Asus Lyra Voice Review

All-In-One Smart Voice Router – AC2200 Tri-Band Mesh WiFi Router and Bluetooth speaker with AiMesh support and Amazon Alexa Built-in, AiProtection Pro network security powered by Trend Micro, Two 8W Stereo Speakers

The next phase for mesh routers is apparently integrating voice assistants to their repertoire. With the release of the Lyra Voice, Asus joins famous brands the Netgear Orbi Voice by releasing a router that also requires a turn as a gateway to the beautiful world of Amazon Alexa.

There are some important differences between your two solutions, which we’ll come to in due course, however, the headline is very much indeed the same: why buy another Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, or Echo Plus, when you’re able to get your router to accomplish it all?

How this solution fits into your property is a significant consideration, because if the web enters your home in a hallway, under a staircase, or somewhere taken care of, then this limits the usefulness of the primary feature of the Lyra Voice.

Asus Lyra Voice

The good thing here’s that the Lyra Voice could work alongside your existing mesh network (or indeed any Wi-Fi router), however, in many ways, it’s a much neater as an all-in-one solution (if your layout will play ball).

When it comes to headline figures, this is much a router in the same guise as the initial Asus Lyra, offering AC2200 connectivity; that’s 400Mbps connections at 2.4GHz and dual 867Mbps connections at 5GHz.

As mentioned it works as an AiMesh Node, can also are a straight Wi-Fi range extender, and as may be the norm at this point in time, includes Trend Micro network protection to stop your network getting riddled by viruses.

Design and setup

Ease open the box of the Asus Lyra Voice, and you’ll be immediately offered the fabric finish of the machine. There’s a slightly thinner band in the center adorned with the Asus logo, the light strip utilized by Alexa to show whether it’s noticed you (and in addition used during setup showing where it really is in the installation process), and four buttons at the top that control volume, mute the speaker and awaken Alexa instantly.

Performance

Once configured properly (and updated), the actual throughput you’ll enjoy from the Lyra Voice is impressive, especially at range. It’s a consistent performer too, which is a thing that can’t be said about the Lyra Trio.

Indeed for an individual router, it managed far better coverage that people could have expected, and for even more modest-sized homes, there’s too much to like here as a standalone router.

Obviously a potential fly in the ointment is actually the imminent arrival of 802.11ax (or Wi-Fi-6), but that shouldn’t detract an excessive amount from the actual fact that the Lyra Voice represents an adult existing technology working pretty much as good as it’s going to.

The Alexa and speaker side are also impressive, and we found speaking with Alexa, even from a distance, on different floors and behind doors worked well. The responses are obvious, and it had been reasonably rare for all of us to need to clarify a question. As a music streaming device, we were impressed, and while it isn’t as loud as these Orbi Voice, for a standard (read modest) sized house, it performed perfectly well, and unlike that device, it acts as a Bluetooth speaker as well.

Verdict

The Lyra Voice looks the same as a typical Bluetooth speaker, which is impressive when you element in that it’s also a six antenna mesh router and Alexa assistant as well.

Performance is surprisingly great, and it could be set up to utilize your existing mesh network for larger houses as well. The sound quality is fantastic, and Alexa is responsive actually far away.

However, we’d numerous issues with the software at first (forcing us to delay the review actually), even though it now works as intended, this did knock our confidence in Asus’s capability to maintain the software in a reasonable timeframe.

Although our experience with the Asus Lyra Voice was marred by the original software problems, once resolved, this turns into a versatile and powerful router for many layouts.

The mix of a good assistant and a decent Bluetooth speaker produces a tempting addition to normal router capabilities. And while it may cost a little more than a normal router, it feels like a good return on the investment. If just the software worked from the off…

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