Gear Up: SōLIS intros line of Google Assistant-enabled home audio solutions
One of the increasingly common themes we’ve seen popping up in 2018 is that of connected home devices. Whether it’s a simple Bluetooth speaker or smart home device featuring Google Assistant, Alexa, or Siri, the space is exploding. As these devices become more common, a new challenger has entered the arena: SōLIS. In short, the SōLIS speaker line is comprised of very high end audio devices featuring Google Assistant.
There are five models to choose from in its portfolio, each with different budgets and aesthetics in mind. We were lucky enough to get our hands on the product family. Here’s our impressions of each.
Before reading on, do note that all of the products in the SōLIS speaker family share these features:
- Chromecast built-in – choose from millions of songs from popular music services like Spotify, Google Play Music, and Pandora, or catch up on current events with NPR podcasts. New apps are constantly being added so there’s no end to the music, online radio stations, and podcasts you can enjoy
- Hi-res audio compatible – stream lossless audio from select streaming services that support hi-res audio
- Multi-room streaming and wireless control from anywhere in your house with Chromecast built-in
- Auxiliary input jack for connecting your iPod, MP3 or other sources with analog outputs
The first in the product line is the SO-3000. This entry level model features dual band wireless that is 802.11a/b/g/n/ac compliant and supports Bluetooth 2.0. It has an auxiliary 3.5mm input jack for wired connection with included cable in the box.
On the top of the unit are five buttons for power, play/pause, Bluetooth, and volume up/down. The sound on this toaster sized (6.3”H x 11.8”W x 3.7”D) unit is surprisingly powerful. It is powered by two 3″ Hi-Fi long throw, full range stereo speakers. The SO-3000 packs a surprising punch for $199.99.
The SO-6000 shares a lot of similarities to the SO-3000 having the same wireless and wired functionality as well as the top-mounted button controls. It also has the same 3″ full range, Hi-Fi stereo speakers enclosed in a wooden cabinet.
While the the SO-3000 is made to seemingly blend in with its surroundings, the SO-6000 stands out. This looks like something from a hip cat’s den or off the set of Mad Men. The 5.5″x9.5″x7.1″ speaker housing is oval with nice rounded spindle legs supporting. For $269.99, it’s sure to make a statement in anyone’s room design.
Next up, this one really starts to stand out in volume. The wood cabinet with high gloss accent is surprisingly small compared to the images on the box.
At 7.9″ square, the SO-7000 is a cubed speaker that looks way more interesting sitting in the office than what we thought it would. We expected a paper shredder-like design based on the image on the outside of the box. The sound of the four 2″ full range drivers and one 5.25″ subwoofer were more than enough to fill our office on about a third of the volume. At $299.99, the sound from this small cube is crystal clear and unobtrusive in the room.
Here is where it get’s serious. From the audiophile to the weekend listener, the next product in the SōLIS line is a quality ramp up.
The SO-7500 is the perfect mix between Bluetooth and high performance audio. It features a Vacuum Tube/Solid State hybrid amplifier powering two 6″ 2-way Hi-Fi bass reflexive stereo speakers. Also for wireless streaming, the device features Bluetooth v4.0 with aptX™ for high fidelity audio. Audiophiles will be pleased with the 2 RCA inputs for attaching any host of audio devices to this compact amplifier system. At $399.99, it’s now definitely much easier and affordable to step up your audio game.
The final voice in this chorus of offerings from SōLIS is the SO-8000. Featuring everything a music lover wants in a complex, high-end system in this relatively compact package.
The classic black gloss cabinet pairs a tube pre-amp with a solid state power stage to achieve the best of both worlds. What you get is clear, crisp highs paired with the warm, natural mids rounded out by deep, precise bass.
Also on the cabinet is the Magic Eye VU meter for visualizing amplifier output. The amplifier powers two 7″ 2-way Hi-Fi bass reflexive stereo speakers that fill room easily despite their relative small footprint.
The SO-8000 also features Bluetooth v4.0 with aptX™ for high fidelity audio streaming. As with the previous model you get 2 RCA inputs for attaching your own audio devices to the amplifier. The highest price of the bunch at $529.99 is still a fraction compared to other high-end audio devices for similar audio quality.
We’ve been pleasantly surprised by this SōLIS product line having tested these in our office and in our homes. While the Google Home integration featuring Google Assistant and multi-room play are fairly standard today, the game changer for us is richness and clarity in sound from the high-end build quality. When you add in the design aesthetic we have no doubt the offerings of the SōLIS speaker line can fit any style and budget and without sacrificing quality or features.