Smart Speakers — Home Virtual Assistant Devices

Smart speakers already found their way into millions of households, and their popularity didn’t drop yet. They make our lives easier in countless ways, organizing our schedules, reading the news for us, playing music for us and many more. How to choose the right one for you, and what are the best ones on the market now?

Amazon Echo (3rd Generation)

The third generation of Amazon Echo has all the features of the older ones, as well as some improvements. The new version borrows the acoustic design and drivers from the Echo plus but removes the temperature sensor and the Zigbee home automation hub. All this gives the third generation echo a fuller and louder sound for only $100. If you still want the sensor and the hub, those are available in the echo plus, but you will have to spend $150 for it. 

Echo features four buttons at the top for Alexa, microphone mute and volume control, and a light ring that changes colors based on the state of Alexa.

Google Home Max

Unlike the other smart speakers, Google Home Max is literally a speaker. This virtual home assistant is for those who are mainly focused on home control and playing music. It is a bit bulkier, so portability might be a bit of a problem, but this design decision was made in order to deliver better sound to the users.

It can recognize up to six voices for each of the accounts and has all the options that other smart speakers have. Unlike the other assistants, it can even pick up a voice while playing music at a max volume.

Apple HomePod

This assistant is currently the best choice for Apple lovers. This high-end smart speaker has the ability to play all the songs in your iTunes library, and the sound it delivers remains high quality even at the top volume. 

With this device, you also get all of the home control features of Alexa, but you will have to turn to Alexa or Google Assistant if you want more. It supports all of the apple services for playing music but doesn’t let you stream music from other services like Spotify.

Sonos One (2nd generation)

While other devices are usually limited to Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, Sonos One gives you a choice between one or the other. The second generation is only a step above its predecessor, but it’s the one worth getting.

Sonos One can stream music from over 50 streaming services, and it also supports a whole-home playback through an app that can be found on their market. You can switch between the assistants easily just by tapping a button and signing in to their respective accounts.