homepod mini vs alexa 2022

The Nest Audio sounds pretty good out of the box, but we appreciate that you can fine-tune the audio within the Google Home app for iOS and Android. It's excellent for a speaker that's so small, and it really feels like the right mix of price and sound quality. If you have relatively deep pockets, an eye for style, an ear for excellent audio, and an affection for Alexa, the Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin is one of your best options. The best value on this list is currently the $200 Echo Studio, which sounds just as good as speakers that cost twice as much. For any of these services, you can just ask the smart speaker to start playing music from them. It has good-but-not-great sound (as much as you can expect for $50) and all of the convenience of Amazon Alexa. Not sure which smart speaker is for you? A short chime and a yellow LED light let you know theres an alert, which will then tell you when to expect delivery of your latest order.

These skills let you do everything; for example, you can check your local transit status, look up your credit card balance, find trivia about your favorite college football team, play games, and sing along with songs. Henry St Leger The best smart speakers can even double as a chime for the best video doorbells or home security cameras, playing a tone to alert you that motion has been detected or the doorbell has been pressed. The app's very basic and there's no HDMI or optical audio, so you can't connect it to your TV.

Im an ISF-certified TV calibrator and a THX-certified home theater professional, and Im here to help you understand 4K, HDR, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, and even 8K (and to reassure you that you dont need to worry about 8K at all for at least a few more years). We found that the Nest audio picked up our commands with ease, and Google Assistant is quick to respond as well as loud and clear. We rate the Echo more highly than its Google Assistant counterpart, the Google Nest Audio, because of that stronger bass response and room-filling sound. Just saying. If you want a smart speaker you can take around, especially just outside your home for barbecues and parties, the Sonos Move is one of the best. However, smart speakers from third-party names such as Bose or Sonos support multiple digital assistants, giving you a choice of which one you want to use. Start by working out which voice assistant you want your smart speaker to offer access to. The first Zeppelin was an iPod dock with a 30-pin connector, which launched 15 years ago. It sounds just fine with uncomplicated pop music, but other genres reveal a lack of detail in the treble and mids that makes tracks lack sparkle and sound a little muffled. Large sound field with powerful bass, even without a subwoofer, Supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, Can easily be expanded with satellites and a subwoofer, Dolby Atmos compatibility with angled tweeters. The Apple HomePod was the first Siri smart speaker, but it was too expensive and limited to be very appealing. Sure Amazon's Echo range is very similar to the Google Home, but the Show, Spot, and Dot look quite different check out our guide to the best Alexa speakers for more information. If you're looking for a smart speaker with Google Assistant built-in, the Google Nest Audio is currently the best Google-manufactured smart speaker you can buy; we liked the Google Home Max (opens in new tab) speaker, but Google has stopped making it. With Amazons Echo lineup, youre able to place audio (or video, for devices that support it like the Echo Show) calls to other Echo devices and talk with friends or loved ones. It sounds good enough to give you something to listen to as you go to sleep, it's small enough that it won't take up much space, and it tells the time. If you want a smart speaker that can truly stand out in your setup, the newer yellow, orange and blue options are especially worth looking at. The fourth-generation Echo Dot speaker doesn't offer particularly impressive sound quality, but for $50, it's still the best basic gateway to Amazon's Alexa voice assistant. PCMag.com is a leading authority on technology, delivering lab-based, independent reviews of the latest products and services. We found that the eight microphone array, designed for near and far-field listening, enabled us to talk to Alexa or Google Assistant even when our music was playing loud, and we loved the preset buttons that offer one-touch access to your favorite playlists, radio stations or albums. There's also a much smaller number of compatible smart home devices that work with the smart speaker, compared to the range available for Alexa and Google Assistant-enabled smart speakers. If you have an iPhone and have been careful to make sure all of your smart home devices are HomeKit-compatible, this is ideal. Smart speakers can also be used as an intercom in your home - great for telling the kids dinner is ready - as well as making it easy to stay in touch with friends and family by enabling you to make audio calls without needing your smartphone close by. You can continue to use the Home app on your phone, but youll also be able to use Google Assistant to control lights, adjust your homes temperature or control any of the hundreds of smart home devices that work with Google Home. Siri on the HomePod and HomePod mini can play Apple Music and songs from your Apple Music account. Read more: Amazon Echo (2020) review (opens in new tab). Your subscription has been confirmed. It hooks into some of the largest platforms now available by including Nest, Philips, and Samsungs SmartThings although there's no built-in Zigbee hub as with the latest Amazon Echo. The fourth-generation Amazon Echo speaker takes the sound quality and smart home hub capabilities of the Echo Plus and puts it in a new round package. We've tested these speakers over a very long time and while we love their sound, we don't love everything. For example, you can ask Alexa via your Echo to turn your lights on or off, run a custom smart home routine and make an announcement that its movie time across the rest of your Alexa-enabled devices. It's a lot harder to change Alexa's voice, too. It sure is handy, but can also be dangerous, especially if your kid asks Alexa for the newest Lego set. Going beyond the iPhone, if you already have smart home devices around your house like light switches, thermostats or a doorbell that integrate directly with Apples HomeKit platform, then you should add a HomePod Mini to the mix. Those with smaller speakers are best suited to background music, while larger smart speakers will offer a louder, more room-filling sound. If you want to use Google Assistant instead of Amazon Alexa, and you want some good music performance as well as a helpful voice assistant, the Nest Audio is the best choice. Alexa and Google make free phone calls directly. There are a few other Alexa-compatible speakers that sound even better, and one's on this list, but they're much pricier than the Echo Studio.

