With a lot of Virtual assistants available in the market that is taking our home by surprise, not only controlling our light bulb but we are able to control our fridge, living room or even our door lock(Smart lock) which requires not much help from you.
but these devices can be unbelievably handy. Imagine a world where you don’t have to get up to change the thermostat or find the remote to change the channel. Imagine turning off your garden security lights using your voice or using Alexa or Google Assistant to pull up a live feed of your outside cameras. If you think that you can live happily without these features, then you’re probably right. But once you’ve had them, there’s no going back.
All of this and more is now possible. The only thing they can’t do, it seems, helps you decide which one is right for you – so, if you’re not sure which smart speaker to buy, read on for our pick of the best. But we certainly can.
With a lot of choices for us to choose the best speaker, the one that will best suit your need, so it keeps getting tougher. And we also need to decide which speaker best Voice assistant we prefer which there is now almost four voice assistant worth using (Google Assistant, Cortana, Alexa, Siri).
1. Sonos One
As always the best is the number one, the best sounding smart speaker that is available on the market.
Sonos’ debut Alexa speaker is a cleanly-designed, feature-rich and great-sounding device that brings together the best of both ecosystems. You’ve got the ever-improving Alexa on the one hand, and on the other, you’ve got Sonos with its own multi-room smarts. There’s also a new feature in the mix that promises to change the game: AirPlay 2. With it, the Sonos One can talk to Siri and form a multi-room pairing with the Apple HomePod, making it the most versatile speaker on the list.
If there’s anything holding the Sonos One back from the greatness it’s the fact that Google Assistant is still MIA after the update was postponed in November 2018.
Once Google Assistant support hits early this year (we hope), the Sonos One promises to become the market leader in smart home speakers.
2. JBL Link 20
(Connects to Google Home) The Link 20 is waterproof and floats. It also has helpful indicator lights showing you how much battery is left and how strong your Wi-Fi signal is, both important when you’re moving a speaker around the house (or in the backyard). Pairing via Bluetooth is also easy and I like that you can charge it while it stands upright, something that requires an adapter on the rival UE Blast and Megablast speakers.
The Link 20 relies on Google Assistant, which works better than Alexa in many ways. Setup is easier, and the weird syncing issues common with third-party Alexa devices are absent here. It answers questions more reliably and is compatible with Google apps and Spotify, Pandora, and YouTube Music for streaming. Google Assistant can now play Netflix on your Chromecast devices too, so you can fire up Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat with a simple voice command.
3. Apple Homepod
So-so Smart Speaker and superb sound.
The highly-anticipated Apple HomePod finally entered the smart speaker battle for your bookshelf in early 2018.
The obvious benefit of an Apple HomePod over an Echo or Google Home device is that it’ll play nice with your other Apple products. So if you’re a die-hard Apple fan the HomePod may be a no-brainer.
But it’s worth asking the same question you should always be asking yourself when you want to splurge on a new Apple product: how much of a premium should you pay for owning a device that fits only seamlessly into the Apple ecosystem?
When we reviewed the device we were torn because we were really reviewing two things at once: how the HomePod weighs up as a premium speaker and how it fares as a smart home hub.
In the former category, the HomePod is excellent, as it boasts incredible sound and a very intuitive set-up. But in the latter, Siri is only middling in its implementation, and the fact that you’re not able to break out of the Apple ecosystem for many key functions also rankles.
Apple is said to be working on the Apple HomePod 2, or a cheaper, more compact HomePod Mini, rumoured to launch in early 2019.
4. The JBL Link View (8/10, WIRED Recommends)
(Connects to Google Home) The JBL Link View (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is currently our favourite smart display. It’s not what I’d call stylish, but it has a perfectly sized 8-inch screen and two 51mm full-range drivers that put it in a class of its own for music. Its onboard Google Assistant will answer questions, give you visual weather updates, and has some new features like a video CNN news briefing and step-by-step audio and visual directions for recipes.
Other notable skills include the ability to Chromecast videos to it, pull up YouTube videos with voice, and make video calls over Google Duo. (You use Duo, right?) The built-in camera lens cover also adds a layer of privacy and brings us some comfort.
5. Amazon Echo Plus (2nd gen)
The Amazon Echo Plus is the higher-end choice among its tower speakers. You should consider buying one if you want decent sound quality but don’t want the display of the Echo Show or Echo Spot.
With the second generation model recently launched, the Echo Plus has ditched the two-tier look in favour of subdued fabric design, more like the original Echo.
It’s louder and bassier than the standard Echo, which is particularly useful for music. Does it sound as good as the Sonos One? No. But like Amazon’s other Echo gadgets, its price is competitive. It costs $149.99 (£139.99) with a Philips Hue bulb included kickstarting your smart home future.
Like other smart home systems, Amazon Alexa is a work in progress. However, it’s easy to recommend the Amazon Echo Plus. It’s a convenient one-stop solution for both audio, smart assistant functions and the Internet of Things controls, with Alexa still going strong as the most feature-rich voice assistant.
But the strength of the Echo range, especially at the lower price tiers, still makes these top-of-the-line models a harder sell: the Echo Dot has comparable smarts for a fraction of the price, for example, it just doesn’t sound as good. Likewise, the built-in smart hub is a great addition, but isn’t yet feature-complete, meaning committed smart home users may not want to make the jump just yet.
In short, if you’re looking to enter the world of the connected home, the Echo Plus is a great place to start. Just be aware that more economical options may, for the time being at least, suit your needs just as well.
Hi, I’m Abduljabbar an aspiring blogger, i am Physicist by education and blogger by profession. I have started this with the passion of sharing my little knowledge with my readers.