The NETGEAR Orbi Voice is an impressive package. Its wireless networking abilities aren’t quite as good as the best NETGEAR standalone mesh WiFi setups, but it’s still better than the competition from other brands. So while we would still love to see this product with the RBS50 satellite as its basis, rather than the RBS40, a new purchaser will be perfectly happy with how much further their WiFi range will go. If you purchase the RBS40V on its own, to add to an existing RBK50 configuration, you’ll be pretty contented too.
As an Alexa-empowered speaker, the Orbi Voice is one of the best around as well. We had no trouble getting its attention by incanting “Alexa”, even when the music was loud, and any issues we had with our commands were to do with the deficiencies of Alexa’s AI rather than the speaker. The audio quality is excellent, and there is plenty of volume available without distortion. NETGEAR reckons the Orbi Voice is comparable to the Sonos One, Apple HomePod or Google Home Max, and we wouldn’t disagree.
Overall, then, if you’re looking to add mesh WiFi and an Amazon Alexa speaker to your home, the NETGEAR Orbi Voice RBK50V bundles both together with aplomb. It’s best of breed as a speaker, and pretty close where the mesh networking is concerned too. If you’re an existing NETGEAR Orbi mesh user looking for even better coverage and an Alexa speaker, it’s a no brainer.
However, in either case you are paying a premium, particularly for the standalone RBS40V. Nevertheless, price notwithstanding, this is another great mesh WiFi product from NETGEAR, and a top recommendation if you’re after the best.
The NETGEAR Orbi Voice (RBK50V) is available from Amazon.co.uk for £433.98.
- Amazon Alexa and mesh WiFi in one package.
- Excellent mono audio quality and power.
- Great 802.11n coverage.
- Decent 802.11ac coverage.
- Smartphone app includes most key settings.
- Extensive features in Web management interface.
- 802.11ac performance not as fast as standalone NETGEAR Orbi.
- RBR50’s USB port for printer sharing only.
KitGuru Says: The NETGEAR Orbi Voice bundles premium-grade Amazon Alexa speaker capabilities with very good mesh WiFi, albeit at a premium price.