This pretty pod is a 360-degree streaming speaker you can talk to

Move over Sonos: Whyd wants in on connected tunes

Whyd – why have I heard of them?

Whyd began as a social streaming network where users could curate their tunes from YouTube – so it knows a thing or two about music. Not content with online audio, though, it’s decided to take its love of loud to the home speaker market.

So it’s all about volume?

Not at all. Sure, Whyd’s stylish cylinder kicks out a fair bit of boom, courtesy of 4 drivers and a dedicated 100m subwoofer, but it’s got a whole lot of smarts, too.

You see, Whyd wants to make the music experience sublimely simple, wrapping faff-free listening in a beautiful shell that offers interactivity – without sacrificing quality.

What’s so simple about it, then?

They say the simplest things are the hardest to make – and Whyd’s audio ace is no low-end hi-fi. It takes the streaming smarts of Bose and Sonos, throws in a healthy dose of voice control tech – Amazon Echo style – and sticks a touch interface on top, just for fun.

What’s more, the speaker is equipped with Wi-Fi, AirPlay and Bluetooth, so it’ll happily take tunes from the likes of Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music – meaning however you choose to boogie, it’ll be there, too.

Wait, so I can tell it what to play?

Indeed you can. From tracks to artists to playlists, the pod listens as it sits pretty, awaiting your next audio instruction. With Hal-like hearing, 5 noise-cancelling microphones pick up commands from up to 5 metres away.

If you prefer things a little more tactile, its glass touch panel offers tap-to-change controls, where a swipe skips a song and two fingers pump up the volume.

It looks pretty cool – but where would I put it?

Anywhere you like: like an attention-seeking toddler, Whyd’s music wizard sends out sound in all directions, for a truly room-filling experience. Better still, you can hook several up together for some multi-room magic.

What’s that funky fabric it’s wrapped in?

Whyd wanted style and substance for its first speaker, so it partnered with a USA-based manufacturer to develop a custom wrap that looks good – and sounds great. Its 3D-knitted sleeve protects the tech inside without blocking that all-important audio.

I’ve cleared my shelf; when can I get one?

Once you’ve decided which colour you’re going for – there are five to peruse – you can pre-order Whyd’s home speaker for US$299, though there’s no word yet on when it’ll arrive.

Still, that should leave you plenty of time to prepare and perfect your playlists.