New JBL Headphones Launch in India, Connect to Google Assistant, Alexa
At an event in New Delhi earlier this week JBL announced a new series of headphones called LIVE that are available for purchase in India across all major retailers and the JBL website. The headphones connect to Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, which can be activated by touching the left earcup. Apple’s Siri works when paired with an active iPhone. The headphones do not currently support Bixby.
The launch includes five new headphones in around-ear and over-ear styles starting at Rs 2,499 or $24.95. Features worth noting are active noise cancellation and “Talk Thru” that allows a user to pause their music to talk without removing the headphones.
JBL is owned by Harman Kardon, one of the world’s largest audio companies. Pradeep Chaudhry, Harman’s India Manager said in a statement, “The new JBL LIVE Series will shake up the headphones market in India. These truly smart range of products will change the way we experience music and the environment.”
Harman Kardon and JBL Expect Continued Growth in India Consumer Audio Space
As of 2014 Harman has had an automotive manufacturing presence in India, but they saw JBL as the company to bring technology to the country. Harman President and CEO, Dinesh C. Paliwal, explained to The Hindu Business Line that to offer JBL signature sound to the masses in India they lowered the price point and bought out the third-party channel used previously. Harman and JBL now partner with Samsung for point of sale and also opened their own storefronts. “Last year, we grew 100 percent year on year in India. We expect India to grow for us 50 per cent in consumer audio space for the next five years,” said Paliwal.
Increasing Number of Headphones Optimized with Voice Assistants
Last year Voicebot reported on the addition of Microsoft’s Surface headphones to the growing list of headphones with built-in voice assistants. While JBL is one of the few brands to offer both Google Assistant and Alexa support they still have competition in the headphones space, even in India.
- Apple’s AirPods: Siri (available in India)
- Google Pixel Buds: Google Assistant
- Sony multiple versions: Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa (available in India)
- Bose’s QuietComfort 35 II: Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa (available in India)
- Microsoft Surface: Cortana (available in India)
- Sound Logic VA Wireless Headphones: Siri and Google Assistant (available in India)
- 66 Audio PRO Voice: Amazon Alexa