The Kygo B9 / 800 is the first portable smart speaker on our test bench. The battery should last for eight consecutive hours, and the speaker has both Bluetooth for mobile connection and Wi-Fi to connect to the Google Home system. For outdoor use, it benefits from being waterproof (IPX7), and can be soaked to a depth of one meter for up to 30 consecutive minutes. To achieve this, it is clad in rubber, which seals tightly around the speaker. Which in turn means that one has to make powerful EQ adjustment with digital processing (DSP), so that it does not sound completely confined.
Two speakers can be connected in stereo, and the speaker works just as well as any other Google speaker. “Hey, Google, vacuum!” Since it goes into sleep mode after a long time without power, it should in practice be connected to the socket at home. Then it is stupid that the charging socket is on top, because it is not a nice view of the bedside table, with the cable sticking up from the top. You can lay it horizontally, but it works best standing up.
The voice assistant sounds clear, much more so than with Google’s own Home speaker. But getting the harmonics through a layer of rubber requires a lot of processing, and creates a lot of distortion. The treble does not get exactly dissolved and airy, more forward and sharp. There’s not much bass to talk about here either, and it sounds a bit strained in the long run.
If you want a Google speaker that is both portable and waterproof (and floats!), Then the Kygo B9 / 800 is a safe purchase, with ok sound. If not here’s a new product just for you! Conversely, there are better portable speakers out there, if you do not need the Google functionality. You can easily alternatively spend NOK 600 on a Google Home Mini, and the rest of the budget on an even better portable speaker.
Also in this test
Libratone Zipp Mini 2
Looks like a thermos
Libratone goes against the flow, and the Alexa speaker Libratone Zipp Mini 2 looks like a thermos. It is portable, plays music well, and two can be connected in stereo.
Harman Kardon Citation 100
This is probably the prettiest speaker we've seen in its class. However, the Harman Kardon Citation 100 fails to take sound advantage of its larger exterior.
Marshall Stanmore II Voice Google Assistant
Concert from the bookshelf
Marshall Stanmore II plays much louder sound than the competition, without compromising the balance. It crushes them, quite simply.
Approved from Apple
Apple HomePod has very good sound and is easy to use. But smart steering seems too rigid and solid.
Hama Sirium 1400ABT
Bigger does not mean bigger sound
Hamas' smallest Alexa speaker Sirium 1400ABT is a bit larger than the Amazon Echo, but still fails to give us any greater sound.
The Google Home system has enormous potential, but as a speaker this is not the best.
A smarter Sonos
Sonos One will one day give us both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa in one and the same smart speaker. But Google is waiting.
Amazon Echo (2nd Generation)
With ready-made sound on the voice assistant, only the language barrier stands between us and the automated work tasks.