Smart Home

Alexa, Cortana, Siri? How to Choose a Smart Voice Assistant for Your Smart Home

Smart home devices are getting momentum. According to reports, over 39 million people in the United States alone own a smart voice assistant, also called smart speaker.

Smart Speakers are easy to use and come with a well known in-home voice assistant such as Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, or Cortana. Home smart speakers with virtual voice assistant technology are one of the favorite adds when people start building up their connected home.

Wi-Fi connected smart speakers play music from your smartphone or the cloud. You can start talking to them just like you do to your smartphone, and your smart speaker will respond to your commands.

If you want a little helper in your busy mornings your smart speaker can turn on your coffee maker while you take a shower, look up the weather for you before leaving to the office, or read you a book while you enjoy a cup of tea resting and relaxing in the evening.

Of course, smart speakers come in all sizes, shapes, and price tags. Finding your perfect smart speaker companion for your home might take some time. Here you can find some of the options available on the market, whether you are looking for your first smart home speaker or if what you want is an upgrade to your old one, there is probably one that will respond to your needs.

Amazon Echo

The second-gen Amazon Echo comes smaller and definitely more stylish than its predecessor. The upgrade also features an outer skin that can be swapped out to choose from a variety of different colors and textures to match your space and style.

This is a good choice for those looking for an entry-level smart speaker that is good for all-purposes and also has a good sound. For tricks and tips, here are some good useful ones:

Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen) Best sounding smart speaker

The third-generation Amazon Echo Dot has improved sound in comparison with its previous generations. The general design shows improvement, too. If you still want better sound you can easily connect the Echo Dot to a better-sounding speaker; the Echo Dot counts with both Bluetooth and a 3.5mm jack.

The Amazon Echo Dot is the choice for those who want Alexa in their kitchen. The price also makes accessible and could even make it to many Christmas’ lists or birthday presents. All-in-all, great value for a nice little addition to the smart home.

Apple HomePod

Apple HomePod features high-quality superb sound, spatial awareness, smart home control, and Siri artificial intelligence. HomePod comes in white or space grey, two neutral and minimalist colors to match your environment.

HomePod lets you ask Siri to play your favourite music and works with Apple Music. It also comes in a variety of languages such as English, French, German, and Spanish. Apple will possibly add more languages as global demand grows.

This is the obvious choice for those who prefer the Apple ecosystem experience and own other Apple devices. It’s a good idea to test the voice control to verify it will match your expectations.

Google Home

The Google Home smart speaker is a multi-room audio speaker with an attractive design and removable color bases. Google Home looks like an ornamental candle that easily could you be placed on your dining table.

For some, Google Home’s voice assistant is still trying to catch up with Amazon’s Alexa. The best is to try it for yourself to see if it matches your individual expectations.

Google Home supports multiple users, something that gives it points over Amazon’s Alexa. Google Home also supports more smart home brands and third-party skills.

Google Home Mini

Google Home Mini wins hearts because it’s super cute measuring 3.86 inches in diameter and 1.65 inches high. It comes covered in coral, chalk, or charcoal fabric. The Home Mini is plugged onto the wall.

You set it up through the Google Home application on Android or iOS. When you are ready, you just say Hey, Google! and your Google Assistant will gladly answers.

Also an entry-level smart home device, Google Home Mini is the obvious rival of Amazon’s Echo Dot, but it better than the Echo Dot. Soundwise, the Mini is louder than the Dot. The Google Assistant sounds more natural than Alexa does.

If you have multiple Minis in your smart home you can use them as a home intercom system. By saying Broadcast, your Minis can deliver your message throughout your home. A useful feature when dinner is ready.

Sonos One

The Sonos One is the choice for those looking for great sound. The Sonos One has Alexa voice control built-in and six microphones that pick up your voice. The sound quality is excellent and can stream music from Spotify and Red Bull Radio.

If music and high-quality sound is your thing, perhaps you should have a look at the Sonos One. It supports multi-room audio.

Lenovo Smart Display

The Lenovo Smart Display is a 10-inch good looking, Okay-sounding tabletop smart speaker.

It has Google Assistant hands-free, streaming media support, and visual information on the display. A good choice for a combo of an audio-visual smart device in your smart home.

Smart Speakers: What to look for when buying one

The most obvious question is how you plan to use your smart speaker. If you are a minimalist or looking into a transformation into smart minimalism then you probably are only looking for having only one device in your living room that will play music.

Depending on the importance you give to sound quality, sound can or cannot be a deciding factor at the time of purchasing your smart speaker.

In terms of sound quality, perhaps the Amazon Echo Dot possesses the worst-sounding speaker of them all. However, if superb sound quality is not on top of your list, if what you are looking for is a small size and low price the Amazon Echo Dot is the one to go for. After all, the Dot has other good features as well.

The Echo Dot is a convenient and pocket-friendly way to spread your smart voice assistant throughout your living area. It’s a good entry-level cute smart speaker.

The Amazon Tap can be a good portable option if what you want is a smart speaker that you can take outdoors. The Amazon Tap can be a good companion in campings, picnics, or a day on the beach.

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Cuteness comes in the form of Google Home Mini. And for all Apple ecosystem users, anything will ever top the Apple HomePod. The spectrum is wide. Pick the best that matches your personal individual needs and enjoy your first steps into the journey of building your smart home.

This article was originally published by Interesting Engineering.

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