Smart speakers are supplemented by voice assistants, due to which they become more functional than their counterparts. The presence of an assistant allows you to control the device using voice. Also, smart speakers can be part of a smart home system. There are quite a few high-quality models on the market that have already met the expectations of users.
What it is?
The “smart” speaker is a fairly new and developing product in the audio market. In the first place, smart-models do not have sound quality, but additional functionality . Home models are equipped with voice assistants that can execute various user commands. The body has microphones for speech recognition. A speaker can become part of a smart home system.
Each voice assistant is unique and has its own set of functions. It is from the assistant that most of the column capabilities depend.
In Russian, you can fully use only the device with Alice from Yandex. All other assistants have a better understanding of the English language, and some of them do it at all.
Talking acoustics can not only play sounds and answer questions. A “smart” column allows you to control the components of a smart home.
Comparison of popular models gives an understanding that there are quality products in various price segments. Fully Russian speakers are models with voice assistant Alice. The rest understand teams in English much better.
The compact model got a good sound. Amazon Echo Dot 3nd Gen with Alexa voice assistant can work in tandem with other devices and manage a "smart" home. It is worth noting that the column works and recognizes commands in English . The device has a lot of useful functionality, but not all of it is available outside of America, Europe.
The speaker received one broadband speaker and 4 microphones. There are connectors for audio and headphones. For wireless use Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. It is worth noting that the device works from the mains.
The main advantages of the model.
- Sound quality . Playback is clear for speakers with such dimensions. Low frequencies are not of the best quality due to the lack of a subwoofer.
- A voice assistant can be an element of a smart home, control music playback and much more. The assistant is quite multifunctional.
- Dimensions and ergonomics . The column is small and light, which adds mobility to it. The model can be hung from the outlet using a special mount. On the case there are 4 keys for control. In addition, you can use voice and smartphone.
- Attractive design . The design of the model is thoughtful. The textile coating is distinguished by quality. The design used classic shades. Attractiveness is added by LED ring lighting.
Interestingly, with the help of the column you can answer phone calls from your smartphone and send messages. Cons of the model.
- Some functional limitations outside the US and Europe . The device received music services that are not popular in Russia, and some of them cannot be customized at all. And the voice assistant understands only the commands in English. It is worth noting that even the imperfect pronunciation of Alex recognizes.
- Limited control from a smartphone . Quite a controversial point, because the main emphasis is on voice commands. You can control music playback from your phone, but you won’t be able to search for it on various resources.
"Smart" column in Russian from a domestic manufacturer. Voice assistant Alice is a hallmark of the model. The sound of the speaker is rather mediocre . Low frequencies are not coarse, but medium ones sometimes fall out of the sound at all.
Initially, the first models were independent gadgets, but the new generation may be part of a smart home. The model is equipped with 5 speakers with a total power of 50 watts and 7 microphones. At the disposal of users Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and HDMI 1.4. Included is the speaker itself, network cable and HDMI cable, subscriptions.
The main advantages.
- Alice can answer simple questions, manage music and more. Constantly updates are coming that expand the range of possibilities. Voice assistant greatly facilitates daily routine.
- Alice is the only Russian-speaking voice assistant. The assistant has a rather wayward personality. Some users even complain that Alice often dares.
- Can connect to TV via HDMI. In this case, a “smart” column will help you search for content. The only drawback of this option is that the sound is output through the device. You can not use the column only as a media player.
- Ability to use wireless connection via Bluetooth.
- It works equally well with smartphones running Android and iOS.
- It is possible to control other “smart” devices through the column.
- Value for money. Such a column is the best if you need an assistant in Russian. There are louder devices with Alice. However, they are less likely to receive updates.
And in the kit there are free subscriptions, this is also an advantage. The main disadvantages of the model.
- Design . A rather subjective factor, but the design is still rustic. True, you can take a column in a bright body, which looks already more interesting.
- The sound . If you make the volume above average, then when playing some music, wheezing is heard and Alice recognizes the commands worse. Low volume is often not enough. It is worth noting that the speaker sounds better than most TVs, which is already pretty good.
- Microphones Alice already hears and understands the user well, but not always. At high volume of the speakers themselves, the microphone sensitivity decreases.
- You cannot combine multiple columns into a system.
- During use, the back of the column heats up . This should be considered when choosing a location.
Many users believe that the “smart” speaker from the American manufacturer is the best in its price segment. The model has a nice design, good sound and can be used in the system of "smart" HomeKit. The speaker has a Siri voice assistant.
It is worth noting that the model is compatible exclusively with a related ecosystem. Listening to music from a gadget running Android is almost impossible.
The column received 8 speakers and 6 microphones. There is support for AirPlay and Wi-Fi MIMO. To control, you can use the touch panel on the column itself.
The main advantages of the model.
- The sound . There is no obvious emphasis at low frequencies, the sound is quite soft and clear. The speaker can be used to watch TV or listen to music. For better quality, you can buy a second and make a stereo pair.
