Smart speakers have been on the market for almost a decade. The first to launch them was Google with Google Nest, a device that wirelessly controls lights and home appliances, which can also stream music from Google services, as well as provide news, weather or information when needed.
Over the years, Google’s offer has diversified, with smaller devices designed to offer music and news in the living room (Google Home) or in the bathroom or bedroom (Google Nest Mini) and others that include a screen and can play videos in addition to providing the necessary information ( Google Nest Hub).
At the same time, a range of Amazon devices called Echo appeared. Its capabilities and characteristics are similar: it can synchronize with devices that have a Wi-Fi connection and give commands, as well as with lamps or lamps; You can also offer music from Amazon Music services or news related to various radio broadcasting platforms.
Also, one of the advantages of this range is that if we allow it, it can connect to our Amazon page and know our tastes to recommend products to us, as well as take orders for them on the platform. The main Echo models are the Echo Flex, Echo Dot, and Echo Show, with the least features and capabilities. This article provides a detailed comparison of device features from both Google and Amazon.
But one of the most interesting features of smart speakers, apart from their autonomy in playing content from different digital platforms, is the ability to execute voice commands, as well as the digital voice with which they respond to us. Thus, it is not necessary to manipulate buttons or depend on a computer or mobile phone to give instructions to the speaker, but it can identify and obey us thanks to the voice recognition system.
And to do so is based on two programs of the three main voice assistants on the market: Alexa, which is the voice of Amazon; Google, which, as its name suggests, is the voice of all brands of search engine speakers, and finally Siri, which is a voice created by Apple and which, although it does not have any specific device, can work on certain speakers that are installed. Do you sell or not?
But in addition to the models produced by Google and Amazon, on the market you can find a variety of smart speakers whose purpose is mainly to transmit music that we can send via cable or wireless mode from playback devices such as computers. , tablet or smartphone.
In this case, the preference will be to make a sound, and we will probably not find the ability to manage orders and offer additional information, although some of them may have screens with weather forecasts. And the most noteworthy can be its ability to function autonomously with respect to players, due to the fact that they connect to the Wi-Fi network, connect directly to digital platforms to transmit various content: from music to podcasts, radio stations or even some information.
But these are devices that do not have a low price, as they are rarely below 300 euros, because they require solidity and sophistication in materials. hardware to be able to connect via both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Therefore, you should be careful when choosing; This means thinking carefully about which one meets our needs and our profile. Below are a series of keys to choosing the right smart speaker beyond the Google and Amazon models.
One might think that the size of the speaker would give us an idea of the sound output power, and in general this is true, but there are also relatively discreet sized speakers on the market that show great power thanks to their strength. Their materials are mainly wood. In this sense, we have to consider if we are going to cover a large surface, if we want a device that will stand out a lot, or better yet another one that is barely noticeable among the furniture.
Unless we need to cover a large volume of space, there is little point in going for large speakers, for which we will probably pay more, and we can opt for smaller, more powerful models. The price difference can be from 200 to 500 euros.
There is a wide variation in the design of these types of speakers on the market, from more modern and youthful to more discreet and classic. Let’s imagine that this is a device that will be fixed in a certain area of the house, because these speakers, given their power and performance, are powered by a cable connected to the electric current. Therefore, let’s think carefully about where we are going to fit them and choose a design based on the environment.
These types of speakers are usually capable of receiving directions through a voice assistant. The normal thing is that they work with one or two of the three mentioned above: Siri, Alexa and Google. There are those that only work with one system, for example, Alexa or Google. In this sense, we may find that we have installed our voice assistant in a system that does not use a speaker.
In the case of Alexa, the problem is that we need an Amazon account to configure the assistant. In any case, if we consider both systems – and even more so if we use an Apple device with which we can integrate Siri – there is always the possibility of configuring the assistant and connecting it to the speaker. However, it might be interesting from the start to check that the speaker we have chosen works with our favorite voice assistant.
There are speakers that drive the operating system, such as Heos or Bang and Olufsen’s B&O system. These systems, which are controlled by mobile applications, offer various functions, such as connecting to platforms such as Spotify, as well as Google Music, Apple Music or Amazon Music, as well as cloud data storage (after installation of the service) where we can store and organize our sound files and our songs , which the speaker can then play.
Again, we need to make sure the system can reproduce the platform we’re on, because a speaker that plays Amazon or Google Music but not Spotify will cause us problems if we’re Spotify users and not We want to provide another service. We should also look at the possibilities that the operating system offers, because they can be interesting.
The connection section may seem very obvious to us, but it is not so obvious. It is important to make sure that the device has a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection, because although the main feature of these devices is to connect to a public network via Wi-Fi and from there go to the Internet to extract files. On different services and platforms, it may happen that the connection at home is so unstable and we need a wireless connection to the gaming devices to be able to stream music. Let’s imagine that we have small Wi-Fi coverage areas at home, but we want to place a speaker there to play music content from a computer, tablet or mobile phone. The best solution would be a Bluetooth connection system updated to the latest standards.
The ability to level
Depending on the type of music, the speaker’s playback quality may suffer from too much or too little bass or too little treble power. Therefore, it is interesting that the device has a certain way of equalizing it (adapting its bass and treble to the type of music that is being broadcast at that moment). There are devices that allow you to do this physically from the top panel and others that are controlled by a mobile application and also offer this possibility.
Source: El Diario