Google Assistant and Siri are both much better at recognizing natural language and are generally less frustrating to use. This is the speaker we were talking about above when we mentioned you can get even better sound with Alexa if you're willing to pay much, much more money. Solid audio performance with rich bass and bright highs, Multiple speakers can be grouped and used as stereo pairs, Good Apple Home app integration for smart home controls, Not the absolute best audio quality for the price. Its chiclet shape is also a bit more plain and awkward than the friendly Echo sphere. You can also use the HomePod as a speakerphone, but you have to start the call on your iPhone. The choice between the three different smart speakers starts with what kind of phone you have. It sounds like a minor benefit, but it's really useful. And with discounting often taking it below its already low $50 / 50 / AU$80 price, its easy to see why its long been one of the most popular smart speakers on the market. The Sonos One is a cleanly designed, feature-rich and great-sounding device. The glowing digital clock display on the front is what makes a big difference, especially since its size and price make the device ideal for a counter, desk, or nightstand. When it comes to the smart assistants within the speakers, they're both extremely capable. You can then use Siri to play from your Apple Music library, control your smart home devices, send messages or ask for your daily agenda. This is, for all intents and purposes, Google's version of the Amazon Echo.

TechRadar is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. With surprisingly robust Dolby Atmos-compatible directional audio, Amazon's Echo Studio delivers just as much power as smart speakers that cost twice as much. Pretty simple. The fourth-generation Amazon Echo Dot With Clock is an ideal smart speaker for your desk or nightstand, with a small LED display that makes a big difference in usability. The Sonos Move is an exception. Despite their small size these smart speakers pack a powerful punch: if you're committed to Apple's ecosystem and services such as Apple Music, you'll love the way these speakers sound and their comparatively low price. The assistants are really useful by themselves, of course, but their inclusion here means you don't need to stick another tiny speaker somewhere else in the room. Smart speakers come in both wired and battery powered flavours. It surpasses the Echo in higher-frequency response but puts out weaker bass so it won't sound quite as nice at room-filling volume levels. Heres why you can trust us. All of the voice assistants let you make phone calls from your smart speaker. There was a problem.

Smart speakers manufactured by the brand behind the relevant voice assistant Apple for Siri, Amazon for Alexa, Google for Google Assistant will only come with their own virtual helper installed. Ive reviewed more than a thousand different consumer electronics products including headphones, speakers, TVs, and every major game system and VR headset of the last decade. You can check out Google's skills (which it calls "actions") in itsconvenient web-based directory(Opens in a new window). But if you want a speaker that's seriously stylish, the LE01 should be on your shortlist. And with Google Assistant (opens in new tab) and Amazon Alexa built-in, the sleek anodized aluminum Smart Speaker 500 has the smarts to match its room-filling sound and an elegant design. Learn more. The Amazon Echo Dot has always been the best option for those who arent sure about smart home tech and want to take the first step. It has clean treble but, otherwise, its audio is pretty weak. Nest Audio uses the Google Assistant for all voice interactions, which is the same assistant Android phones and tablets rely on when you use the phrase OK Google or Hey Google before asking for things like a weather update or to check on a local stores hours. By using Google Assistant, Nest Audio is able to do things like look up your daily Google Calendar agenda, or take advantage of Voice Match to identify who is talking so you can get tailored answers or play podcasts or music from your linked streaming accounts. There's no Zigbee hub here either. Amazons Alexa and Googles Assistant work with either an Android or iPhone, so an Echo or Google Home are interchangeable. We found the HomePod Mini especially easy to set up with our iPhone, thanks to a quick pairing process that only took about three minutes. It's more suitable for moving between rooms (or from inside to your backyard or deck) than taking on far-flung adventures, but even that flexibility is more than most smart speakers offer. It also supports Sonos' multi-room audio platform, which means you can mix and match it with other Sonos speakers as part of your home theater setup or around the house. Content is created by CNN Underscoreds team of editors who work independently from the CNN newsroom. Sign up to get breaking news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more, plus the hottest tech deals!

