Smart speakers are quickly becoming standard across U.S. households. My grandmother recently floored me when she demonstrated how she uses her JBL Link to play 60s music with Google Assistant. I was impressed because she was still learning how to Google, but here she was jamming out while making breakfast. That’s the moment I knew smart speakers were here to stay. Research from Nielsen now confirms the sudden rise of this market category. Read More
Smart displays aren't for everyone. They're not exactly tablets, but they look like ones and are both less and more useful, depending on how you look at them. With far superior sound and always listening mics, they act as a smart speaker for your home; but without real apps or a fully functional browser, you hit some roadblocks while using them and wish they could do just a little bit more.
Over the past few months, every time I've read someone compare Smart Displays to crippled tablets, I've had the same reply: I want one because it would work for me. Read More
If you, like me, thought that the Google Home Max was a bit pricey, than Harman Kardon is here to make that speaker look inexpensive. The Citation 500 is set to be $600 with Assistant onboard and according to The Verge, Harman Kardon is planning to show it off at IFA later this week. Read More
After an unsuccessful first attempt at a digital personal assistant inside its Messenger app, Facebook is giving it another go. This time around, the company is focussing its efforts on speech recognition to create a product called Aloha. Read More
Samsung's Note9-revealing Unpacked event just wrapped up, and the company had a few surprises outside the expected big-screen phone. Among them was the Bixby Home, Samsung's first entry into the smart speaker market. Built around Samsung's in-house personal assistant, It's packed with six individual drivers for omnidirectional sound, plus a subwoofer. This time it isn't an April Fools' Day joke, either. Read More
You may have seen in our Google Store sale post that you could pick up two Home Minis for $58. Well, it seems like Google has decided to expand this to a manufacturer sale, meaning that multiple retailers are now offering the same deal and you now have a wide selection of stores to choose from. Read More
If you want a cheap smart speaker, you basically have two options: Google's Home Mini and Amazon's Echo Dot. It really depends on what ecosystem you're already invested in, but Amazon has a pretty sweet deal if you're an Alexa user. The company is offering a pair of Echo Dot 2nd gen spakers for just $59.98, a full $40 in savings over MSRP. Read More
A couple days ago, Polk Audio announced a new speaker aptly called the Assist. Not only does it have full Chromecast capabilities, but it also comes with Assistant for voice commands, searches, and smart home controls. Available next month, it will cost $199 according to Polk's press release. Read More
The Google Home Mini is probably the best value smart speaker you can buy. Not only do you get a fully-fledged Assistant experience, but you get okay sound out of it, too. Last Christmas, they went on sale for $30 each, which basically made them an impulse buy. Costco has had a 3-pack for a while now, which dipped down to $100 not too long ago (which was already a great deal). Now, you can pick up this bundle for a measly $80, almost half of what you would spend to buy three Home Minis separately at their $49 MSRP. Read More
In the personal assistance arms race, the two real options for Android users are Google's Assistant and Amazon's Alexa, and both companies have realized that victory will require ubiquity—not as the final result, but as the means. To that end, each has opened its platform up for third-party hardware, and Sony's (un)imaginatively named LF-S50G takes advantage of Google's Assistant in the same way the first party Google Home does, seasoned with a few unique features like gesture controls and a clock.
At around $200, though, I don't think Sony's speaker is worth the extra cash for most people over the $130 Google Home, unless you have particular requirements. Read More