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Smart Speakers

7

Anker Soundcore Model Zero and Zero+ review: Premium wireless speakers, with or without Google Assistant

Anker's Soundcore sub-brand sells all kinds of wireless audio gear, from earbuds to soundbars. They generally target a pretty midrange market; they're not chintzy by any means, but historically, they haven't been expensive, either. Starting at $200, though, Anker's new Soundcore Model Zero and Model Zero+ speakers are decidedly more premium than the company's previous offerings. And while they're not quite a home run, there's a lot to like here.

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7

Google Assistant versions of Marshall's retro-inspired smart speakers are now available

Marshall announced its first smart speakers, the Acton II and Stanmore II, back in August. They released in October, the initial batch packing Amazon's Alexa. Marshall said Google Assistant models were to follow later in the year. Well, it's later, and the company made good on its word: Assistant-compatible versions of the Acton II and Stanmore II are now available.

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30

Google Home Max is way down to $262 ($137 off) with coupon code at Belk

The Google Home Max is Google's biggest and best smart speaker, which makes it a front-runner for best smart speaker, period. It comes with a price tag to match, though, usually fetching $399. It's currently on sale all over the place for $349, but one retailer has an even better deal: department store Belk is selling the speaker for $262 — $137 off MSRP.

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5

The Sonos One is down to $179 for a single ($20 off), $348 for a two-pack ($32 off)

Sonos makes some darn fine and darn expensive audio gear. The popular Sonos One is a small but powerful streaming speaker, and normally sells for a very premium $199. It's $20 off right now in Sonos's holiday sale, bringing the price down to $179. A two-pack can be had for $348, which is $30 to $50 off, depending on who you ask.

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6

[Deal Alert] Get a UE Megablast speaker for $175 ($125 off) on Amazon

Ultimate Ears' Megablast speaker, by all accounts, sounds great. It's pricey, though, at an MSRP of $299.99. Back in April, we saw it going for $190, which was its lowest-ever price up to that point. Right now, it's even cheaper than that: just $175 on Amazon.

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9

Marshall Voice smart speakers with Amazon Alexa launching October 2, Google Assistant versions coming later this year

Marshall, famed maker of guitar amps and, more recently, cutesy Bluetooth speakers that resemble guitar amps, has announced that it's got a slew of new devices on the horizon. The lineup includes refreshes of both its Acton and Stanmore speakers that will each include support for Amazon Alexa, coming October 2 — with versions sporting the Google Assistant coming later this year.

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20

Smart speaker sales up 187% in Q2 2018: Google Home leads the pack, Chinese market sees rapid growth

With the ultra-affordable Google Home Mini and Echo Dot often on sale for as little as $30, it's no surprise that sales of smart speakers have gone through the roof over the past 12 months. The global market saw year-on-year growth of 187% in Q2, with total shipments increasing from 5.8 million in 2017 to a staggering 16.8 million for the same period in 2018. Google's lead from Q1 has been retained — it sold 5.4 million Home devices in the second quarter.

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1

Eufy Genie catches up to Amazon Echos with new calling and messaging abilities

The Eufy Genie is a popular third-party Alexa-enabled smart speaker from Anker that can usually be picked up for as little as $30, making it a good alternative to the Echo Dot. It hasn't always been as capable as Amazon's own hardware, though, with the omission of calling and messaging being a prime example. The Genie is now finally getting those very features.

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21

Samsung could debut a Bixby smart speaker in the coming weeks

Samsung is reportedly inching closer to unveiling a competitor to Google Home and Amazon Echo — starring nobody's favorite voice assistant. Sources tell the Wall Street Journal that the company is preparing to reveal its own Bixby-powered smart speaker sometime in the next several weeks.

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79

[Update: Last few hours of deals] 2018 Prime Day deal roundup: All the best phones, Chromebooks, and smart home gadgets on sale [Updated continuously]

Prime Day is in full swing, but it can be hard to keep track of all the different sales happening. Even a few third-party retailers seem to be trying to divert a bit of that attention to themselves with their own promotions. To make things a bit easier for our readers, we're keeping track of all the stuff that we spot together in one place, right here.

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