You have your choice of Google Assistant speakers, from Google's own Home, Home Mini, Home Max, to the different third-party solutions that are popping up from the likes of JBL, Sony, Mobvoi, and more. But when it comes to cheap solutions, the Home Mini at $35 still sort of reigns supreme. Today, however, it might be getting a bit of a competition from Best Buy's Insignia brand.
The site is offering its well rated Insignia Voice speakers for a very, very, very discounted price. The regular speaker is down from $99.99 to $24.99 and the portable version is down from $149.99 to $49.99. Whoa. You might be wondering what's the catch, and honestly, so am I. After a bit of looking around, there doesn't seem to be any major one beside the fact that this is a very little known Assistant speaker. However, Best Buy has a minimum 15-day return policy, so if things do go wrong, it seems like you can always take it back.
The Insignia Voice speakers have both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and they're shaped like a tall alarm clock with a neat LED digital clock on the front. They're voice activated, so beside being able to stream to them over Bluetooth or cast to them (like a Chromecast), you can activate them via "Ok Google." The portable version is bigger, heavier, and has a built-in battery with up to 5 hours of listening promised. They're rated around 4.3 and 4.4 with over 1000 reviews on Best Buy, and the deal is for new units, not refurbished nor open box.
At $24.99, I have to say this is pretty tempting. Third-party Assistant speakers don't have all features yet (they don't support voice calls), but then again this is $24.99 for a device that can easily find your phone around the house, set timers, play music via voice commands or casting or Bluetooth, tell you about the weather, control your smart devices, and become a white noise machine, among its countless other uses. And even the portable version you can take around the house is $44.99, which is only $15 more than a Home Mini.
If you're interested, the Insignia Voice speaker (non portable) can be had in black or grey (you may need to pay for shipping though) and the portable version is only available in a black/grey combination color (free shipping).
- Jeffrey Linton