Just a few years ago, the smart speaker market felt like a niche that would never really take off. Fast forward to 2019 and people are increasingly embracing these devices. That’s because homes are becoming more connected and a smart speaker is an excellent way to tie all your devices together into a central voice-controlled hub.
Smart speakers can do a lot. They can take and make calls, search queries such as “free gaming website builder” on the internet, play movies and music on external devices, and control smart home devices.
Below are our recommendations for best smart speaker devices for home automation.
Google’s Home smart speaker is a direct competitor to Amazon’s Echo and separating the two is tough. While the Echo is an elegant furniture accompaniment, the Google Home stands out a little bit more with its funky design. It certainly creates a talking piece sitting there like some sort of tech-filled air freshener.
Alexa is mature in terms of integration, but as a pure voice-controlled aid, Google Assistant is now the smartest of all digital helpers. It hooks into most smart home devices allowing for easy automation in multiple rooms.
Google Assistant is also an excellent hub for your entertainment thanks to its deep integration with Android and Google services. YouTube, Android TV, and Netflix, and Google Maps are all more accessible here than they are on smart speakers using Alexa.
While Amazon has updated the Echo, we are still waiting for the second generation of the Google Home. There is no indication as to when that will happen, but the Home is several years old at this point and a new version may be incoming.
Like most Apple products, the HomePod is made with an attention to detail and level of quality few other brands can match. It also manages to score highly in terms of smart integrations throughout the home, but it comes with significant caveats.
Before we get to that, it is worth noting the Apple HomePod is fantastic as a premium speaker, offering brilliant audio quality delivered up to loud levels. Siri is also arguably the most accurate virtual assistant on the market in terms of listening and surfacing results. That said, she is also the most likely to get things wrong.
Now for those caveats. The first is the Apple HomePod only works with Apple Music. In fact, it only really works with Apple products in any capacity. That may not be a huge deal-breaker for most customers as this will appeal to those already heavily invested in the company’s ecosystem.