Recently, smart speakers have been taking the world by storm. These devices, despite their relatively small size, have capabilities that would appear in Sci-Fi movies a few years ago. From controlling your smart home setup just by speaking a few words to having an always-on personal assistant, these smart speakers can do wonderful things. With so many options available, it can be difficult to decide which of these devices is best for you, or maybe none at all! I personally don’t want to talk to Siri, Alexa or Google anymore, I just want good sound, but, there are many out there that love the smart speaker/assistant idea, and for those that do here is a guide to the best smart speakers of the bunch for 2017/2018
The first thing people imagine when they think of a smart speaker is the Amazon Echo. The second generation of the device which brought this kind of technology to mainstream audiences, remains one of the best in the market. Its sound quality is quite acceptable, even if it isn’t amazing. The Echo supports all kinds of devices but it can be difficult to setup. At $79, it is affordable for someone who just wants a decent speaker with great smart home integration. This makes it one of the best smart speakers 2017.
- It is supported by many developers
- Wide array of supported devices
- Difficult to set up
- Sound quality nothing amazing
At the same price, the sound quality of this device is a bit better than the Amazon Echo, but there are still some issues with phrasing and the smart assistant will require exact wording for some tasks. It features tight integration with Google’s other services such as search and Chromecast.
- Better sound quality
- Good integration with other services
- Sometimes fails to understand simple terms
- Less supported devices
If you are looking for a smaller and cheaper device, the Echo Dot is a great option for an affordable entry point into the smart speaker market. The design of this speaker is brilliant. It has great voice recognition but the same cannot be said of its actual sound. However, the Echo Dot can be connected via a 3.5mm aux cable to any speaker to convert it into a smart one. The speaker is priced at $50 but is frequently available for even less.
- Aux functionality
- Built-in speaker is not meant for music
If you’re the kind of person who never compromises on sound quality, this may be the smart speaker for you. The smart speaker is better sounding than any of its competitors and at a $199, it is not crazy expensive. The speaker does not have Bluetooth and the voice recognition is a bit iffy. The speaker features Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant support will come in 2018. The Sonos One is a serious speaker and our favorite by far in this group for the lush superb sound quality. This speaker was also featured in our 2017 list of Best Wireless Speakers
- Great sound quality, best of the bunch
- Same voice-control features as the Echo
- More than twice the price of the Echo
- Voice recognition could have been improved
Overall, the choice for which of these speakers is the best, depends on what you need and how much you are willing to spend. It should be clear that all these devices are excellent on their own. While there are also other options such as the Echo Show, these are the best smart speakers of 2017/2018.
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