Why should you add a smart speaker (and maybe even much more) to your home? Before owning one, it seems rather useless, but once you get it going, your life changes forever. Is it really that drastic? Maybe not for everyone, but there’s a good chance that whoever tries a smart speaker for the first time will begin to use it more and more, asking it to perform extremely useful tasks besides the usual jokes and anecdotes.
Here’s an example: Google Home arrived in a compact and classic version. For around just 150 dollars, it can be placed anywhere in the house, as its relatively small size makes it discreet but ready for any situation. Whether its to check the weather, traffic updates, or the latest news from your favorite sources, your voice is all you need to activate it and have a natural conversation.
As for a device to put on display, smart speakers base much of their potential success on their design. They all resemble home air fresheners a bit, and the reason for this is simple: in this way, they can adapt to any location and environment without being indiscreet. Here’s a roundup of the best-connected speakers you can purchase today.
Its appearance is quite interesting, as its base can be switched out for different colors to match the individual room it’s in. It relies on Google Assistant, which is smart but still not quite complete. It can provide answers for many topics, but lacks knowledge in others; in the end, it’s a strong response to the Amazon Echo, especially since it controls some connected gadgets and smartphone apps better than the latter.
Website: Google Home
Amazon Echo Dot
The second generation of Echo is smaller and sleeker than the original, and its outer case can be switched out for different colors and patterns. A firmware improvement has made the speaker even more efficient and comprehensive, also thanks to Alexa, who continues to grow each day.
Website: Amazon Echo Dot
Apple’s first smart speaker is truly a magnificent product. It can automatically adjust its audio settings depending on the room it’s in and seamlessly connects to any iOS devices you own. However, Siri’s comprehension and response level are slightly delayed compared to both Alexa and Google Assistant; additionally, it suffers from some limitations, such as the inability to manage some third-party apps for specific uses. And the only music you can play is, sure enough, Apple Music, so those who don’t have a subscription are out of luck.
Website: Apple HomePod
JBL Link 20
A common issue with most smart speakers is that they have to remain plugged in. The JBL Link 20, on the other hand, is battery-powered and can pump audio for at least 10 hours on a full charge. The sound quality is excellent, even when you want to extend Google Assistant’s range to another room. In addition, it’s also water-resistant for up to 30 minutes.
Website: JBL Link 20
For around just 35 dollars, the Eufy Genie is a great, affordable alternative to the already affordable Echo Dot. With a single 2-watt speaker, the Genie provides better audio than the Echo Dot but it lacks Bluetooth, so if you want to connect an additional speaker, you’ll need to use the included 3.5 mm audio cable.
Website: Eufy Genie
Before purchasing a smart speaker, decide on how you think you’ll use it. If it will be the only device in your living room capable of playing music, it should have good audio quality. But even though the sound is important, it shouldn’t necessarily be the deciding factor. For example, Google Home Mini is probably the least powerful speaker around, but its small size and irresistible price (in addition to its elegant design) make it a great choice for those who already have a powerful sound system and just want a smart addition to obtain quick answers.