The market is filling up with great smart speakers, but one name you might not have expected to see on the roster is Braun. The iconic design brand has just announced it's making a return with a lineup of new speakers, putting a new twist on a classic design.
The LE01, LE02, and LE03 speakers all pay homage to Braun's 28-year-old, Dieter Rams-designed LE line of speakers, adding those 1990s vibes to 2019 features and a more curved ‚Äď still very minimalist ‚Äď design. These are, however, made by Pure Audio, one of Braun's license brands, rather than Braun itself.
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All three speakers are Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-powered, and support AirPlay 2 and Google Assistant, allowing you to talk to the Assistant using the four beam-forming microphones found on each speaker (there's a dedicated privacy switch if you don't want it).
These speakers also have Chromecast built in, so you can easily cast your music from your Android phone. And if you're not into any of these wireless options, there's a 3.5mm aux input as well as an ethernet connection, if your Wi-Fi is temperamental.
Oh, and we expect you'll want to know how they sound. This is where your choice will matter, as more size means more power here. The LE01 is the top dog of the range, moving down to the LE03, which differs in its square design. But all three have built-in Class D amplification, can handle 96kHz/24-bit audio streaming, and pack bespoke digital signal processing.
You can also use all of them as part of a multi-room setup, or pair them for stereo, for which the speakers will need to be in portrait orientation. In landscape mode, the LE01 and LE02 work as integrated stereo speakers, the company said.
The LE01 costs $1,199, the LE02 is $799 and the smaller LE03 is $379. All of them will be available to buy in October.