Think about how many routers are in circulation and think about how many now integrate Mesh technology in order to be able to connect in a completely “painless” way between them and expand the networks. The number you thought is large and probably always too small. Another sector in strong growth is that of voice assistants: for example, Alexa is now integrated into more and more devices. Always different and particular devices. Let’s not talk about the Bluetooth speaker market: they are now free with any type of product and we all have at least a couple forgotten in some drawer. I exaggerated maybe.
ASUS probably started from this base when it decided that it was useless to have three separate products when only one could be had (and for the price of one). Here is ASUS Lyra Voice. The shape is particular, different from most of the speakers and routers in circulation: it is very elongated and almost looks like a truncated sound bar in two. The central part is the plastic part with the controls, the LEDs and the connectors on the back; the back is in fabric and hides the diffusers.
Lyra Voice is part of the Lyra mesh family from ASUS. It has a WAN input to connect your modem and a LAN output to connect your PC or other devices (in our case a NAS). Wireless technology guarantees 3 bands, two at 5 GHz and one at 2.4 GHz. The network created is unique and the devices will connect to the best network available in every place of the house. We tried the router for most of our time without connecting any mesh satellite additional, just to test the pure power of this device. The results were excellent and at certain times even better than the previously used Orbi device from Netgear. The connection to other Lyra devices is then very simple and is performed via the smartphone application.
From the modem point of view, we really have everything we could need. Starting from the smartphone app that allows you to configure the parental monitor and check in real time which device is consuming more data. You can then also configure access for guests and include other people in the family to ensure control of the options. But it is by entering the classic browser panel that Pandora’s box will open. The options are varied and getting lost if you are not an expert could be easy. The graphics are all in all quite pleasant, but nothing to do with the app: a dissonance that we see too often in the world of routers.
If you find practically every classic feature, let’s talk about a couple of interesting news, like the AiProtection that will work as an advanced firewall (m automatic) for your family. It is basically disabled, but once enabled it will allow you to block access to malicious sites, transmit viruses to the local network and protect you from external attacks. All thanks to the collaboration with Trend Micro: Therefore, you will never have to pay any subscription to use this service. Still under the voice of AiProtection you will find the possibility of limiting the functionality of individual devices, limiting for example the download from peer-to-peer networks, access to dangerous sites or video streaming.
The adaptive QoS menu is also extremely interesting. It allows you to enable a system that automates which devices have priority access to the network based on the type of use they make of it. You can then also find out which devices are transmitting data and also to which site / service. You will also be able to trace a log of your browsing history. Finally we want to talk about the Traffic Analyzer which shows a fantastic graph with the amount of data transmitted, divided by color based on the client that generated them. The graph can be consulted by day, week or month.
The Smart Speaker
But Lyra Voice is also a smart speaker with Alexa. We’re not going to go into more detail on what you can do with this technology, but just know that there are no exclusive features of Amazon’s Echo products and that this Lyra Voice is a 100% complete Alexa . Speech recognition is very good and works even from a good distance. The front LED lights up to confirm the voice recognition and even if it is not very bright it is still quite visible. Above we find a button to activate Alexa with the touch and one to deactivate the 4 microphones. Next to it are two volume keys.
The volume is very good and quietly fills the air of a medium-sized room even without reaching the maximum volume, where in any case it does not distort. The audio is fairly flat and not particularly equalized. Highs and mids sound the best, while the bass are partly absent. The quality is that of a good economic speaker and the volume is that of a good smart speaker. You are not interested in modem functionality but you will certainly find the best smart speakers for music. This however also has a Bluetooth connection and so it is in effect a “simple” portable case for listening to music on the move. However, it does not have a battery to be independent of the power outlet.
Extremely interesting is also the presence of ASUS’s Alexa skill that allows voice commands to be performed for functions such as activating the guest network, restarting the router, activating WPS or updating the firmware. Here the complete list of commands.
ASUS Lyra Voice amazed us and for the selling price, at the moment only $220, is a real bargain. It’s a great mesh router with integrated Alexa and a good case. The company has achieved an idea that will surely be repeated in many others, however, in the coming years. Congratulations to ASUS for coming first and also doing it well.