The best smart speakers for your home in 2022

Those tiny puck-shaped or pillar-shaped smart speakers sitting on your desk do much more than play your favorite tunes. From answering your silly questions to looking up recipes and even sending stuff to your Android TV boxes , they’ve become far more capable than they used to be a few years ago. Your smart speaker options have exploded, making choosing a new one a bit of a challenge. While it’s still easy to pick the “smart” camp you want to be in — Alexa or Google Assistant (or even Siri) — each speaker comes with its own merits, flaws, and sound quality. Some come with a built-in Zigbee hub that you’d otherwise need to buy separately for things like smart lights , while others may let you use both Alexa or Google Assistant on the same device. From the vast sea of choices, we’ve gathered the best smart speakers to upgrade your own home with. Despite being a little over a year old, the 4th-gen Echo Dot continues to be the best smart speaker for most users. Compared to Google’s counterpart, this little speaker is not only louder but also produces fuller sound, with a larger echo chamber (no pun intended) and deeper bass. Microphones are an essential piece of hardware for smart speakers, and thankfully, they’re pretty sensitive to the Alexa wake word on the Echo Dot. So, you don’t need to raise your voice when something’s playing, or you’re across the room. The same goes for the bright ring light; it’s easily visible from afar. While it’s generally true that Google Assistant is a better overall voice assistant, Alexa has a slight edge in smart home use. Alexa is compatible with far more smart home devices, so if you already have a connected device in your home, the chances are that it works with the Echo Dot. And considering how voice assistants practically live in the crowd, you’d get the same capabilities as any of the pricier Echo speakers — except for their more thumping, room-filling sound, and a built-in Zigbee hub. Its crystal ball-like design is a big departure from the more subtle look of previous Dots, but it has allowed Amazon to play with the front look. Like for your kids’ room, you can pick the Echo Dot in two fun-looking faces — panda or tiger. You can also get a variant with a digital clock at the front, making it a perfect accessory for your desk. The only quip we have with the Echo Dot is that its design makes it difficult to put it on a wall, though a few mounts make it possible without much fuss. Also, since the Echo Dot has a forward-firing speaker, you can’t put it in the center of the room, though this won’t be a problem for most buyers. Specifications Audio: 1.6″ front-firing speaker, 4 microphones Power: Wired, 15W barrel adapter Price: Starting at $50 Connections: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5, Aux out Voice assistant: Alexa Colors: Black, white, […]

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