Some people have always liked Apple products the best and stay loyal to Siri. The HomePod Mini is the smallest out of the leading smart speakers, with a design thats about the size of an apple. When we tested the Echo we felt it could have been a bit louder, especially compared to larger rivals such as theApple HomePod (opens in new tab)andGoogle Home Max (opens in new tab); Amazon does have a much louder Echo, the Echo Studio, which you'll find elsewhere in this guide. Since Apple discontinued its original, amazing and rather expensive HomePods, this smaller version is the only Apple-made smart speaker in town or at least it is for now, as we're hearing rumours of a larger version coming soon. , The Echo works with almost every smart home device and platform, with Nest Audio right behind it, and finally, the HomePod Minis deep integration with Apple makes it a must-have for any iPhone user. It lags behind the Amazon Echo in terms of sound quality, but it's also smaller and offers the benefit of Apple AirPlay 2 support. Siri isn't as good as other digital assistants and seems rather buggy too: we've slept late a few times because alarms we asked Siri to set, and which Siri confirmed setting, didn't go off. You can pop it anywhereeven on the wall!and use Google's voice assistant easily; it fills the same niche for Google Assistant as the Amazon Echo Dot does for Alexa. That means the Sonos One can talk to Siri and be part of a multi-room system with the Apple HomePod (opens in new tab) or Apple HomePod Mini. Though you may want to think twice before you add your mother. This is another speaker for your counter, desk, or nightstand: It's small and doesn't cost too much money. Amazon started the smart speaker craze with its Alexa digital assistant, and in our testing, has generally been proven to be the fastest to respond and capable of doing the most. The 2021 model of the Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin speaker delivers wonderful, high-fidelity wireless audio from a strikingly designed enclosure, with built-in support for Amazon's Alexa voice assistant. Alexa and Google Assistant both connect to Apple Music and Spotify Premium accounts, as well as to Pandora, TuneIn, and iHeartRadio for free. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. For starters, the choice might depend on which speaker you like the look of the most. Google Assistant hasfewer skills, which is its main trade-off against Alexa for its more casual syntax and ability to accept more free-form conversation rather than demanding specific word-for-word phrasing. However, you have to seek out the skills you want and stick to a very specific syntax. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product or service, we may be paid a fee by that merchant. When it comes to choosing the right smart speaker for you, there are a number of factors to consider. The Nest Audio smart speaker offers Google Assistant functionality and clear, detailed sound in an attractive design for a reasonable price. Now, it's a completely wireless speaker with Apple AirPlay and Bluetooth, as well as Alexa. Most newer smart home devices are Wi-Fi-based and hubless, or otherwise work with Alexa and Google Assistant, so you should be covered regardless. The Dot has the same space-age aesthetic as its bigger brother, the Amazon Echo (2020), so it looks stylish and once again is quite a change from the previous Echo Dot design. It even offers hands-free Siri voice control and solid, if not nearly as powerful, sound. The general consensus seems to be that Google Assistant is, largely, the most accurate voice assistant. While all of these speakers sound good, we found the 4th-Gen Echo to offer the strongest, loudest audio of the bunch. If you're an audiophile, though, we think you'll find it worth every penny. It also has an IP56 rating, which means you can take it to the beach and don't need to worry about it during a downpour. And if you want video support as well, there are always smart displays, which are basically smart speakers with touch screens. All of your Apple devices are smart enough to know when theyre around each other, so when you say Hey Siri near a HomePod Mini, your Apple Watch or iPhone will let the smart speaker answer. The HomePod Mini relies on Siri yes, the same Siri the iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch use for any voice interactions. Our expert industry analysis and practical solutions help you make better buying decisions and get more from technology. This is for anyone with a home theater who wants big, powerful surround sound in a streamlined package. Whichever kind you go for you'll also need to connect it wirelessly either to your phone via Bluetooth or to your wireless network over Wi-Fi; these devices are all designed with constant connectivity in mind and can't do anything if there isn't anything to connect to. These devices enable you to create rooms, groups, and multi-step routines, as well as control your devices remotelybut only from iOS. That alone makes it a strong pick. The smart bit of this smart speaker is very smart, but the speaker itself is a little disappointing: the sound quality didn't live up to our expectations.

