Home Smart Speakers: Your Living Room’s Audio & Smart Hub

Enhance your living room with smart speakers: the audio experience and intelligent hub for effortless control of your smart home devices.

Home smart speakers are the latest addition to the range of smart devices that have infiltrated our homes in recent years. The device is a speaker with added internet connectivity, allowing it to connect to other devices and platforms.

These speakers aim to provide interactive and hands-free assistance in everyday tasks, with capabilities ranging from playing music to providing weather and news updates, to more complex tasks such as setting reminders and making phone calls.

This is enabled by voice command. As the home smart speakers can only carry out one command at a time, it is essential the user remembers the trigger phrase. For example, asking “What is the time tomorrow?” followed by “Remind me” will cancel out the initial question, with the second command being the only one carried out.

Features may vary depending on the country, and it is likely the product will develop and change shortly. Home smart speakers are equipped with either one of the three notable intelligent personal assistants, Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple’s Siri. Amazon Echo runs off Alexa, whilst Google Home supports Google Assistant.

Siri is a feature of HomePod. These assistants work in similar ways, providing information to users’ commands. For this specific product, it is essential the assistant can relay information audibly. This is compared to traditional forms of input, primarily through mobile phones or computers.

Why would you want to use a home smart speakers for music? There are several benefits of controlling your music playback with your voice. Various smart speakers on the market can play music, some can be quite expensive with high-quality audio playback and others are more affordable.

Smart speakers can be controlled by your phone, tablet or computer and there are several brands such as the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod. Smart speakers have voice recognition AI, for, example Siri on Apple HomePod or Alexa on Amazon Echo.

With AI voice assistants, smart speakers can play music on demand when you ask for it. This can save a lot of the users’ time instead of searching through their phone and plugging it into speakers or connecting to a Bluetooth speaker.

Another benefit is that you can control the song, album, or playlist you want by just asking the smart speaker. This is very convenient for times like cooking or eating.

For example, if you are using a recipe from a cooking book or website, instead of using your hands with possibly dirty fingers you can ask the smart speaker to find the song/playlist.

Also, home smart speakers have internet connectivity which means that you can stream any song you want at any time, provided that you have a subscription to a music streaming service.

This is good as it eliminates the need for downloading and storing music files on your device to later transfer to another which can take up a lot of time, provided that streaming the song online means you have a decent internet connection.

Finally, some home smart speakers have Bluetooth and/or audio out connectivity to external speakers. This is good as it adds to the versatility of the smart speaker and audio playback as it can be an all-in-one solution for music.

Being an all-in-one solution could also mean replacing a current audio playback system by just using smart speaker voice control.

ThHome Smart Speakerse Dot (4th Gen) | With Premium Sound, Smart Home Hub, and Alexa | Charcoal

The Dot is a good home smart speaker. It has excellent acoustics for a product its size. That has an amazing benefit compared to the 3rd generation Dot which has tiny little speakers that sound muffled, making it not able to play music very well.

The Dot has a speaker on both sides of the speaker, which lets the music not only be louder but very clear for a product of its size. I would upgrade just for the sound.

Step up the music listening too by telling the Dot what song to play or what genre and enjoy the music. It’s important to use it as an alarm because the sound is good and can wake me up in the morning. But a reminder, the alarm noise can be really loud.

In addition to the speaker, the Dot can pair with another Bluetooth speaker to amp up the sound quality to the next level or connect to a home audio system via Bluetooth or a 3.5mm audio cable.

This is a big win for me as I have an older Bose sound dock and can finally make full use of it with the Dot. An awesome feature in my opinion. Finally, the premium sound now also supports multi-room music, which was an improvement made back in April 2018. This Echo feature lets you play music across your Echo devices in different rooms.

Just tell Alexa to play the music on the group you want to listen to. I think this is a game changer for those game-changers with multiple Echo devices.

Regarding sound quality, the 4th generation Dot has upped the game! The premium speaker delivers crisp vocals and balanced bass for a full sound. Perfect for your morning briefing, to a quick podcast on break or to relax with some soothing white noise, it has never sounded better on the Dot.

