Smart speakers are everywhere, but UPstage 360 ($329) – shipping in July – wants to upstage its rivals with a pitch to audiophiles, Echo Dot owners, and anyone who fancies a bit of sound therapy. For audiophiles, there’s a listening ‘zone’ rather than a sweet spot, a 40Hz–40kHz ultra-wide frequency range, and eight drivers – including two 3in woofers. You can plop a Dot into the circular hole at the top of the unit, or connect devices by Bluetooth or aux-in. As for therapy, you get built-in sounds for chilling out, such as babbling brooks, crystal chimes, and ‘harmonious chanting’. And should anyone give you gip while you’re getting your meditation on, you can make things quiet again by beaning them with the UPstage Pro, making fuller use of its solid, grabbable handle and sturdy metal case.
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