Equipment review: Smart speakers

What are smart speakers?

A smart speaker is a stand-alone speaker that connects to the WiFi in the home, has very few controls on the surface of the device, and primarily is used by speaking to it, for example, “Hey Google…” or “Alexa…” Over a very short period of time, a whole new range of Smart Speakers hit the market. Here are our favourites:

Amazon Echo 4th Gen

This has the same great sound as the previous model, but the unique ball shape helps the sound to travel further around the room. Powered by Alexa, the Amazon Echo makes it simple and easy to get news, weather updates, set timers and alarms, search the internet and much more.

Google Nest Audio

The Nest Audio is Google’s direct Echo competitor. It’s got a compact, pillow-like shape and great sound that will easily fill small and medium-size rooms. You can ask the Nest Audio to set timers, play music, or tell you the weather or search Google. You can also pair up the speakers with any other Google-friendly smart devices you have too.

Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd Generation)

This is a great all in one gadget. It has a full-size 10-inch screen that swivels nearly 360 degrees and follows you with its cameras while you’re on a call or reading a recipe. The screen lets you see what music is playing, pause the audio and skip to the next song. It can also play Amazon Prime videos and has a video version of Alexa’s daily flash-news briefing. Amazon has recently teamed up with Zoom, meaning that you can now even make voice and video calls from this device.

Google Nest Hub Max

Similar to the Echo Show 10, the Google Nest Hub Max has a 10 inch display and two speakers. What we love about this device is that you can use a stop hand gesture to pause music without having to touch the screen or use your voice. Its camera can identify individual members of your household and only shows each person information that is relevant to them.

For more information or help in setting up your smart speaker, contact our helpline.

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