Sky Soundbox: Company teams up with speaker firm to release soundbar built for watching TV

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Sky just released a new box. Except this one makes sound.

It has announced the release of its Soundbox – a speaker packed into a small box that will sit alongside the traditional Sky box and the TV. And it’s intended as a relatively cheap way of getting great sound as well as great images.

It says that the new speaker is intended as the Ultra HD of home audio. Ultra HD, or 4K, arrived with the new Sky Q box in late 2015.

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Sky is making the speakers in partnership with Devialet, a startup that is most famous for making bizarre looking, decent sounding speaker systems. It is the first time that the relatively new company has partnered with another firm.

The box will be sold far more cheaply to Sky Q customers. Those with multiscreen can buy it for £249, and normal Sky customers can buy it for £299 – while everyone else will have to spend £799.

The Soundbox will go on sale in Autumn, and customers can pre-register for updates now.

Owners of Sky Q boxes will also get extra features packed into their Soundbox. When the two are attached together, they will use what the companies call Sky Q Sound – special sound modes that adjust to whatever’s being watched, enhancing things like films or sports.

Those will be in addition to other sound modes. For example, the speaker will be able to be switched into Late Night mode, which decreases the bass and makes the sound more even so that it’s less likely to wake people up, and a Kids Mode in which the maximum volume can be limited.

The company claims that the mix of speakers – nine in all – and software allow it to create the sound of a full surround sound system out of just one small box.

Sky also announced that it would be rolling out Dolby Atmos to Sky Q customers soon, in a free update later this summer. That technology uses special software to make a surround system that is far more realistic.

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