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
Anker is well known for making quality, affordable accessories, and its subbrand Zolo is gaining a similar reputation for audio products. The Zolo Liberty+ true wireless earbuds are among the best in the category, and the company also makes Google Assistant-equipped smart speakers. It also makes the Zolo Halo speaker, which has Amazon's Alexa on board. Read More
We've been hearing that Spotify is aiming to produce its own hardware for a few weeks now, and this latest news substantiates those rumors. A native voice search is being tested in the iOS app, pointing towards future integration with a Spotify-built smart speaker. Read More
Having a Google Home Mini around is often an enjoyable, futuristic experience. But for some, it can feel bizarre saying things aloud to seemingly no one in particular and waiting for a disembodied Google Assistant to respond. Thanks to the wonders of 3D printing, you can make these encounters a little more palpable by giving that virtual assistant living inside your smart speaker an adorable Android robot body. Read More
After the Google Home was announced, it was only a matter of time before Google, like Amazon, made it possible for other brands to create their own Assistant-enabled speakers. We've already reviewed the TicHome Mini, a small portable alternative to the Home Mini, and today we're taking a look at JBL's line-up of Google Homesque speakers: the Link series. In this review, I will focus on the portable IPX7-rated cylindrical Link 20 and the larger stationary Link 300. However, my Android Police colleague Jeff has also had the Link 10, 20, and 300 for a while so I'll add his thoughts on the Link 10 and mention his personal comments on the other two as well. Read More
You just got a Google Home, and after unwrapping it and setting it up, you've asked about the weather, requested a few songs to play, and set a timer for 5 minutes to see how it rings. Now what?
I've been covering Google's smart speaker for more than a year now and I've owned a couple of Google Homes for about a year, yet I still feel like I'm not using them to their full potential. Every week brings new features and integrations that make it tough to remember all that can be done, so for those of you who don't know what to ask beyond playing music, those who are getting confused by hearing a different voice sometimes from the speaker, those who are always wondering why some actions work for them but not other members of their household, this is the most accurate tutorial I can write right now. Read More
iHome still, in fact, exists, and just today at CES the company announced a new Google Assistant powered speaker. With a built-in clock and alarm, it's meant to be a smart bedside companion. Although it won a CES 2018 Innovation Award, the new iGV1 pretty much just looks like a sawn-off Google Home with a clock on the front. Read More