Is your home in need of a serious Wi-Fi router upgrade? Mesh perhaps? And are you interested in smart speakers for streaming your favourite playlists, and using Alexa voice commands to control your smart devices? That’s all very cool stuff, but what’s even cooler is having all of those functions—an AI powered tri-band mesh router, wireless speaker and Alexa support—in a single, compact and stylish device. That’s the ASUS Lyra Voice. It gets even better, because ASUS and Best Buy are giving our blog readers the chance to win a Lyra Voice.
First and foremost it’s a router (a very smart and flexible router)
Nothing about the ASUS Lyra Voice conforms to the usual, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. Let’s start with the router features, because after all—this is a router. On the surface, that means it’s a tri-band AC2200 router with six antennas for Wi-Fi. On its own, this would be enough to blanket many homes with fast, reliable Wi-Fi.
But the Lyra Voice can also be used as an extender for an existing Wi-Fi network that needs a little help with range. You don’t even need to have an ASUS router for this to work! If you do own another ASUS router and it supports the company’s AiMesh technology, then the Lyra Voice will fully integrate into that system, delivering AI-optimized Wi-Fi to every device in your home.
It also looks a heck of a lot nicer than any router I’ve ever seen—that’s actual cloth covering it, there are no antennas sticking out, and it’s quite compact.
ASUS Lyra is very smart
Smart speakers are the hottest electronics category these days, especially models that support Alexa. The last time I looked, there were over 20,000 devices that can be voice-controlled using Alexa skills. ASUS baked Alexa support directly into the Lyra Voice. You don’t need to connect a smart speaker, because in addition to being a router the Lyra Voice is a smart speaker, complete with its own built-in far field microphone for voice recognition.
That opens up a world of possibilities. If you have any Alexa-compatible smart devices in your home (and remember there are 20,000 or so of those), you can use voice commands to control them using the Lyra Voice. No need to buy another smart speaker and have it taking up space when the router dishing out your Wi-Fi is also covering off that functionality. Adjust the temperature on your smart thermostat, turn on your smart TV, change the colour on your smart lights. So long as the devices are on your Wi-Fi network and Alexa-compatible, the Lyra Voice can control them.
Even if you haven’t jumped on the smart home band wagon yet, Alexa is still incredibly useful. Ask what time it is, tell Alexa to set an alarm, or ask what the weather forecast is. You can also use Alexa to control supported streaming music services including Spotify.
And if you’re ever concerned about Alexa listening in, there’s a button on top that kills the microphone—and turns the LED on the front of the Lyra Voice red so you can see Alexa has been asked to take a break.
Alexa, turn up the music!
To this point we have the Lyra Voice pegged as a very capable, flexible and attractively styled Wi-Fi router, plus an Alexa-capable smart speaker.
It’s worth spiking out the “speaker” part of smart speaker. ASUS has done a nice job on the audio front here as well.
Beneath the cloth covering are forward-firing stereo drivers with bass reflex ports. At either end of the cabinet, passive radiators face outward. DTS surround technology is incorporated in the amplifier, which puts out 8W per channel. The resulting audio is more than decent and better than you’ll hear from most smart speakers. The width of the Lyra Voice and the side-firing radiators help to give a greater sense of depth than most small to medium speakers can muster. The bass ports and radiators also help on the low end.
While it doesn’t set out to replace your stereo system, the Lyra Voice has the volume and audio quality to really enjoy listening to streaming music. I should point out that ASUS managed to fit a seventh antenna inside, this one for Bluetooth. So you can pair the Lyra Voice to a smartphone and play any music you want using Bluetooth. No battery though—it may look it, but this isn’t meant to be a portable speaker (that would wreak havoc with the whole Wi-Fi router angle).
Wait, I want to know more about this funky router!
I’ve only skimmed the surface of the Lyra voice experience, focusing on the key features of this very unique router. If you want to learn more—including the setup experience and Wi-Fi performance—Ted Kritsonis recently published a detailed, hands-on review on the Best Buy blog.
Now you know what the ASUS Lyra Voice can do. You know it looks as good as it sounds, and delivers a whole home Wi-Fi upgrade. You know that with this router in place, you have a fully Alexa-compatible smart speaker with its own microphone, ready to respond to your voice commands. The only thing left to do is enter the contest. Here’s how.
How to enter
Entering this contest is easy, but you can only enter once. In a comment below, tell us which feature mentioned about the ASUS Lyra Voice is the one that makes this router the ultimate smart home hub.
What you can win
At the end of this contest we will draw one winner from all eligible entries to receive the ASUS Lyra Voice that Brad Moon showed in his video above.
This contest runs from August 14th to August 27th.
Remember that you can only enter once. However, you probably know of someone who complains about poor Wi-Fi in their home. Tell them to enter for a chance to win and fix their home network with this router.