Coming from a quick podcast on break, or relaxing the 3rd gen Dot, I can truly say it is a massive difference and upgrade in terms of sound quality and you will not be disappointed.

The Dot is able to connect to smart things to bring up the most convenience in your life. It is able to connect to lights, switches, TVs, thermostats, and more with compatible devices that are from brands like WeMo, Philips Hue, Sony, Samsung SmartThings, Nest, and more.

The Dot is capable of controlling these devices with voice with features such as turning off the house lights by just lying in bed and no longer needing to get up.

This helps with someone like me who has been in a scenario of already being in bed and then realizing the lights are still on. The ability to control lights, dimming lights, and changing colors for colored light bulbs is quick and easy. No need to change dim light settings; just say “Set the lights to 50%” or “Change the lights to warm white”.

This can work with each individual light switch or all at once, it’s your choice. It’s now easier to control the lights compared to finding that specific switch for the specific light in the house.

The Dot (4th Gen) | With Premium Sound, Smart Home Hub, and Alexa | Charcoal Check Price

Home Smart Speakers Two Room Set with Sonos One - Smart Speaker with voice control

So these two speakers are good for any person or people in any room. I currently have them set up in my living room with plans of moving one to my bedroom and the good times have not even come close to stopping.

I’ve mostly been using them to play music, but it’s great for watching TV shows and movies as well. Anything that makes noise. And if you’re anything like me and my roommates, you enjoy having something playing in the background.

This setup is coming through in the clutch for that. One last thing regarding the sound, the voice control feature works just as well as the speaker sounds. Impeccable.

Right lads, let’s get to it. I just want to provide a little bit of an overview of what this epic piece of kit is. This whole thing is an awesome setup. You just can’t believe how amazing it is unless you see it in person.

Two little speakers, not much bigger than a size 11 clunky shoe, can fill up a room as easily as BP fills up a gas tank. The clarity of sound is at the very least, remarkable. I was gonna say unreal, but completely believable because it is happening right?

It’s the kind of thing where once you hear even the opening sequence of a song, you’re going to want to listen to the whole thing because it just sounds that good. Just keep in mind that the home smart speaker connect to the interweb so you can play different songs in different rooms. Mind-blowing.

Now, I’m aware this sounds like a marketing ploy, but I assure you it is not. I found myself grinning like a nitwit, just amazed at how good the sound was.

The Sonos One is an all-in-one speaker with rich clear sound that plays music, radio, podcasts and more. The built-in voice control of Amazon Alexa puts millions of songs at the tip of your tongue.

Ask for whatever you are in the mood for, you can play a specific song, tune in to your favourite music service or you can even ask what song is playing.

Just having Alexa at your beck and call is a handy feature so you can check the weather or traffic, set reminders and the list goes on. The functionality of Sonos One and Alexa will be expanding for more music services and voice commands over time.

Sonos Two Room Set with Sonos One – Smart Speaker with voice control Check Price

Home Smart Speakers Apple HomePod (2nd Generation) - White

This second-generation HomePod has made a few upgrades compared to the original HomePod. The Apple A8 chip was used to hold everything together in the first HomePod, but now Apple has decided to include the A12 chip.

This chip upgrade was mainly to enhance the stereo pairing with multiple HomePods to provide better sound quality. One of the other changes made is that the power cable can now be removed and now has an additional USB-C port.

This may have been done in case the cable becomes faulty and to give the consumer a choice to choose a longer cable if needed. Creating the USB-C port can either open more uses for the HomePod or maybe even be used to change the sound effects of the speaker.

This speaker is specifically designed for Apple users and is also quite pricey compared to the other home smart speakers today. It is about 7 inches tall and weighs about 6 pounds.

This specific HomePod has 3 colour varieties: black, white, and space rarely. One of the most unique features of this speaker is that you can feel the speaker and see the vibration of the bass within the speaker itself.

The top display lights up a Siri symbol when activated or controls the volume, but it’s not an actual screen. The speaker itself has touch-sensitive controls on the top to control volume, pause, play, or skip. It also has a mesh outer layer which can be picked up and leave a ring if placed on a wood surface, but over time, it will eventually go away after a while.

