Sengled partners with JBL, Nuance on new multifunction smart bulbs

Smart lighting manufacturer Sengled showed off two new smart bulbs at CES 2016, one a refresh to its JBL speaker equipped bulb showed off at last year’s CES dubbed the Pulse Flex, and the other with integrated voice-recognition technology called the Sengled Voice that controls smart home functions.

The Pulse Flex appears to be a redesign to address some sound concerns, while also adding some heft to make it appropriate for outdoor use. We found in our review of the original Flex that the sound quality was a little disappointing despite the JBL-designed speaker.

Sengled has reworked the operation of the Flex a bit, moving away from Bluetooth as a means to stream audio to the bulbs. The Flex supports AirPlay and DLNA, and content is streamable from cloud music services through the company’s Pulse app for both iOS and Android.

Sengled Voice, a new lineup of voice-controlled bulbs, also makes its debut at CES. Here the company partnered with voice recognition software provider Nuance to give Voice bulbs and select third-party integrated devices voice control capabilities.

The Voice automatically turns on in the event it detects the sound of glass breaking, dogs barking, babies crying, or smoke/CO alarms sounding off. BeOn smart bulbs also turn on when a smoke or CO alarm goes off, but Sengled's bulbs also send notifications of alert triggers to the company’s app, and the bulb can emit a siren sound of its own.

Release dates and pricing are not immediately available, but first-generation prices might offer guidance. The first-generation Pulse retails for $150 for a starter set of two bulbs, and $70 for each additional “satellite” bulb; the company’s other smart bulbs retail for similar prices.

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