Remote control appliances and motion sensor lighting seemed like the coolest technology to have in your home. If you had that you were seen as a class apart – a cool, modern person with fancy tech in their house. You were like that millionaire from movies who would have a huge LCD TV coming out of the floor.
Technology evolves every year, however, with newer products coming into markets and pushing the old ones aside. There’s always an upgrade, or a newer model available for several products – and that brings us to home Voice Assistant devices. You’re probably aware of the Amazon Alexa, the mini speaker that plugs into an outlet and communicates with you through voice commands?
Well there’s plenty more now. Many companies launched their own versions of Voice Assistants (also referred to as Smart Speakers) such as the Google Nest Audio, Apple Home Pod Mini, Sonos One and an upgraded version by Amazon called the Amazon Echo.
Why Get a Voice Assistant for Your Home
Now why would you want to spend $60 to $80 buying a small Smart Speaker when you can pitch in a little more and get yourself a JBL or Marshall? Here’s a hint, Smart Speaker. Voice Assistants as we mentioned already are Smart Speakers but also more than that, they are like literal virtual assistants for your home. Here’s what these mini devices are capable of.
Smart Speakers work by taking voice commands and are compatible with our cell phones, tablets and any other smart devices around the house. This is where having such a device in the house becomes super convenient.
If you own any appliances like smart lights, smart thermostats, a smart coffee machine even, or a smart TV, chances are your smart devices are compatible with voice assistants – which means you can control those with voice command too! Simply say “Hey Google, turn off the lights”, or “Alexa, turn on the coffee machine”.
What’s more is that these smart speakers can note down your reminders, set schedules, do a simple search over the internet which would have otherwise required you to open your laptop and get on a browser. You can even place calls to anyone in your phone contacts and dictate text messages too. Check the traffic situation on your daily route, the weather forecast for the day of your dinner party, and even play music straight from Spotify and YouTube. There is so much you can do with this amazing device around your house – even if you don’t have any other smart devices to connect it with.
So is it a smart choice to buy one of these smart speakers? We’ll tell you this much, they are only helpful to you and in carrying out your tasks. Most of these devices are programmed to recognize a particular voice or a selection of few, which makes it easier for you to manage your device and who gets to control it around the house.
Top-Rated Smart Speakers
1. Google Nest Mini
Retailing at $49, the Google Nest Mini features the Google Assistant that not only is your home virtual assistant, but also a smart speaker with bigger, richer sound.
2. Sonos One
A little more on the expensive side, the Sonos One is priced at $150 and features the Amazon Alexa which is the voice assistant compatible for this device. Its speaker on the other hand has been dubbed as a powerful smart speaker with a rich, room-filling sound system.
3. 4th Gen Amazon Echo
Featuring a whole new look and an upgraded sound system, the 4th generation Amazon Echo can deliver clear highs and deep bass sounds, and automatically adjusts itself according to the room. It features the Amazon Alexa and is compatible with numerous smart home devices to make your daily tasks far more convenient. This device retails at around $71.
4. Apple HomePod mini
Apple has its very own Smart Speaker featuring the infamous Siri as the voice assistant. It’s a mini device with 360-degree audio for $99 and packed with features. Enjoy room-filling sound when you play your music across any platform, and with the help of Siri, take control of your home and smart devices. It works best when paired with any other Apple device – syncs everything into a sort of home system you could say.
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