- Design and assembly . The column looks sophisticated and attractive, there is nothing superfluous in its design. In the best traditions of Apple used high quality materials. Separately, it is worth noting that the network cable is made to last.
- Functional . With the help of microphones and speakers, the “smart” column analyzes the geometry of the room. Based on the data received, the device produces sound as evenly as possible. With an Apple account, you can listen to music directly through the speaker, without the need for additional gadgets. The model can be used as a hub for a “smart” home, which allows you to control locks, televisions and much more.
- Simple and quick setup . It is enough to determine the column on the iPhone smartphone and select a couple of parameters.
Even such a high-quality technique can hardly be ideal.
Its main disadvantages.
- Compatible exclusively with Apple’s ecosystem . The components of a smart home can be of any production. However, all settings are made exclusively through iOS. It is worth noting that the MacBook and other gadgets are not suitable for this.
- Siri Many voice assistant options are not available in the CIS. It is better to give commands in English, with an understanding of Russian as an assistant problem.
- Cost . Apple's overpriced technology is not surprising. However, it should be borne in mind that in Russia it is unlikely to enjoy full functionality.
The small model is distinguished by high-quality sound for its dimensions. The column is designed for smart home Google. There is a small touch panel with narrow functionality. For management provided voice assistant Google Assistant. The assistant does not understand the Russian language, although such an option is already in development.
The design is quite interesting. The lower part of the body can be changed. At the disposal of users several colors with metal and fabric finishes. A key is provided to mute the microphone.
The main advantages of the model.
- Functional . The voice assistant is quite developed and worked out. It is possible to configure actions for short commands. The Google Assistant is used to manage your smart home.
- Design . Concise but stylish design.
- Sizes . Small and lightweight speaker. You can install it anywhere.
- Value for money . The model is really worth the money. Functional assistant combined with a pleasant sound. It is worth noting that the playback is not loud, but the low frequencies are pretty good.
- Support for various gadgets . You can use the column as paired with gadgets running Android, and with iOS-smartphones.
Smart speakers cannot be connected, this should be taken into account.
The main disadvantages of the model.
- There is no support for the Russian language . True, this option is tested and sometimes even turned on for several days. It is worth noting that almost all the functionality works in Russia, albeit in English.
- Unable to replace speaker for music . The sound is good, but most music genres are not reproduced very well.
- Bluetooth is not provided . Listening to music from a smartphone directly will not work.
Xiaomi Mi AI Speaker
The “smart” speaker looks compact and stylish. The device can work without recharging for 8 hours, which is quite interesting. This is one of the few “smart” speakers with a battery. The built-in speakers reproduce music in most genres quite qualitatively. The sound quality is not only indoors, but also on the street .
You can use a wireless connection via Bluetooth. Additionally there is a 3.5 mm jack. The model can work together with smartphones, televisions and other gadgets. The device can make reminders, play the role of an alarm clock, talk about the weather and much more.
Its main advantages.
- Size and design . Dimensions allow you to install the device anywhere. At the same time, the model looks concise, suitable for any interior.
- Autonomy . A small column can be used as a portable one.
- The sound . The model reproduces all frequencies quite qualitatively. It is quite convenient to use it as a mono speaker for a TV.
- Unusual features . An interactive column can read bedtime stories to children. And her voice is pretty nice.
It is worth noting that the power of the speakers is small.
The main cons.
- Lack of charger included.
- Sometimes there are sound comments in Chinese.
- Lack of scripts. You have to set the value of the commands yourself. This process is not complicated, but it takes time.
How to choose?
"Smart" speakers greatly simplify everyday tasks and allow you to use modern technology in the house to the maximum.
When choosing it is worth considering such nuances.
- Sound quality matters . “Smart” speakers are not only for listening to music, this is not their main task. At the same time, it’s worth picking up an option that can reproduce your favorite songs in high quality.
- Most models do not understand the commands in Russian . This is worth considering. Some may recognize Russian, but respond in English. If the knowledge of a foreign language is below average, then you should pay attention only to Russian-speaking models.
- A smart column can be selected on any wallet . Domestic models are more economical. It is worth noting that even expensive American models cannot be used to their full potential in Russia. Some functionality is simply unavailable for them.
- It is worth paying attention to size . Some models are quite large and will look ridiculous in a small apartment. Others, on the other hand, are too compact for a large house.
How to setup?
Each model has its own connection features. If the "smart" column works only in conjunction with the gadget, then it is enough to pair through a wireless Bluetooth network. You need to activate it on your smartphone and device, connect and enjoy using it. The exact instructions are always in the accompanying documentation.
Manufacturers are trying in every possible way to simplify the settings and use of equipment. Some column parameters can be adjusted from a smartphone. Most models have physical buttons on the case to adjust the volume level.
You do not need to make any special settings before use. To activate the microphones, just say a voice command.
TOP 5 smart speakers are presented below.