ICYMI: All the best smart home accessories and speakers from IFA 2019

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in General Discussion
The IFA show in Berlin, Germany is over, and every year, there are a ton of new gadgets and devices released at the event that Apple users may want to take a look at. Here are all of the best smart home products announced before the expo and at the show over the last week.

HomeKit controls on iPhone
HomeKit controls on iPhone


Each week during ICYMI we cover all the new gear that launches, but with IFA taking place it was more jam-packed than usual. Be sure to check out the best headphones and the best accessories for Apple users that were also announced.

August internationally

August is finally now available outside the US
August is finally now available outside the US


August is finally expanding its smart locks outside of North America. As part of the Yale Access program, the Connected by August module will be available in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa to enable all of August's abilities in existing Yale smart locks.

It will be branded as the Yale Access module, and is available to order now.

Braun EL retro speakers

The Braun LE01, LE02, and LE03
The Braun LE01, LE02, and LE03 speakers with AirPlay 2


After a 28-year absence, design powerhouse Braun is returning to the speaker market. Braun is launching three newly designed speakers that put a modern twist on the iconic vintage Dieter Rams' design.

The LE01, LE02, and LE03 were unveiled during IFA. The speakers are being manufactured not by Braun, but by Pure Audio -- known for excellent speakers themselves.

These updated models look sleek and include modern features such as Google Assistant, Chromecast, and of course AirPlay 2. Two speakers can be paired together for stereo sound and offer a headphone jack and Ethernet.

The largest -- the LE01 -- will run $1,199, the mid-sized LE02 runs $799, and the smallest LE03 comes in at $379. They will arrive in black or white when they ship this October.

Focal Chora speakers

High-end French audio brand Focal has debuted its most affordable line of speakers yet, bringing a budget option to its audiophile-friendly offerings.

Focal Chora line of high-end speakers
Focal Chora line of high-end speakers


The Chora line encompasses the 826 three-way floor-standing speaker, the 816 two-way floor speaker, and the 806 bookshelf model. These replace the Chorus line in Focal's lineup and will come in three colorways.

All three of the new speakers will be available in September, and the compact bookshelf speakers will launch at $899 for a pair.

Other notable releases

Some gear we have already covered this week in more depth, but we've collected them here if you missed them.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    Notice that the smallest speakers being offered from Focal and Braun are both more expensive per unit than the HomePod's original price...once again proving that it wasn't priced "too high" for the compact speaker market.
  • Reply 2 of 7
    Notice that the smallest speakers being offered from Focal and Braun are both more expensive per unit than the HomePod's original price...once again proving that it wasn't priced "too high" for the compact speaker market.
    Eeeeeeeh.... I don't think that proves anything.  The criticism of the HomePod's price was based on comparisons with other smart speakers.  The market spoke and said the HP's were priced to high for it's intended audience, hence the price drop.  Trying to justify the HP's price by stating something else is more expensive doesn't make sense.  It's like saying a Hyundai Equus was worth $60K because a Merc S350 cost $90K.


    @appleinsider The speakers are the Braun LE retro line of speakers, not EL.
    twokatmew
  • Reply 3 of 7
    CloudTalkin said:  The criticism of the HomePod's price was based on comparisons with other smart speakers.  The market spoke and said the HP's were priced to high for it's intended audience, hence the price drop.  Trying to justify the HP's price by stating something else is more expensive doesn't make sense.  It's like saying a Hyundai Equus was worth $60K because a Merc S350 cost $90K.
    Nope. HomePod was not the highest priced compact smart speaker on release. Not even close. And obviously "dumb" speakers in the compact range were already at that price and higher, which is the same as today. Sure, the tech media obsessed about speakers that were 1/3 of the price of HomePod, but those speakers were clearly inferior for sound quality. Besides, if "dumb" speakers AND "dumb" headphones were already selling for the same or higher prices, does it really make any sense to use the "smart" part of it for price comparisons? No. Take away Siri and it's still a very good compact speaker at that original $349 price. I've noticed that the same sites that constantly rehashed the price issue with HomePod don't even blink an eye when traditional speaker companies release products in the same general category with higher prices. This article is just another example. Price is not even an issue. 
  • Reply 4 of 7
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,446member
    Notice that the smallest speakers being offered from Focal and Braun are both more expensive per unit than the HomePod's original price...once again proving that it wasn't priced "too high" for the compact speaker market.
    Eeeeeeeh.... I don't think that proves anything.  The criticism of the HomePod's price was based on comparisons with other smart speakers.  The market spoke and said the HP's were priced to high for it's intended audience, hence the price drop.  Trying to justify the HP's price by stating something else is more expensive doesn't make sense.  It's like saying a Hyundai Equus was worth $60K because a Merc S350 cost $90K.


    @appleinsider The speakers are the Braun LE retro line of speakers, not EL.

    Kinda agree and disagree... The HomePod was considered way too expensive mostly by people who misunderstood who and what the device was designed for. Everyone was expecting Apple to release something that would compete with Amazon an Google, so in their eyes the HomePod was way outside of either of those products because of its price - completely ignoring the speaker technology and quality of sound (and the price of Google’s Home Max).  They also ignored the fact that the HomePod was an actual smart speaker - able to adjust itself (sound output) based on its location in a room. Those other products* could’ve just as easily been called “smart microphones” because the microphone technology was more advanced than the passive speakers they contained.

    I’d agree, it is definitely over-priced as a smart microphone, but I think @foregoneconclusion is correct that the more small speakers released priced around or above the HomePod, the more it justifies the HomePod’s pricing. 


    *The Home Max is able to adjust it’s output as well, just not as efficiently because it’s only a forward facing speaker.

    edited September 2019
  • Reply 5 of 7
    CloudTalkin said:  The criticism of the HomePod's price was based on comparisons with other smart speakers.  The market spoke and said the HP's were priced to high for it's intended audience, hence the price drop.  Trying to justify the HP's price by stating something else is more expensive doesn't make sense.  It's like saying a Hyundai Equus was worth $60K because a Merc S350 cost $90K.
    Nope. HomePod was not the highest priced compact smart speaker on release. Not even close. And obviously "dumb" speakers in the compact range were already at that price and higher, which is the same as today. Sure, the tech media obsessed about speakers that were 1/3 of the price of HomePod, but those speakers were clearly inferior for sound quality. Besides, if "dumb" speakers AND "dumb" headphones were already selling for the same or higher prices, does it really make any sense to use the "smart" part of it for price comparisons? No. Take away Siri and it's still a very good compact speaker at that original $349 price. I've noticed that the same sites that constantly rehashed the price issue with HomePod don't even blink an eye when traditional speaker companies release products in the same general category with higher prices. This article is just another example. Price is not even an issue. 
    Who claimed the HP was the highest priced?  Certainly not me.  The HP price was criticized in comparison to offerings from Google and Amazon.  That is a fact.  Was it fair?  No, but that's irrelevant.  The market decides if the price is right.  It decided the HP was too high vs it's perceived competition - Google and Amazon.  The HP is for better or worse, a smart speaker from Apple that will be forever linked to Amazon Echo's and Google Home speakers.   High priced standard speakers weren't the HP's competition, and still aren't.  Trying to make that comparison doesn't work.  
    mjtomlin said:

    I’d agree, it is definitely over-priced as a smart microphone, but I think @foregoneconclusion is correct that the more small speakers released priced around or above the HomePod, the more it justifies the HomePod’s pricing. 


    *The Home Max is able to adjust it’s output as well, just not as efficiently because it’s only a forward facing speaker.

    The HP isn't compared to standard speakers.  It's compared to primarily to smart speakers.  Fair or not, it is what it is.  Both the HP and the Home Max were considered overpriced.  It's why you can get a Home Max for ~$270 now.  Generally speaking, the cost of a Focal, Kef, or brands of speakers like that aren't used in comparisons against the HP.
  • Reply 6 of 7
    CloudTalkin said: Who claimed the HP was the highest priced?  Certainly not me. 
    You stated that the HomePod was priced "too high for its intended audience". Who was the intended audience? People who bought $79 Echo Dots? No. The intended audience was primarily audio/music customers who wanted a high quality compact speaker. Apple's marketing at launch was centered around the audio and Apple Music capability, not the "smart" part. And Apple had already purchased Beats, which in turn already routinely sold audio products in the $300-$400 range...because the entire audio industry routinely sold audio products in the $300-$400 range. There was never anything unusual about a $349 compact speaker in terms of price. Not then, not now. 
  • Reply 7 of 7
    CloudTalkin said: Who claimed the HP was the highest priced?  Certainly not me. 
    You stated that the HomePod was priced "too high for its intended audience". Who was the intended audience? People who bought $79 Echo Dots? No. The intended audience was primarily audio/music customers who wanted a high quality compact speaker. Apple's marketing at launch was centered around the audio and Apple Music capability, not the "smart" part. And Apple had already purchased Beats, which in turn already routinely sold audio products in the $300-$400 range...because the entire audio industry routinely sold audio products in the $300-$400 range. There was never anything unusual about a $349 compact speaker in terms of price. Not then, not now. 
    That's exactly what I stated. Thanks for quoting me correctly.  It does make your claim seem even weirder though. Too high for it's intended audience in no way, shape, or form implies highest priced smart speaker.   If I was going to claim it was the highest priced speaker, I would have said that exactly.   We disagree by a wide margin regarding Apple's target market for the HP.  I say it was marketed to Apple customers who had an interest in smart speakers but wanted an Apple branded version.  Beyond first adopters, that market said the HP was too expensive.  That's why the price was dropped.  Either way, we aren't going to change each other's opinions so I'm just gonna call it a day on this topic.  You're more than welcome to continue.
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