As weve already mentioned, a smart speaker can do more than just offer a way to listen to your favorite music streaming service, or the albums and tracks stored on your smartphone. Read more: Google Nest Audio review (opens in new tab). But Google has been a leader in the AI game for a long time now, well before the smart speaker market emerged. When you distill their functionality down, they all do mostly the same thing effortlessly allowing you to get answers, control your home, make phone calls and even play music all by using your voice. With 330W it's one of the most powerful speakers you can get for this price, and if you buy two Amazon Echo Studio speakers you can set them up in the Alexa app to create an immersive home cinema system (opens in new tab). You need to speak to Alexa in a certain way, in particular, to get the best results. The HomePod mini is far superior and costs a third as much as the HomePod. And if you don't have Apple Music, you're quite limited in what you can listen to. It's a great way to add Alexa to your home but if you're like us you'll probably want to upgrade to something more powerful for regular music listening. Its also worth considering factors such as sound quality and space the Echo will get the loudest, while the HomePod Mini will fit easiest into any setup. However, if youve yet to settle on the voice assistant for you, Alexa vs Google Assistant can help you decide. For us, the audio performance is the key reason to buy the HomePod mini. You can't ask the HomePod mini to play anything through Spotify that can only be enabled through AirPlay, and requires using your phone rather than the simpler method of asking Siri to play tunes with your voice. It's the sound that puts the Echo over the top. Read more: Bose Smart Speaker 500 review (opens in new tab). That means you can control smart home devices when youre not home. The Sonos Move also offers a choice between Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The Echo, HomePod mini, and Nest Audio sound notably better, as do most smart speakers in the $100 to $200 price range. However, these three small speakers have some noteworthy differences in terms of size, design and sound quality, and your experience with each one will vary based on which Apple, Google and Amazon products you already own. Of course, if you aren't already on a first-name basis with Siri, you don't need to give it much thought. A handful of soundbars support voice assistants, but the Sonos Arc stands out from the pack. It's a stunningly powerful system but involves a bit of a learning curve. So this is a big step forward for Amazon's smart speaker. This isn't a problem once you get used to the syntax, but the voice assistant too often gets confused if you use an unfamiliar term or phrase a command in an unfamiliar way. They even cost the same at around $99. That means strong bass in a fairly compact package. Thank you for signing up to TechRadar. 2022 Cable News Network. The little puck is the most affordable Google Assistant smart speaker you can get. The Arc sounds excellent by itself, however, which is what makes it impressive.

Ive been PCMags home entertainment expert for over 10 years, covering both TVs and everything you might want to connect to them. It still looks like a cool, floating black football, and it still sounds fantastic. It's just a shame that Siri feels like it's lagging behind rival assistants. Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri have become our reliable digital assistants. As a graduate of English Literature and persistent theatre enthusiast, he'll usually be found forcing Shakespeare puns into his technology articles, which he thinks is what the Bard would have wanted. Read our full review: Braun LE01 wireless speake (opens in new tab)r. To discover the best smart speakers on the market, we assess the the sound quality of the speaker and how effective the built-in voice assistant is at controlling playback for you; from selecting specific playlists, albums and tracks to adjusting the volume, skipping tracks and even the number of streaming service its compatible with. On the whole that's subjective. Others really like Alexa after snapping up an Echo as soon as the smart speaker was first launched. Once you set your voice assistant of choice, you can use it just like an Amazon Echo or Nest Audio. Read more: Amazon Echo Studio review (opens in new tab).

