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All You Need to Know About Smart Speakers

Older movies showed us the future where everything in our home is controlled with voice commands, and no one thought that what we were seeing will become reality. Fortunately, voice-controlled tech moved from our imagination into our everyday lives.

You have probably gotten used to using your voice to control your smartphone, and now you can do the same with smart speakers. Smart speakers have become more than a simple gadget. Today, smart speakers can provide you with a multitude of useful features. You won’t know how you managed to live without them once you try them out.

What Can Smart Speakers Do For Me?

Imagine yourself in the kitchen, wondering what you should eat for lunch. You are thinking about the food you had a few days ago at a restaurant, and you want to make something similar. All you have to do is tell your smart speaker what you would like to make, and in a moment you will hear the recipe instructions.

Cooking help is only one of the many functionalities of smart speakers, there are plenty more:

  • News: Never miss out on any information. Simply ask your smart speakers to read you today’s news.
  • Weather: Worried about the weather? Ask your device to inform you of the weather changes.
  • Sport: Your smart speakers will inform you about the latest sports results.
  • Music: Tune into radio with a simple voice command, or change the track that is currently playing.
  • Phone calls: Make a phone call by telling your speakers whom to call.
  • Other smart devices: Use your smart speakers to control smart lightbulbs or other smart devices.
  • Reminders: Smart speakers allow you to set reminders without a hitch.
  • Gaming: Learn about the latest gaming news with the help of your smart speakers.

We have only scratched the surface with this list. There are many other functionalities, but reading through all of them would bore you.

Simply put, smart speakers are advancing every day. Even if there is a functionality lacking, you can be sure that it will be added sooner than later.

Is Sound Quality Good?

Some of the first models didn’t have a high quality of sound, but that has changed. Nowadays, there are plenty of models to choose from.

If you want smart speakers with high-quality audio, then opt in for an established hi-fi brand. On the other hand, if you want smart speakers for their smart features, then most of the models out there will suit your needs.

Remember that smart speakers haven’t been long on the market, and their purpose is to provide you with assistance. With that said, models will keep improving over time, and many new features are expected, as well as hi-fi audio in most of them.

Are There Different Voice Assistants?

Because different companies manufacture smart speakers, the voice assistants included are different from device to device.

There are a couple of names you have heard, and you might have interacted with some of them.

Apple Siri

If you are using an iPhone, then you are already acquainted with Siri. Because Apple has a closed ecosystem, Siri’s use will be limited. If you want to control Spotify, then you will be left wanting more because Siri works only with Apple Music. Basically, most of the time you will be using Siri with native iOS apps.

Amazon Alexa

Alexa devices work flawlessly with Amazon Prime, but that is not all. If you opt in for an Alexa device, then you will be able to use it with Amazon Music, and many other services.

Alexa isn’t shy about third-party tasks, and new ones are being added all the time. With Alexa, your shopping will be a breeze, so keep that in mind. Besides shopping, Alexa is integrated well with Uber, Lyft, Fitbit, and plenty more.

Google Assistant

Google is everywhere, and it is to be expected that Google Assistant can work with many different devices, but it doesn’t work with Gmail. The best thing about the Google Assistant is that you can voice-control Netflix and YouTube videos.

As you can see, all of the voice assistants have their pros and cons. It is up to you to decide which one of them will fulfill your needs. Keep in mind that every assistant works best with the services of its company.

Are There Any Risks?

The only risk is misuse. If you have kids, and you have one-click purchasing enabled on your Amazon account, then the kids might order something without even knowing they did it.

If you don’t want your kids to mistakenly purchase something off of Amazon, then turn off purchasing while setting up your smart speaker.

Some of the smart speakers are at risk of being hacked, but Amazon, Google, and Apple are considered secure. All of them support WPA-2 encryption, so using them on a secure WiFi connection prevents your data from being intercepted.

Another thing you can do to make your smart speakers more secure is to enable voice recognition. It is helpful, but it may not work every time.

To put it short, smart speakers don’t carry any more risks than other devices that connect to the Internet. With smart use, all of the potential problems are eliminated.

Useful Features to Look For

Not all of the smart speakers are created equal, so we put up a short list of features you can expect and look for in your new smart device.

  • Durability: Most of the smart speakers are easy to break, but if that is a problem, then you can find some models made out of hard plastic.
  • Speakerphone: If you want to take calls without moving, then you need smart speakers with a built-in speakerphone.
  • Voice control: Unfortunately, not all smart speakers have voice control. Look for a model that provides you with voice control.
  • Connectivity range: Most of the devices have a decent connectivity range, but if that’s an important factor to you, then look for smart speakers with a long connectivity range.
  • Volume: You want a device that provides you with the ability to raise its volume without sacrificing clarity. Some models don’t sound good on the highest volume, so pay attention to that factor.
  • Design: Most of the smart speakers look similar, but there are some models that stand out. If you enjoy non-invasive design, then you will be happy to know that most of the smart speakers look neutral no matter where you put them.
  • Power source: Some smart speakers have rechargeable batteries, while the others use AC adapters. Which one you should use depends on what you want to do with your smart speakers.
  • Maintenance: Most of the smart speakers can be cleaned with a microfiber or cotton cloths. Try to keep them out of harm’s way, and you won’t need to do any maintenance.
  • Bluetooth: While most of the smart speakers utilize Bluetooth 4.1, you should carefully read the reviews since some devices have problems with Bluetooth.

Are Smart Speakers Expensive?

While there are some smart speakers that can go under $50, we can recommend those only if you don’t mind having fewer features. Lower priced devices are not bad, they do their job without any problems, just make sure to get one from a well-known manufacturer.

On the other hand, some models go for over $200, but that price is well-warranted because you get tons of features that will make your life easier.

Most of the models are in the $100 range, but there are many of them, and it can be a hassle trying to figure out which one is worth your money. Luckily, we took our time to go through plenty of different devices. Our article will guide you in finding the best smart speakers, so be sure to check it out.

Conclusion

Now that you have gotten to the end of our buyers’ guide to smart speakers, you can proudly say that you know more about smart speakers than most of the people.

You have learned enough to make a smart choice, and the only thing left to do is to purchase one that accommodates your lifestyle.

Smart speakers are a sign that the future is slowly, but surely, coming to us. Who knows what the future may bring? But, for now, we can enjoy all of the comforts that smart speakers give us.