LG is continuing its tradition of pre-announcing things ahead of big trade shows, and has just dropped details on some of its home audio lineup for CES 2018. There are some new portable speakers and sound bars, but the most interesting part of the announcement is the new "ThinQ Speaker." The ThinQ Speaker brings Google Assistant in yet another package, joining the ranks of several other companies that announced similar devices earlier this year.

LG ThinQ Speaker

LG had announced Google Assistant compatibility with its appliances and other devices as well, so it was only a matter of time before we got a Google Home-like speaker running Assistant as well. It makes sense that LG would want to have something from its own brand out there as the voice conduit for controlling your other LG devices. If that "ThinQ" brand looks familiar at all, it's because LG announced that would be its brand going forward for its connected and "smart" home products. Presumably, that's pronounced as "think" — we sure hope so.

LG ThinQ Speaker

Beyond simply being a Google Assistant device, LG is touting that its partnership with Meridian Audio will provide better quality than comparable speakers out there. To that point, LG calls the ThinQ Speaker a "premium audio product" and refers to it offering "high-quality sound in addition to its smart capabilities. Despite its focus on quality, given what looks like a relatively compact size we can only guess it'll land somewhere above the standard Google Home but obviously well under the Google Home Max.

Alongside the ThinQ Speaker, LG is also refreshing its portable PK Bluetooth speaker ecosystem with Qualcomm's high-quality AptX HD codec, also tuned with the help of Meridian Audio.

LG naturally isn't giving us pricing or availability information, which is standard for one of these pre-CES announcements, but we sure hope it comes in competitively as this market gets increasingly saturated.

Press release:

LG UNVEILS 2018 SPEAKER LINEUP WITH PREMIUM SOUND, EASE OF USE AND SMART CAPABILITIES

Latest Audio Products Bring Great Sound and Advanced Intelligence to Audiophiles and Casual Listeners Alike

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., Dec. 27, 2017 — LG Electronics (LG) is announcing its premium lineup of audio products that promises to change the way people think about home speakers. New for 2018 is Meridian Audio's advanced high-performance audio technology that delivers more natural and warm sound. From immersive Dolby Atmos® sound bars to portable Bluetooth speakers and its latest artificial intelligence (AI) speaker, LG has something for everyone this year.

"Sound technology has come a long way since LG introduced the first radio to the Korean market almost 60 years ago," said Tim Alessi, head of product marketing at LG Electronics USA. "Our latest lineup of audio products has been designed for those listeners who value premium sound with smart-enabled capabilities, and demonstrates how LG continues to push the boundaries on how people enjoy music and movies."

The Next Wave of Sound Bars

The new SK10Y sound bar delivers 550W of powerful output and supports 5.1.2 channels by harnessing the power of Dolby Atmos technology. A unique aspect of the technology is that "sound objects" can be precisely placed anywhere in a three-dimensional space for an immersive sound from all directions, including the ceiling, which enhances realism and the effect of being in the middle of the action. To create such powerful, textured sound, the SK10Y is equipped with multiple speakers – including a pair of powerful up-firing speakers – to surround the listener from every angle. Users can adjust the volume of the up-firing speakers to optimize the sound with the height of the ceiling in room.

With LG's partnership with Meridian Audio, the SK10Y speaker benefits from innovative audio enhancements designed to deliver an unsurpassed listening experience. As a pioneer of high-performance, high-fidelity audio and an authority on Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and the field of psychoacoustics, Meridian equipped the SK10Y with a high level of performance including its Bass and Space technology that gives listeners a rich, uncompromising sound. Meridian's Height Elevation technology raises sound above the sound bar to the level of the screen, bringing extra clarity to speech and music. The LG SK10Y is also compatible with high-quality lossless audio files to perfectly recreate sound recorded in the studio.

From a design perspective, the SK10Y's harmonious, modern-looking edges and slim profile allows it to seamlessly fit underneath many of LG's 2018 OLED or SUPER UHD TV models. The device is also extremely accessible, with full connectivity to hubs, speakers and other smart devices supporting Chromecast. Simply say "OK Google" to easily request to begin playing your favorite song, podcast or audio clip from your favorite online streaming service.

Portable Speakers for Any Occasion

LG's portable PK series speaker enables premium sound and mood lighting features in a fun, convenient package that can be taken anywhere. And with Meridian Audio's advanced technologies, the PK speakers offer powerful and undistorted bass, as well as optimized speech and vocals. Furthermore, these speakers are compatible with the APT-X HD Bluetooth standard for streaming 24-bit music over a wireless connection for a listening experience that comes close to the original.

Premium Speaker with Google Assistant

LG is also announcing its first premium smart AI audio product, the LG ThinQ Speaker, which not only produces high-quality sound but comes with Google Assistant built in. LG teamed up with Google to ensure that the LG ThinQ Speaker delivers all the conveniences that come with having a digital assistant at your side. And LG ThinQ Speaker isn't only a smart companion, it is also a personalized voice-activated interface for LG's smart home appliances.

Speakers for Getting the Party Started

For all the party-goers and music producers, LG has several speakers that combine powerful audio capabilities. These all-in-one speakers offer a variety of features designed to get everyone on the dance floor moving, such as 1,800W output, DJ capabilities, karaoke modes and lights. What's more, the newest party speakers feature durable form factors, easy-to-use interfaces and many connectivity options to download or stream an unlimited number of dance tracks.