SoundHound's new voice assistant beats Google Now and Siri at their own game

Ten years in the making, а new voice-activated digital butler has emerged, and, surprisingly, it can really take the big three - Google Now, Siri and Cortana - to task. It is created by SoundHound, the folks behind one of the most famous song recognition apps, and is named simply Hound.

Unlike Siri or the other integrated options, Hound doesn't split the audio speech recognition from the language processing part, which makes it incredibly fast in processing and replying to your spoken query. If you don't believe us, just watch the video demo below. That is not all there is to it, though - unlike the highly structured, overly robotic nature of questions you can ask Siri or Google Now, Hound deals with much more complex queries, resembling natural language. You can ask it, for example, to show you hotels in the city you are traveling to, then dish out requests like "but only single rooms with sea view," and add "for less than $200 a night," now that you thought of your budget. 

Granted, Hound is not perfect, and sometimes doesn't get all the twists and turns of your requests, but it still is leaps and bounds ahead of the stock voice assistants, and is amazingly quick, too. SoundHound CEO mentioned they are not worried about the competition much, as the company's years in audio processing expertise built around song recognition will keep it abreast any startup that dares to challenge Hound's abilities. 

For now, the app landed in the Play Store in the form of a beta, which requires an activation code to be sent to you after you install it, but it usually takes about 24 hours for the code to arrive, so if you are intrigued by what you hear in the videos below, take Hound for a spin from the source link provided - iPhone users should sleep tight, too, as an iOS version is also on the way.

Developer: SoundHoundDownload: Android
Category: LifestylePrice: Free



1. AlikMalix unregistered

Big Shoes to Fill there Hound... It be nice if it works as well as demoed and forces Siri, GN, and Cortana to push... I like that Siri is always a button push away, locked screen, off screen, in game, in car, away from phone "hey Siri"... Will hound be able to do that? Change phone settings, remember who my family members are, find my kids, locate lost device, open apps, change toggles.. and so on, or is it an internet search tool, but a very good one?

9. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Those features are nothing difficult to implement, so let's just give it some time.

13. AlikMalix unregistered

If sound hound will be able to do that, it would have to be approved by Apple to be integrated that deep... I see it more possible on Android than iOS... But is it really an "assistant" or a really good search tool? What you guys think?

15. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Well , You have a point here, that's where jailbreak comes in handy :) But on Android it shouldn't have any troubles with that

34. waddup121 unregistered


38. blazee

Posts: 414; Member since: Jan 02, 2012

I think you should watch the video posted before commenting. Hound takes on ridiculous tasks and questions and gives you answer in milliseconds. It seems way ahead of sir I cortana and even google now.

41. AlikMalix unregistered

And you should read my comment one more time. It seems like a very quick search bot, today's coice assistants like Siri perfo functions beyond searching the web. The launch apps, change phone settings, find people (no not famous people info - your kids and family members instead), use it to make reservations, create and edit calendar events, make timed and location based reminders, know who your assosications are, remember information abou you. They're integrated into emails, text messages, keyboard and other aspects of the phone and cloud. They now speak and understand other languages and can also find songs just like hound as well as songs from other countries (which is important to me). Yes I'm impressed with the speed of info, and combined/loaded questions to which this responds well., but I haven't seen it do anything but retreve info from the web. Also given that there are now 3 major (4 if you count BBs) major voice assistants that they can learn and reverse engineer from - they should be better. At the same time when I use Google now or Siri with very week Internet - the response is slow or not at all - wonder how "quick" hound will be if you are away from wifi and in the real world? That's what I meant "big shoes to fill" not just an ability to search the web quickly.

40. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Big shoes to fill indeed. Can't wait to test them out.

2. gaming64 unregistered

But can I trust it? Every voice assistant sends data to servers. I need to know the risks.

12. AlikMalix unregistered

If you trust Google Now, you can trust this... (little troll in there for ya)

21. frydaexiii

Posts: 1476; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

I don't get why people are so paranoid about companies getting data about you commanding your phone to do stuff. Unless you're ordering your phone to blow up the white house or something, I don't think the companies/CIA/NSA?etc. gives a crap about whether you want to know whether a Chicken Burger is better than a Beef Burger or how to get home from Mount Everest.

26. tuanjinn

Posts: 2; Member since: Jun 05, 2015

I logged in just to say I completely agreed. Complaining about data being sent is a new habit. lolllz

29. AlikMalix unregistered

Welcome tuanjinn... We try to practice not to respond to extreme trolls (but I've done my share of trolling though, working on staying unbiased)... Enjoy...

27. AlikMalix unregistered

I dont really mind Apple, Google, and MS (even Hound) getting most of the info... I do have a problem with some app developer from Pakistan, or Korea, Russia, or South Africa to name a few, that asks for certain permissions from the App I want to use. And you're right, NSA, CIA, and KGB would waste their time looking for some dirt on me based on what I ask Siri to do. I'm a bit more paranoid about financial data that I type in whether in a browser on some webpage - as I dont know how that's going to be stored and for how long, and will it be ever sold... I also dont want to be offered certain items on pop-up ads after doing some search on e-bay - THAT IS CREEPY... very clever, but Creepy. I always assume that when browsing e-bay, or amazon, I'm within a secure zone, or quaranteed - which is not the case, and often you have to type in personal info and you're just not sure which other app is running in background without my consent (not trolling, but I'm talking about Android). Basically, you're right, sense of security online is a false sense of security. But I rather have the big boys than a 3rd party developer see what I do on my phone...

30. DFranch

Posts: 557; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

Dude, You're totally on a watch list now. Doh, now I'm on a watchlist because I replied to your comment !#$%

35. AlikMalix unregistered


37. shimanto1123

Posts: 105; Member since: Nov 20, 2014

Are you a hacker or terrorist so that you have to keep ur smartphone activities secret?

3. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Date: 05/06/2016 In news: Google buys SoundHound Inc.

6. meanestgenius

Posts: 22388; Member since: May 28, 2014

Definitely think Apple would get to them first.

11. gaming64 unregistered

They have Beats.

14. meanestgenius

Posts: 22388; Member since: May 28, 2014

Beats doesn't offer this.

16. gaming64 unregistered

Aware of this but thanks.

17. AlikMalix unregistered

New avatar, gaming64?

19. gaming64 unregistered

Yep. It's called "common sense"

18. meanestgenius

Posts: 22388; Member since: May 28, 2014

I'm aware that Apple has Beats, but thanks.

31. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Wow ....I'm British and even I am not that formal but thanks.

33. meanestgenius

Posts: 22388; Member since: May 28, 2014

You're welcome.

8. AlikMalix unregistered

LOL, was thinking same for Apple side... (just didnt say it)

4. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

If this is true than its great, more competiton=happy customers

5. kracio

Posts: 13; Member since: Jul 09, 2014

Siri and Google Now - meet the new generation .....

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