PCWorld contributor since 2014, Ben joined TechHive in 2019, where he covers smart speakers, soundbars, and other smart and home-theater devices. You can follow Ben on Twitter.