Price (RRP): $379
Why should computer companies have all the fun with smart speakers? The Panasonic SC-GA10 brings Panasonic’s audio experience into play in an OK Google smart speaker.
Panasonic SC-GA10 features – link here
The Panasonic SC-GA10 combines Google Home functionality into a compact Panasonic network speaker. Reasonably compact. Looking from the top, it’s a 100mm by 100mm square, and it stands 284mm tall.
The bottom quarter has a brushed dark aluminium finish, with cloth over the rest. There’s also a white coloured version. The top has a set of touch controls. A row of LEDs on the leading edge indicates input, volume and so on.
As with other Google Home devices, you can tap one of the controls on top to switch off the unit’s microphones to ensure it won’t listen to you. In practice, you’ll probably forget so you’re in Google’s hands when it comes to any secrets you might inadvertently share.
Inside are two 20mm dome tweeters and an 80mm dual coil woofer. There is 40-watts of total power (1kHz, a huge 10% total harmonic distortion). It has a large power adaptor that would look at home with a notebook computer. It has a 3.5mm auxiliary input next to the power input so you can plug in old-school audio devices.
There’s also Bluetooth. The SC-GA10 supports the AAC codec for higher sound quality with Apple devices. But the main use is via network connectivity. In short, you can send Internet music to the speaker. Supported are Spotify, Deezer and TuneIn.
You can also send local music from your phone and network resources. It will play MP3, AAC (iTunes style), and regular and high-resolution FLAC, WAV, AIFF and ALAC formats. That covers nearly everything.
At the moment the speaker is standalone, although it can form part of a group under Google Home’s management. Panasonic says that a future firmware update will allow two of the SC-GA10 speakers to go stereo.
So, how hard was this speaker to set up? There’s not much to the connections: power and an auxiliary input. That means no Ethernet.
I plugged it in. After a few seconds, the speaker announced in the familiar female voice that it is my Google Assistant. She suggested I download the Google Home app. Which I’ve long since done, of course.
I fired up the app, and there was the Panasonic SC-GA10 speaker, shown right on the front page. The app said it was ready for setup. There were twenty or so seconds of bouncing geometric shapes on the screen, and then a tone sounded as the app asked if I’d heard it.
Setup was easy