Even Smarter: Why Do We Need Wireless Speakers

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Even Smarter: Why Do We Need Wireless Speakers
Even Smarter: Why Do We Need Wireless Speakers

Video: Even Smarter: Why Do We Need Wireless Speakers

Video: Sonos Roam is a smart speaker built for adventures 2022, December

The history of smart speakers with voice assistants began four years ago when Amazon announced plans to release a new product. The gadget was created with one purpose - to bring together the scattered functionality of the Amazon ecosystem using voice commands and make the user's life even more interesting.

Amazon was followed by Google's smart speaker, followed by Apple's HomePod. Each device, according to the assurances of its creators, has its own advantages over competitors.

However, in the Russian market, voice assistants from tech corporations are experiencing difficulties because they are not trained to speak Russian. The novelty and the first "hardware" gadget from Yandex can solve this problem.

Wireless speakers with built-in voice assistants have become a trend in 2018 and are widely represented on the market. Let's remember the "smart" speakers of the loudest brands and see what features they can offer.

Google home

The wireless speaker from Google, introduced in 2016, uses Google Assistant to contact the user. It is launched by the traditional command "OK, Google", and it immediately recognizes the owner by voice - you can compose a voice "passport" for all family members.

Photo: store.google.com
Photo: store.google.com

© store.google.com

Why do you need

The gadget is convenient for Android users. It will help you turn on music on Google Play Music and Spotify, find a video on YouTube without touching your smartphone or keyboard, tell the latest data about the weather, traffic jams, call a taxi on demand, find information on the Internet upon request and display the result on the screen of a mobile device … The speaker connects to the TV, and is also “friendly” with the smart home systems Nest, Philips Nue, IFTTT and others. Google Home can be brought to life by touching the touchpad at the top of the speaker. There is a button on the body that turns off the microphone that receives voice commands. The cost in the Google store is $ 129.

Of the minuses: the column does not understand Russian

Amazon Echo Show

The smart speaker from Amazon is a tablet / speaker hybrid with 8 built-in microphones and a touchscreen. Communicates with Echo Show users thanks to the personal assistant Amazon Echo. He knows how to wake the owner in the morning, call a taxi, tell the latest news and order goods on Amazon.com.

The column responds to the callsign “Alexa”, but the user is free to change the code word.

Photo: amazon.com
Photo: amazon.com

© amazon.com

Why do you need

The column is a convenient addition to the Amazon ecosystem that millions of users use. Echo Show is connected to music services Amazon, Spotify and others, and allows you to watch videos on Amazon Video and YouTube.

The main feature is a built-in camera that allows you to make free video calls to devices with Alexa voice assistant.

Echo Show connects to your home Wi-Fi and can receive recordings from security cameras, as well as photos from other devices. The speaker supports smart home systems from Samsung SmartThings, Philips and Ring.

The column can be found in the Amazon store for $ 229.99, but there are no direct shipments to Russia yet.

Among the minuses: the speaker does not understand Russian and seems to be too sensitive to extraneous noise

Apple HomePod

Apple released a smart speaker in early 2018, announcing that a small device could replace an entire audio system. The company focused on sound quality and did not forget to add Siri voice assistant to each speaker.

Photo: apple.com
Photo: apple.com

© apple.com

Why do you need

HomePod quickly and eagerly connects to the Apple ecosystem and lets you listen to music, browse the Internet, and watch it on your big TV or laptop screen, delivering superb sound with seven built-in speakers and a subwoofer.

The speaker will be surrounded by sound thanks to the automatic orientation system - wherever you go, the music will follow you.

Siri tries very hard to recognize all commands, although early HomePod users even encountered "trolling" from her side.

Apple believes the HomePod is like a "magical new music experience" at just 17.2 cm tall. The price is $ 349.

Of the minuses: the column does not understand a word in Russian

Microsoft Invoke

The heart of the smart speaker from Microsoft and Harman Kardon is the Cortana voice assistant. As the manufacturer promises, the gadget is ideally combined with devices on Android and iOS, produces "360-degree" sound and recognizes the user's voice. Also, the speaker can be connected to a smartphone or laptop via Bluetooth.

Photo: microsoft.com
Photo: microsoft.com

© microsoft.com

Why do you need

With Invoke, you can make Skype calls - the speaker works like a very high-quality loudspeaker. Of course, in addition to this, the speaker is intended for listening to music, voice control of the "smart home" system, searching for information and videos on the Internet.

Cortana is also happy to set reminders, alarms, take notes, and monitor smart home appliances.

Echo cancellation and noise cancellation technology helps the speaker to hear the command, even in difficult conditions. You can buy it online for $ 99.95.

Of the minuses: the speaker does not understand Russian, and only users from the USA, Canada and Mexico can make Skype calls

Sonos one

Six built-in microphones, one tweeter and one woofer, and a voice assistant from Amazon, Alexa, to mediate between human desires and device functions.

Photo: sonos.com
Photo: sonos.com

© sonos.com

Why do you need

Sonos One supports an impressive number of online services, including Last.Fm. In addition, users are more likely to praise this speaker for its superior sound quality.

At the same time, Sonos One is powered from the mains and does not have the ability to work autonomously. The speaker goes to the Internet via Wi-Fi, and this is the only way to interact with devices wirelessly - there are no other modules in the speaker.

This speaker will be most convenient for those who store all music and video in the cloud. The cost of the column is $ 199.

Cons: Voice assistant Alexa does not understand Russian


The gadget with a built-in voice assistant "Alice" can communicate with users and execute commands in Russian. This is its main advantage. The rest of the smart speaker menu does not offer anything extraordinary.

Why do you need

With Yandex.Station, you can turn on music, search for movies, and control playback with voice commands. In the near future, the functions "tell a story" and "turn on the TV" will appear. Built-in "Alice" will switch channels at the user's request.

The column will be able to wake up its owner, tell him about the weather outside the window and schedule things. Alice, at the user's request, will find the required route on Yandex.Maps or the train schedule.

The cost of the speaker is 9900 rubles. The gadget comes with an annual subscription to the Yandex.Music service and access to the catalogs of online cinemas ivi.ru, Kinopoisk and Amediateka.

Cons: it is not yet known when sales will begin

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay P6

Bang & Olufsen Danes joined the trend in mid-April 2018 with the introduction of the premium Bluetooth speaker Beoplay P6. The elegant all-metal gadget can work with both Siri and Google Assistant for 16 hours of battery life.

Why do you need

Noteworthy as an exquisite addition to the interior. The compact and stylish gadget is waterproof and promises 360-degree sound, and the speaker's peak power can reach 218 watts.

Developments from Apple or Google are assigned to voice assistants with a special OneTouch button. The Beoplay P6 speaker is not suitable for controlling smart home devices, but it is conceived more complicated than the usual wireless speakers.

Beoplay P6 is available in Europe by pre-order for € 399.

Of the minuses: it will not boil the kettle at your request and will not talk to you in Russian

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