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Smart Speakers

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Amazon Echo 2nd gen on sale at all-time low of $65 ($35 off)

We're approaching Mother's Day in the United States and Amazon has a good number of its Echo and Fire devices on sale — our Aatif Sumar just pointed out a very good price on the latest version of the Kindle Paperwhite e-reader. What better way to follow up than to point you to the best price we've seen for the current-gen Amazon Echo speaker.

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Get two Google Home Minis for $48 ($10 off) on Woot for one day only

The Google Home Mini has become the most ubiquitous of smart speakers — Google finds them easy to give away, retailers find them easy to discount or bundle, and there's always plenty of stock to go around. In any case, sales do come by often, but whenever you can get an extra discount, you'll take it. Fortunately, Woot has that extra discount on the Home Mini, you just have to buy two of them and you gotta do it today.

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Blast your favorite tunes with $100 off Google Home Max

The Google Home Max is a top-tier smart speaker, with amazing (and incredibly loud) sound. If you've wanted to pick one up but you've been understandably deterred by the $399 MSRP, now could be your chance: the speaker is $100 off basically anywhere you can find it.

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Google Assistant speakers may soon offer preset buttons for frequent queries

Voice-activated assistant speakers are nothing short of a marvel — science fiction buffs know the tingle in their spine whenever they order their computer to perform a task. But in 2019, we're busy, the novelty has worn off, and we just want the speaker to do a job we often ask for, but without having to say so every time. Well, it looks like Google Assistant speakers and smart displays could soon allow users to assign specific queries to what may be purpose-designed hardware buttons.

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Refurbished JBL Link 10 portable Assistant speaker on sale for $50 ($30 off)

Most Assistant speakers are tied to a power outlet, but the JBL Link 10 can go where you go. It debuted at a rather hefty $150, but the price has since dropped to around $80. Now, you can get a Link 10 for even less cash, as long as you're cool with a refurb. The speaker is on eBay for $49.99.

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Google, Xiaomi, and Alibaba saw explosive smart speaker growth last year, Amazon not so much

Speakers are no longer just ways to listen to music; they're often home to helpful AI personalities like Alexa and Google Assistant. Smart speakers are big business these days, and market analysis firm Canalys has a new report that shows just how big. According to Canalys, Google, Xiaomi, and Alibaba all saw massive worth in smart speakers in 2018 vs. 2017. Amazon, however, saw a more modest rise.

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Qualcomm announces QCS400 chips to power smart speakers

Smart speakers are big business these days, and Qualcomm wants to be at the heart of as many of those products as possible. The new QCS400 series systems-on-a-chip (SoC) could get it there. The QCS400 comes in several flavors for different levels of speaker power, and the more capable versions offer dedicated AI processing hardware.

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Report: Google's 2019 hardware plans include Pixel 'Lite,' Home refresh, new Nest cameras, and wearables

Google's first-party hardware options may be set to ramp up this year according to a recent report. Based on the details, we might see new product lines as well as refreshes of existing ones. In addition to the already knownupcomingcheaper Pixel "Lite," Nikkei is reporting that Google plans to release its own wearables (plural), a Google Home refresh, and security cameras this year.

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Marshall Stanmore II review: A powerful but pricey Assistant speaker

You are no longer stuck with a few Google-branded speaker options if you want to invite Assistant into your home. There are speakers from JBL, Sony, and many others—including Marshall. The updated Marshall Stanmore II speaker launched recently, and it looks like a feasible alternative to Google's best-in-class Home Max. It combines classic Marshall styling with modern voice assistant features, but it comes with a steep $400 asking price.

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House of Marley announces refreshed Get Together Mini speaker with Google Assistant

The House of Marley makes a bunch of retro-looking audio gear with an emphasis on sustainability. The company has announced several new products coming this year, among them a refreshed version of its Get Together Mini portable speaker that'll feature everybody's favorite virtual assistant.

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