TECH REVIEWStech-reviews

The 8 Best Smart Speakers: Ultimate Buying Guide

Premium Pick

LG ThinQ WK7

Check Latest price

Best Choice

Amazon Echo (3rd Generation)

Check Latest price

Best Value

Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Generation)

Check Latest price

Listening to music is a favorite pastime enjoyed by many. Be it from the radio, or a music player, there are a lot of ways to listen to music. One other way of listening to music is from a speaker. There are many kinds of speakers out there. Speakers vary from sizes and are either wired or wireless. One kind of speaker that started to gain notice in recent years is the smart speaker. Interested? Here are the best smart speakers available today!

What is the best Smart Speaker
Photo taken from theverge.com

 

Smart speakers are speakers that do a lot of things. It can order you food, arrange a call, and even turn your house’s lights on or off. What’s best about a smart speaker is that you can do all this with just a voice command. Smart speakers have two AIs: Alexa for Amazon and Google Assistant for Google Home.

Below is a list of the best smart speakers currently out in the market.

 

Best Smart Speaker Models

1

Audio Pro Addon C5A

This is an Alexa-powered smart speaker. It does most tasks that a smart speaker can, but it’s best for playing music. With its wireless multi-room sound, it even gets better when you use it with other speakers. It enhances your experience while listening to music. Check out the Audio Pro Addon C5A and relax in the company of your music.

2

Sonos One (1st Generation)

This speaker is from the company that started the trend of multi-room sound. A prominent feature of this speaker is that it can switch AIs. The default AI of this speaker is Alexa. If you choose to, you can switch to Google Assistant. Get the Sonos One (1st Generation) and do tasks at ease.

3

LG ThinQ WK7

This Google-powered speaker is the first smart speaker by LG. It’s a little bigger than the previous speakers but it’s cheaper. As it’s a Google speaker, it’s very easy to set up. The audio is very good as well because it’s made with Meridian Audio. Check out the LG ThinQ WK7 and enjoy its ease of use.

4

Harman/Kardon Citation One

The Harman/Kardon Citation One speaker is an excellent device. When it comes to sound quality, this speaker more than delivers. The compressed tweeter and woofer allow for clear highs and deep lows when playing music. Using at least two speakers is better because it becomes stereo sound. Get the Harman/Kardon Citation One and immerse yourself in the music you love.

5

Bose SoundLink Revolve

This speaker has Google Assistant for its AI. It has excellent sound quality given that it’s made with dual passive radiators. The radiators convert excess vibration into acoustic output, so no sound goes to waste. It also has a transducer that allows for surround sound. Check out the Bose SoundLink Revolve and enjoy your music’s high-quality output.

6

Ultimate Ears Megablast

The Megablast is the best smart speaker brought out by Ultimate Ears. This Alexa-powered speaker comes with 360 surround sound. It’s also made with noise-canceling components, which allow for clearer voice recognition. Its best feature is that it’s waterproof; light amounts of water will not get in the way of using this speaker. Get the Ultimate Ears Megablast and enjoy a balance of doing tasks and playing music.

7

Amazon Echo (3rd Generation)

The Amazon Echo is a pioneer of the smart speaker revolution. The 3rd generation of the Echo speaker is way cheaper compared to its predecessor. If you want to play music, the Echo can sync with various streaming services such as Amazon Music or Spotify. The 3rd generation Echo supports most smart home devices, like lights and thermostats. Check out the 3rd generation Amazon Echo and make your home life easier.

8

Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Generation)

Think of this Echo Dot as a small-scale version of the previous speaker. While it may be smaller, it still does its purpose of being able to serve you at your whim. Due to its size, it’s sound quality is a little lower compared to the original 3rd generation Echo. What does stand out with the 3rd generation Echo Dot is it has an LED display. Get the 3rd generation Echo Dot and have Amazon’s features at your beck and call.

 

What to Consider When Buying Smart Speakers

What is the best smart speaker
Photo by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay.com

 

Your preferred digital network

There are two choices when choosing an AI for your smart speaker. These are Alexa for Amazon and Google Assistant for Google Home. Alexa is the leading choice for smart AI, and Google Home is a good choice as Google has access to the internet cloud. When choosing, it all depends on your preference.

 

Battery life

Smart speakers are usable without charging. Some smart speakers have a battery life of up to 10 hours, while some others can go as long as 16 hours. This is a significant factor to consider because smart speakers are usable while plugged in or not. It’s a matter of longevity.

 

Ease of use

Most smart speakers are user-friendly. You can choose to use a smart speaker either by voice command or by the app that was used to set it up.

 

Linking services

You can link services to your smart speaker. Most smart speakers usually link to music streaming services, such as Spotify. The AIs kick it up a notch if ever you have another smart gadget, such as a smart TV. You can connect your smart speaker to your smart TV so that you can open your smart TV by voice command. With this feature, you’re also able to enjoy services such as Netflix.

 

Follow-up questions

Some smart speakers have a feature where a conversation can be initiated. Continued conversations can be turned on so that you don’t have to say “Ok Google” or “Alexa” over and over.

 

Sound quality

Smart speakers are no-good speakers at all if they can’t play music. Luckily, all smart speakers have this covered. It’s a matter of what sound output is better when it comes to different smart speakers.

