Verizon launches pair of pricey streaming soundbarsVerizon launches pair of pricey streaming soundbars
Developed with Bang & Olufsen, Verizon's duo of premium soundbars weave in the company's Stream TV app. The baseline version goes for $399.99, and a nine-speaker 'Pro' edition fetches almost $1,000.
December 1, 2021
Taking a step beyond its original Android TV-powered Stream TV players, Verizon has launched a pair of premium, 4K-capable soundbars that bake in the company's Stream TV app and provide full access to Google Play.
Those streaming video soundbars, designed in partnership with Bang & Olufsen, are being sold exclusively by Verizon. And they aren't exactly cheap. The baseline Stream TV Soundbar, equipped wtih two HDMI ports and five speakers, fetches $399.99. Verizon's Stream TV Soundbar Pro goes for $999.99 and is outfitted with nine speakers along with a third HDMI port. Both come equipped with Dolby Atmos, Chromecast (for casting from supported mobile devices), support for Google's Stadia online gaming service and a voice-powered remote.
Figure 1: Verizon's nine-speaker Stream TV Soundbar Pro sells for $999.99.
Verizon is offering discounts of 30% when customers purchase three eligible accessories (the new soundbars are among the eligible products that can be applied toward that discount).
The soundbar products, timed with the holiday buying season, represent new, premium-level formfactors for Stream TV, Verizon's Android TV-powered, VoD-focused app.
Last year, Verizon introduced an upgraded, 4K-capable Android TV streaming device that, like the new soundbars, connects to Google Play, enabling integrated access to third-party streaming apps and services such as Netflix, Disney+ and HBO Max. Verizon continues to sell that second-gen streaming player for $69.99. Verizon launched its original Stream TV device in 2019, offering it to new Fios or 5G Home customers for no added cost.
Verizon joins a mix of others that develop and sell soundbar/streaming combos. The Roku Streambar is currently being sold for $79.99, a $50 discount off the regular price. At last check, Roku sells its Streambar Pro for $179.99. Amazon is also in the market with soundbars that support its Fire TV platform, including Nebula-branded Fire TV Edition soundbars from Anker that start at $99.99.
Altice USA doesn't sell a soundbar/streaming combo, but in 2019 launched Altice Amplify, a connected home speaker with support for Amazon's Alexa Built-In technology that can work in tandem with the operator's Altice One all-services box and several streaming apps, including Spotify, Pandora and Apple Music.
Comcast has yet to enter the streambar market, but it recently broadened the reach of its streaming platform in the US with the launch of a pair of "XClass TV"-branded televisions. In October, Sky introduced a trio of "Sky Glass" TV models for Europe that are also powered by Comcast's global streaming platform.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading
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