Step by step, the Internet of Things is coming into existence. For proof, look no further than the recent rise of smart speakers, which promise to become more and more popular as time passes. With that said, it is important to note that there can be significant differences between smart speakers, meaning that interested individuals need to make sure to choose the one that is best-suited for their particular needs and preferences.
For those looking into smart speakers, here are five recommendations that might suit them:
The voice assistant is one of the most important factors in choosing a smart speaker. Generally speaking, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Google Assistant are considered to be the best options that can be found out there, meaning that Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana are considered to be behind them. There are some other voice assistants that can be found out there, but they can’t match these four when it comes to their full range of features. Regardless, the Amazon Echo is a good choice for people who want to go with Amazon’s Alexa, which is a conclusion based on a number of reasons. For instance, the current version has been refined compared to its predecessors, meaning that it is not just more affordable but also better-looking. Unfortunately, it has a problem in that its bass is low, which is not a particularly encouraging sign for a speaker. Still, so long as people aren’t too concerned about that particular point, the Amazon Echo is one of the best smart speakers that can be found on the market.
Amazon Echo Dot
Speaking of which, Amazon offers more than just the Amazon Echo, as shown by the existence of the Amazon Echo Dot. In short, the Amazon Echo Dot is exactly what its name makes it sound like, being a smaller, more compact, and thus more convenient version of its bigger counterpart. Unfortunately, this comes at the cost of the Amazon Echo Dot having what might be charitably called “tinny” sound, though said problem is mitigated to some extent because the Dot is capable of connecting to both wired and Bluetooth speakers. On top of Amazon’s Alexa, the Amazon Echo Dot boasts one other major selling point, which is that it comes at around half of the cost of its bigger counterpart.
As stated earlier, Apple’s Siri is considered to be one of the more respected names when it comes to voice assistants, but it falls behind both Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Google Assistant. Moreover, its voice control is limited to Apple’s music services, which is on top of the fact that it comes with neither aux input nor Bluetooth streaming. With that said, the Apple HomePod has a major upside in that it is actually a pretty good speaker that can even adjust its audio based on the acoustics of its surroundings, though interested individuals should know that this kind of sound quality doesn’t come cheap.
Google Home Max
Google is similar to Amazon in that it offers a number of smart speakers featuring its particular voice assistant, thus enabling it to reach out to a wider range of customers than otherwise possible. Based on its name, it should come as no surprise to learn that the Google Home Max is the high-end model, which is why it boasts outstanding sound whether it is being used as a mono speaker, a stereo speaker, or even a component in a full-scale home audio system. Combined with the fact that Google Assistant is good enough to be placed at the top of the list alongside Amazon’s Alexa, this means that Google Home Max has no real downsides save its high price.
The Sonos Beam is an interesting example of how other manufacturers are making products suitable for use with the best-known voice assistants out there. In its case, it is intended for use with Amazon’s Alexa. However, it is a powerful-sounding albeit expensive speaker in its own right, which is particularly useful because it can be used in combination with other Sonos speakers with relative ease. Due to this, while the Sonos Beam is expensive, there are plenty of people out there who will find that it is well-worth its price for them.