 

Cross-platform support

Some speakers operate with Amazon’s Alexa, while others operate with Google’s Google Assistant. It’s a good thing that some speakers provide cross-platform support. You can switch from Amazon Alexa to Google Assistant, or vice versa.

 

Budget

The biggest thing to consider. Cheap speakers have basic features, but speakers with better features are expensive. You should always choose a smart speaker that will give the basic features for a low price. 

Smart speakers are a revolution in technology, and we’re very lucky to experience this right now. This guide covers everything about smart speakers, so this should be able to help you greatly. There’s always a smart speaker that will fit your preference, and it all boils down to what you need and how you’ll use it.

 

How to Set Up and Use a Smart Speaker

Most smart speakers have two AIs: Alexa for Amazon and Google Assistant for Google Home. Each kind of speaker has a different way of setting it up.

Amazon Echo Dot
Photo by tagechos from Pixabay.com

 

For Amazon speakers

  • Download the Alexa app and make an account. 
  • Plug your speaker. When the light turns blue, it means it’s connecting. Wait for the light to turn orange as it prepares to “greet” you. Once done, the device is ready for set-up.
  • Connect your speaker to your Wi-Fi network using the Alexa app. Tap the three horizontal lines in the upper left corner to open the menu. The Alexa app is as user-friendly as it gets, so you should have no trouble when connecting to the Wi-Fi. If you have more than one speaker, go to the Alexa app’s “Devices” tab and click the icon for Alexa and Echo. You should see the state of your speaker/s Wi-Fi connection under the “Wireless” tab.
  • You may now start talking to your Alexa. The default wake word is “Alexa”, and should always be the first word to utter when issuing commands. An example of a command you can issue is “Alexa, play music from Spotify.

 

More instructions

  • You can change the wake word of your Amazon speaker. To do so, you only need to say “Alexa, change the wake word”. You can also change the wake word manually from the app. Go to the Alexa app’s “Help and Feedback” tab and choose the option to change the wake word. The only other usable wake words are “Amazon”, “Echo”, and “Computer”.
  • If you have an accent, you can also train your speaker to understand you better. In your Alexa app, go to Settings > Accounts > Your Voice. Press “Begin” to start training your speaker to understand your voice.

 

For Google Home Speakers

  • Plug your speaker first. Once it says “Hello”, it’s ready for set-up. 
  • Download the Google Home App and open it. Go to the “Discover” tab and choose “Set up”. Just tap “Yes” to start the set-up and follow the next instructions. If you have more than one speaker, a tone will sound off to determine if it’s connected to the right speaker. If you hear the tone, tap “Yes”.
  • In the app, select the room where you will leave your speaker. Leave the speaker in the same room. Finish the set-up by confirming the Wi-Fi network your speaker is connected to. 
  • You may now start talking to your Google Home speaker. The default wake word is “Ok Google”.

 

More instructions

  • There are other options when it comes to a Google Home speaker. Go to Settings > Assistant. Here, you can customize your speaker’s AI in any way you want. 
  • You can choose a different language or pick an accent for your speaker’s voice. Tap “Voice Match” so that your speaker can understand you better. 
  • You can also activate “Continued Conversations” so you don’t have to say “Ok Google” over and over.

 

Pros of Owning The Best Smart Speaker Models

Thumbs Up
Photo by DrakAthena from Pixabay.com

 

Hands-free control

Smart speakers can serve you on a whim. You can instruct your smart speaker to play music, order pizza, or even wake you up in the morning. The best part is that you can do all this while sitting. Being lazy has never been this comfy.

 

Listening to music made easy

A speaker is no good if it can’t play music. Luckily for smart speakers, they more than do the job. You can link your smart speaker to any music streaming service, such as Spotify, Apple Music, and many more. A smart speaker is so sophisticated, it can play whatever kind of music you want. You only need to be sure that your instructions are clear. 

 

It helps you organize

Believe it or not, a smart speaker can help you get organized. You can prepare in advance, like asking your speaker whether it’ll rain or not. You can also ask your speaker to set a meeting. Your speaker can also set an alarm for you. Organizing may look like a mundane feature, but it helps you more than you realize.

 

Can hold a conversation

Smart speakers are smarter than what the name implies. As mentioned before, smart speakers have a feature that can continue conversations. Let’s say you ask your speaker, “Find me a good restaurant”. After, you can continue asking more questions like “What’s their bestseller?” if a menu is available online. Smart speakers can carry a conversation as long as your queries are understandable.

 

Cons of Owning The Best Smart Speaker Models

Security concerns

There are reports that smart speakers have made unauthorized purchases. The user’s children can also issue commands without. There’s also the concern that smart speakers are being used to eavesdrop. Voice recognition tech still needs work, so it’s only natural that security issues pop up. For this reason, smart speaker manufacturers install fail-safes in case they are used in a bad way.

 

Just one won’t cut it

One speaker will not do it, we’re afraid. At least two speakers produce stereo output, increasing satisfaction when listening to music. Not to mention, having a network of smart speakers in a house allows you to play music in different rooms.

 

There are still limitations

Smart speakers can do most stuff for you, but limitations are still there. Alexa or Google assistant can’t help with physical tasks like lifting heavy objects. Smart speakers can only help you in a digital environment.

Jacob Umali

Jacob Umali

I like to write. In this site I write about gadgets and guides, such as how to download stuff.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *