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By Kaustubh 14 September 2020

What is a smart speaker? Do I need a smart speaker?

 Gone are the days when speakers are used as simple audio systems, now they are your virtual assistants. Speakers have become smart following your voice commands and fulfilling your needs of this modern-day life. Most speakers are now able to control your household devices also helping in turning your house to a smart home. 

 

How does a smart speaker work? 

Smart speakers have a built-in microphone that accepts your commands following the hot word. 

 

With increasing demands markets are flooded with new smart speakers with the latest features and services. Let us find the best options available for your requirements.

Google Assistant vs Alexa,which is the best?

1.Google voice assistant is highly user friendly,even though you  frame the questions with out grammar,it can understand,it has the best search engine in its side and the understanding capability and the acceptance level is high compared to Alexa or Siri.

2.The Voice command feature of Alexa is very good,ask Alexa in middle of highly disturbed environment,it accepts your commands by filtering the noise with the voice commands.

3.The skill  capability of Alexa is far better than Google assistant.Alexa has almost 100,000 skills and Google has only 80,000 skills making it more capable than Google.

4.Alexa can be easily paired with other smart home devices.

Also read Smart Home with Alexa

 

 

Inside this article

1.The Best Smart Speaker with a clock.

The design is the same as the echo dot with a plastic top and rubber bottom only difference is, it comes with a led display showing time in addition to reading news and playing music which makes its cost rise by ten dollars 

Echo dot comes in 4 Colors, charcoal, plum,sand dune, and heather gray

The led ring brightens showing the status of the echo dot, and goes to red when the microphone is turned off. Led ring on the top when functioning normally and a ring at the bottom when the alarm is set. 

Features

The sound quality of the Echo Dot is good. Very useful Clock with an LED display that automatically adjusts the brightness with day and night. Perfect for setting alarms and makes the best smart speaker.

Pros:

1.Echo Dot comes with security options like turning off the microphone and listening to the audio recordings.

2 .Can be paired with other Alexa devices and works like an intercom.Setting up is made easy with the Alexa app.

3.Echo Dot is purely dependent on the internet and Bluetooth, but once the alarm is set, even if the Wi-Fi is lost, the alarm still works. 

4.Timer countdown

Cons

  1. There is no manual turn off button for the alarm to stop. We have to give voice commands only. Tap on the top of Alexa simply turns to snooze mode. 
  2. The brightness of the LED display is more.
  3. The wake-up music selection facility is also not available .
  4. No battery backup facility available, have to buy UPS to make Alexa work in case of power failures.

Price:54.99$

2.The Best Smart Speaker with a screen

Google nest Max comes with a 10.1 inch screen and 6.5 mega pixel nest camera making itself the best smart speaker with screen. Best for video calling friends along with Google assistant.You can personalize the settings to make the screen appear with your favorites every time you use the smart speaker.The Nest cam adjusts itself up to 12 feet and presents the feed in a frame,so don’t worry about adjusting the camera while walking and talking during a conference.Live feed helps in monitoring your dear ones when you are outside your home,making you free of worry.

Pros:

  1. A personalized facility is also available with face recognition. Can store up to 6 people. Once detected nest hub place at your favorite songs, reads the news, updates weather, and even calls your friends in Google Duo 
  2. Nest camera auto zooming up to 12 feet, provided the video calling fitting in a frame. 
  1. Nest hub watches your house while you are away. Live feed can be obtained from nest hub app.Don’t worry about privacy the led light blinks showing that the camera is getting accessed remotely led light blinks. 

4.You can always turn off the microphone and camera with a switch on the backside 

5.New hand gesture recognition feature helps to pause or forward you tube videos with simple hand movements

Cons:

1.The audio quality of Google nest hub is not so good when compared with its competitor Amazon Alexa show2.

Price:229$

3.The best Smart Speaker for Outdoor

If you are looking for the best smart speaker to carry for long distances and to play in humid weather conditions,for rain dance parties or beach games or during your family hiking ,this is the best potable smart speaker.This is a lightweight Bluetooth speaker that comes with a protective hard-shell case.

The protective case helps in securing the smart speaker from bumps and bruises during the long and bumpy journeys.

The waterproof design makes it perfect for outdoor parties and beach side get together.

Available in 11 vibrant colors.

Pros

1.Can be linked with other JBL speakers to provide a bigger addition to the party environment.

2.The music is loud enough with high quality.

3.Battery life is great, it gives more than 12 hours of playtime.

4.Portable and waterproof and the carry case given is the best in securing the speaker

Cons

1.Need to buy more than one to enjoy the party range.

2.The bass is not so good as expected.

3.Can not take calls as this speaker lacks a built-in microphone facility. 

4.Only the Bluetooth connection is possible. 

Price:119.99$

4.The Best Smart Speaker for TV

Are you annoyed with  your TV speaker which makes the volume ups and downs always making it difficult to hear the dialogues.Are you looking for the best smart speaker to give the best experience while watching your favorite program,then this is the budget friendly option.

Boss solo 5 TV gives a better audio quality compared with your TV speakers.

Dialogue Mode helps in listening to each dialogue more clearly making it the best smart speaker for TV.

Don’t worry about loosing the remotes of  Blu ray players and set-top boxes,Universal remote helps in managing the devices connected.

Not only the best smart speaker for TV you can also listen to the music from your phone through Blue tooth connectivity.

Pros

1.Bluetooth enables streaming music from various connected devices. 

2.Bass can be adjusted with the bass button in the remote

3.Universal remote helps in operating various devices from gaming consoles to Blu ray players.

4.Can be wall mounted or placed on a shelf.

5.Dialogue mode helps in increasing the clarity of the dialogues.

6.Can be paired with Alexa through Bluetooth

Cons:

1.Only increases TV audio quality by 10 to 15 percent.

2.Remote is the only way of operating the speaker.

Price:199$

If you are ready to spend more and If you are looking for a wire-free home theater experience for your Saturday movie night in your home

You should definitely try this speaker.

Pros

1.Built-in voice assistance with Alexa and Google assistant.

2.Stream your favorite music with Bluetooth WiFi and Apple airplay 2 compatibility.

3.Control is offered with voice,the Bose Music app and universal remote.

4.Set up is simple with the Bose Music app.

5.Bose simple Sync Technology helps in pairing with Noise cancelling headphones for a personalized experience.

Cons:

1.Price is high.

2.Set up is not so easy.

Price:799$

5.The Best Smart Speaker with Bass

Are you looking for extra bass,then this is the best smart speaker you will be looking for.Sony SRS-XB43 Extra Bass Wireless Speaker comes with a built-in tweeter which is best used for clearer vocal audio.

This feature differentiates it from Sony-XB33.

It also has LiveSoundMode  and lighting effects for the best 3D sound party effect.Don’t worry the lights can be turned off if you don’t like them.

Support is offered by Fiesta App and NFC.

Pros:

1.Long Battery Life upto 24 hours.

2.The best smart speaker with Dust Proof,Water Proof and Rust Proof design.

3.Party effect with lighting effects flashing with beat and rhythm of the music.

4.X Balanced speaker outputs every bit of bass and sound with high quality.

5.In built mic helps in answering phone calls or  attending an audio conference easily.

6.Can be used to charge your wireless devices through USB connectivity.

Cons:

1.Sony SRS XB43 can be paired with only SRS-XB43,SRS-XB33,SRS-XB23.

2.Vulnerable  to bumps and drops.

Price:248$

6.The Best Smart Speaker for elderly people and seniors 

For all those who are worried about the safety and well being of their loved ones,this is the best smart speaker for seniors.

The reason being the vast skill set of Alexa providing various usage options from setting medicine remainders to asking for help in emergency.

Amazon Echo Show 8 has eight inch HD display with voice commands and stereo sound.The Best smart speaker used for video chatting with family.

Echo show 8 helps in staying always in touch with our elders through Blink Mini’s Live view.

Live feed always helps in monitoring our loved ones ,no matter how far we are we can always watch them.

Pros:

1.Echo Show  helps in watching movies,news and reading books.

2.No need to push buttons to call friends,just name them and Alexa calls them.

3. Alexa’s skills expand the functionality.

4.Set up is easy with Blink app.

5.Privacy is guaranteed by facilitating the turn off feature for camera and mic.

Cons:

1.Poor video  quality and speaker facilities.

2.No much difference compared to Echo Show 5,only the screen size.  

3.No YouTube app.

 

Price:109.99$

7.The Best Smart Speaker for music

Are you looking for  the best smart speaker playing music in your home, Sonos Move is your option.

Sonos speakers provide multi room audio feature.

The best part is the adaptability of the speaker with the surroundings,it changes the tune with respect to the environment.

It also provides various streaming options like podcasts and audio books along with high quality music.

Sonos Move is a portable speaker with Bluetooth as well as WiFi facility.

Pros:

1.High quality music with rich bass and Voice control feature with built-in Alexa.

2.Bluetooth facility is provided to use in the places where WiFi  is not available.

3.Weather Proof and drop resistant.

4.TruePlay tuning specifically tuning to your surroundings.

5.Charging base for indoor use and Battery for portable use,battery lasts up to 11 hours.

 

Cons:

1.Price  and size  are more compared to other portable speakers.

2.Battery life is also very less.

Price:399$

What are the factors to be considered while choosing the  best Smart Speaker?

Amazon and Google have presented the users with multiple options and wide range of varieties to choose from,but don’t just follow one review or one post and settle at one smart speaker as the best smart speaker.Because what is  the best for one may not be  the best for all.

Each speaker has its own specific characteristics which makes it unique,finally the end user who is going to use should be benefited.

But what is that we should be looking while selecting one in the vast range of smart speakers,

1.Make sure that the set up is easy and clean.

2.For smart speakers it is always recommended to look for the listening capabilities,because voice command is one which we are opting for nowadays.Know the limitations of what to ask and how to ask.The user-friendliness of the speaker and the database of possibilities,the sources of our answers and every thing to make sure that How far we can trust the answers of a smart speaker.

3.The technology the smart speakers are using,to make them accustomed to our smart homes,it is always recommended to know their wireless standard.

4.Power supply options and portability features.

5.The most important of all is the privacy feature,as the smart speakers have built-in mic and camera which are always on,there is a high risk of privacy.Always look for the options of turning off the mic and camera and how the data collected can be reviewed and deleted.

Sources:

1.amazon.com

2.sonos.com

3.Bose.com

4.Google.com

5.sony.com

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