Looks like the chaotic battle of digital assistants continue as Yandex, the search giant of Russia has announced their very own digital speaker with AI, challenging the likes of companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Google and more. The new speaker is called “Yandex.Station” and marks their very first physical product (and speaker) into the market.
It will only be available for sale in Russia later in the summer, and fetches a price of 9,990 rubles ($160 US). It features their Alice AI that was announced originally last year (their equivalent of Siri or Alexa), and as you’d expect, it supports a very large catalog of skills, similar to any of the smart speakers you may already be familiar with. From shopping, to reminders, to playing your favorite tunes and more, the Yandex.Station aims to conquer the Russian side of the market.
Inside the speaker, there is a seven-microphone array system to help capture sound from anywhere within a room. There are two 20mm 10W tweeter drivers, one 85mm 30W woofer driver, and two 95mm passive radiators that power its output of sound (Total system power: 50W. Frequency range: 50-20,000Hz. Signal-to-noise ratio: 96dB). It support Bluetooth connectivity, and can also output video to a TV or display via HDMI–which makes it the first smart speaker with this capability (thus far).
You get a free year subscription to Yandex’s Yandex.Plus service with purchase of the speaker. This is their version (for the most part) of Amazon’s Prime subscription. It normally runs around $2.75/month and includes access to Yandex.Music, Yandex.Disc (cloud storage), free deliveries via Yandex.Market, advertising-free video streaming on KinoPoisk, and more. The price tag is pretty nice compared to Amazon’s Prime, but Yandex’s product line-up is also still a work in progress as they attempt to make their way toward what Amazon has already achieved.