Note: The prices above reflect the retailers' listed price at the time of publication. You will receive a verification email shortly. The Amazon Echo and Echo Studio add support for the Zigbee smart home standard, which means they work with more third-party devices (and other Echos in your home, as a result). Few smart speakers are portable, because voice assistants need some kind of internet connection to work. It's a good anchor smart speaker, something to put in the living room to control lights and play music without taking up a lot of space or costing a lot of money. Powerful audio with rich bass depth and bright highs, Portable, dust- and water-resistant build, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice control, Sculpted, mono sound signature not for everyone. If you have an iPhone or an iPad, it might also be worth checking out the best AirPlay speakers, which allow you to stream music from your devices to your speaker. If you intend to use the smart speaker as your main listening device, make sure you consider the number of speakers, and the sound output and quality they offer. Every smart speaker responds to a wake word, such as "Alexa" for Alexa, "Hey, Google" for Google, and "Siri" for Siri. As mentioned, you can use them to control better speakers. Conversely, you can approve loved ones who you want to have access to your Echo. It puts out enough bass that you probably won't miss a subwoofer (a good thing, since it works only with the Sonos Sub subwoofer, which costs almost as much as the Arc), and its multiple angled drivers and Dolby Atmos compatibility allow it to produce a large sound field with strong directional audio even without rear satellites. The speaker has five separate drivers that can generate a wide sound field with (if the geometry of the room is suitable for it) accurate imaging from left to right and even above. Amazon promotes the Echo Studio's ability to play 360-degree music via its Amazon Music HD subscription service, which is not included in Amazon Prime. The biggest surprise in the Echo Studio, however, is Dolby Atmos support combined with directional audio. Weve tested the Echo, Nest Audio and HomePod Mini extensively, and are ready to help you make that decision. This is the most powerful first-party Alexa speaker and the most technically impressive. Visit our corporate site (opens in new tab). It's large and powerful, plus sports an internal battery that allows you to carry it around. CNN Sans & 2016 Cable News Network.

That's because in addition to playing your favourite music from your chosen streaming services, it also has a voice-controlled digital assistant that you can use for all kinds of things. We've tested that configuration too, and while it's not as immersive as a dedicated surround sound system it's still very impressive as well as impressively loud. Since 1982, PCMag has tested and rated thousands of products to help you make better buying decisions. Powerful audio performance with rich bass and detailed highs, App includes adjustable bass and treble settings, Stereo separation could be more pronounced, Digital signal processing isn't for purists. But before you can choose a smart speaker, you have to pick a camp. Please refresh the page and try again. Apples smart speaker comes in yellow, orange, blue, white and Space Gray, giving it the most color options out of the bunch and certainly the boldest. Its easier to fit into a tight space than the 4th-Gen Echo or the Nest Audio, and is a fraction of the weight of both speakers for when you need to take it with you. The top voice assistants don't work very well together and, if you want to equip multiple rooms, you should stick to a single one. The Google Nest Mini and Amazon Echo Dot have both made big strides in sound quality, but they still can't really fill a room and aren't quite good enough to be primary music speakers. Thanks to the combination of the Alexa app and Zigbee, setting up additional smart home devices is a painless process; tap a few buttons, the Echo finds compatible nearby smart home devices and asks if you want to use Alexa to control them. The best smart speakers offer access to either Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri. It's another Goldilocks speaker, not too small or expensive, but versatile enough for wherever you want to put it. The impressive Sonos Arc takes the best parts of the company's other soundbars and combines them into one Dolby Atmos-compatible package. We think Amazons first high-end smart speaker for home cinemas is the best-sounding Echo we've tested. NY 10036. When it comes to smart speakers, Amazons Echo, the Nest Audio from Google and Apples HomePod Mini are currently the three most popular models. The Google Nest Mini is the most affordable Google Assistant smart speaker you can buy, but it offers virtually no improvements over the previous model. Amazon continues to develop Alexa, but for now, Google and Apple have the edge here. It isn't perfect. All three voice assistants are fairly easy to talk to, but they can trip up if you don't use the proper syntax. If you want Alexa by your bed or at your desk, and you don't need powerful, room-filling sound, the Echo Dot with Clock is the best pick. The Sonos Move is a powerful multi-room smart speaker with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice control, as well as a durable, battery-powered design you can use anywhere. It's pricey, but it looks and sounds great, thus making it an ideal speaker for an office or living room you want to spruce up visually and aurally.
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