The Apple HomePod is a powerful speaker for great sound. The idea came from people loving to use Siri on their Apple devices. They decided to make a speaker where you can use Siri from the home smart speaker well as play music at the same time.

Apple HomePod (2nd Generation) – White Check Price

Home Smart Speakers Echo Show 8 (3rd Generation) 8-inch Smart Display with Alexa - Charcoal

This Amazon Echo comes with a lot of features. One of the more exciting attributes was the camera on the back of the Echo 8 to use for security or just communicating with relatives who also have one.

This is great because the device can double up as security for your household. Another great feature is the stereo sound, the Echo 8 bumps for its small size and delivers great sound for the bedroom-sized monitor.

The looks of the display will attract any possible buyers browsing through Amazon’s vast selection of tech. It appears sleek and modern, yet can fit into any home’s interior. Echo 8 sports an 8″ HD screen with adaptive colour which makes everything on the display clearer, it also can watch videos, live TV or stream music using different media platforms.

This can be useful for someone to pull up a recipe in the kitchen or catch up on the news, the Echo’s high-quality display will make the viewer’s experience better. Echo 8 also has the capability of suggesting things to view or items to purchase on Amazon, kind of scary but this can be helpful if you’re looking for something specific and can’t find it.

Echo 8 can also be customised with different clock faces, photo backgrounds, and home templates. The possibilities are truly endless! Lastly, Echo 8 has the best feature of all, Alexa.

Alexa is truly the heart and soul of the Echo 8, with increased modernization since the last Echo, Alexa will be even smarter to help get things done. With more and more people using Siri to help get through the day, Echo 8 can nearly replicate every command Siri has, as well as any data inquiry.

Coming equipped with Alexa, the Echo 8 can also work with other smart home devices, simply command it to control the thermostat, turn off the lights, or prep the coffee maker, it makes life so simple. Alexa is the future and so is Echo 8, there’s no way the user will not be satisfied with the result.

Echo Show 8 (3rd Generation) 8-inch Smart Display with Alexa – Charcoal Check Price

Google Nest Audio - Home Smart speaker

The Google Nest Audio smart speaker utilizes today’s modern technology and fits a lot into its new stylish curved design. Now 75% louder than the previous model with a 50% stronger bass, still managing to maintain a music-oriented speaker with clear vocals.

By using smart technology, Media EQ can tune the speaker’s sound each time it’s used, providing your music with the best sound possible.

With two Nest Audios, you can enhance your experience with stereo sound that separates the left and right audio, giving a live performance feel. Sound is definitely a key point of this device, and it beats any other smart speaker on the market today.

The new Google Nest Audio is fresh out and comes ready to roll along with all things Google. That means it’s a voice-controlled smart speaker with Google Assistant that is designed to make your life easier in every way.

The speaker is a great step up from the previous model, offering better looks and an improved speaker for listening to your favourite tunes. It also has LED touch controls which, for instance, when at loud volume, the lights will get brighter. This is done to help your parents, like mine, or neighbours when they continue to misuse it.

Google Nest Audio – Smart speaker Check Price

Playing music, watching TV or changing the lighting can become a royal pain without smart speakers or a remote. Remotes are constantly getting lost, cords tangled, or valuable game time is used to play ‘operation’ with the inputs.

The voice control that smart speakers offer shines here, it’s just so easy and feels so futuristic. Find a smart speaker with good integration, such as the Amazon Echo which can control Fire TV, and the future is here – ‘Alexa, play/find’ followed by your request will make a playlist appear, a song start or any TV show or movie begin streaming.

Lighting control is also advancing and this too will become a full voice-controlled system, and many smart speakers have IFTTT integration for different tasks which can be programmed to voice commands.

And so, the control interface has gone from many button presses or menu crawls to a few simple words – or maybe even just one, and it’s now possible to keep your eyes on more important things with effective multitasking.

“Why did the smart speaker in the living room refuse to play music? Because it was feeling a bit flat!”

Credit: Funnybit

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