“Smart” speakers: features, rating of models and selection tips

“Smart” columns are complemented by voice helpers, due to which they become more functional than their analogues. The presence of an assistant allows you to control the device by voice. Also Smart speakers can be part of the smart home system. There are quite a few high-quality models on the market that have already justified user expectations.

What it is?

“Smart” column is a pretty new and developing goods in the market of audio devices. In the first place in Smart models is not the sound quality, but an additional functionality. House models are equipped with voice assistants that can perform various user commands. There are microphones to recognize speech. Column can be part of the smart home system.

Each voice helper is unique and has its own set of functions. Most of the capabilities of the column depends on the assistant.

In Russian, you can fully use only the device with Alice from Yandex. All other assistants are better understood by English, and some and only his.

Speaking acoustics can not only reproduce sounds and answer questions. “Smart” column allows you to manage the components of the smart home.

Comparison of popular models gives an understanding that high-quality goods are in various price segments. Fully Russian-speaking are models with Voice Assistant Alice. The rest are much better understood by teams in English.

Amazon Alexa

Compact model got a good sound. Amazon Echo Dot 3nd Gen with Alexa’s Voice Assistant can work in a pair with other devices and manage the “smart” house. It is worth noting that The column works and recognizes the commands in English. The device has a lot of useful functional, but not all it is available outside America, Europe.

The column received one broadband speaker and 4 microphones. There are connectors for audio and headphones. Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. It is worth noting that the device works from the mains.

The main advantages of the model.

  1. Quality of sound. Reproduction is clean for column with dimensions. Low frequencies are not better due to the lack of subwoofer.
  2. Voice assistant It may be an element of the “smart” house, manage playback of music and many others. Assistant is pretty multifunctional.
  3. Dimensions and ergonomics. The column is small and easy to add to her mobility. The model can be suspended with a socket using a special fastening. On the case there are 4 keys to control. In addition, you can use voice and smartphone.
  4. Attractive decoration. Design model thoughtful. Textile coating is characterized by quality. In the design used classic shades. Attraction adds LED ring backlight.

Interestingly, with the help of the column you can respond to phone calls from the smartphone and send messages. Cons model.

  • Some limitations of the functionality outside the United States and Europe. The device received music services that are not popular in Russia, and some of them cannot be configured at all. And another voice assistant understands only teams in English. It is worth noting that even the non-ideal pronunciation of Alex recognizes.
  • Limited control with smartphone. Pretty controversial moment, because the main emphasis is made on voice teams. From the phone you can adjust the playback of music, but it will not work out on various resources.

“Yandex. Station”

“Smart” column in Russian from domestic manufacturer. Alice’s voice assistant is a distinctive feature. The sound speaker is quite mediocre. Low frequencies are not rough, but the average is sometimes completely falling out of the sound.

Initially, the first models were independent gadgets, but a new generation can be part of the “smart” house. The model is equipped with 5 speakers with a total power of 50 watts and 7 microphones. At the disposal of Wi-Fi users, Bluetooth and HDMI connector 1.4. Included column, network wire and HDMI cable, subscriptions.

The main advantages.

  • Alice can respond to simple questions, manage music and not only. Constantly come updates that expand the range of possibilities. Voice assistant greatly facilitates everyday routine.
  • Alice – the only Russian-speaking voice assistant. Assistant has a rather wayward personality. Some users even complain that Alice often holds.
  • You can connect to TV via HDMI. In this case, the “smart” column will help look for content. The only disadvantage of such an option can be considered that the sound is displayed through the device. You can not use the column only as a media player.
  • Ability to use Wireless Connection via Bluetooth.
  • Equally well works with smartphones running Android and iOS.
  • There is an opportunity to manage other “smart” devices through the column.
  • Value ratio and functionality. Such a column is the best if you need an assistant in Russian. There are more loud devices with Alice. However, they are less likely to receive updates.

And in the kit there are free subscriptions, it is also an advantage. The main cons model.

  • Decor. Pretty subjective factor, however, the design still rustles. True, you can take a column in a bright building, which looks more interesting.
  • Sound. If you make the volume above the average, then when playing some music, wheezing wheezing and Alice worse recognizes the team. Low volume is often not enough. It is worth noting that the column sounds better most of the TVs, which is already quite good.
  • Microphones. Alice is already well heard and understands the user, but not always. At high volume speakers themselves, microphone sensitivity decreases.
  • You can not combine several columns in the system.
  • The rear wall of the column is heated during use. It is worth considering when choosing a location.

Apple Homepod

Many users believe that the “smart” column from the American manufacturer is the best in its price segment. The model has a nice design, a good sound and can be used in the system of “smart” home HomeKit. Column has a voice assistant Siri.

It is worth noting that the model is compatible exclusively with the related ecosystem. Listen to music from a gadget running Android almost impossible.

The column received 8 speakers and 6 microphones. There are 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.

  • Sound. There is no explicit accent on low frequencies, the sound is pretty soft and clear. Column can be used to view the TV or listening to music. For better quality you can buy the second and make a stereo.
  • Design and assembly. The column looks sophisticated and attractive, there is nothing superfluous in her design. In the best traditions of Apple are used high quality materials. Separately, it is worth noting that the network cable is made on conscience.
  • Functional. Using microphones and speakers, the “smart” column analyzes the geometry of the room. Based on the data obtained, the device issues sound as uniform. Using the Apple account, you can listen to music directly through the column, without the use of additional gadgets. The model can be used as a hub for a “smart” house, which allows you to control locks, TVs and many others.
  • Simple and fast setting. It is enough to determine the column on the iPhone smartphone and select a pair of parameters.

Even such high-quality equipment can hardly be perfect.

Its main mines.

  • Compatibility exclusively with Apple ecosystem. The components of the “smart” house can be of any production. However, all settings are made exclusively through iOS. It is worth noting that MacBook and other gadgets are not suitable for this.
  • Siri. Many voice assistant options are not available in the CIS. Give commands better in English, with the understanding of the Russian to the assistant problem.
  • Price. An inflated price of apple equipment does not surprise. However, it is worth it in mind that in Russia to enjoy complete functionality is unlikely to succeed.

Google Home

A small model is characterized by high-quality sound for its dimensions. Column is designed for Google smart home. There is a small touch panel with narrow functional. Google Assistant Voice Assistant is provided for control. Russian language Assistant does not yet understand, although this option is already in development.

Design pretty interesting. The bottom of the case can be changed. User disposal several color solutions with metal and tissue finish. There is a key to turn off the microphone.

The main advantages of the model.

  • Functional. Voice Assistant is quite developed and worked. It is possible to configure actions for short commands. Google Assistant is used to control the “smart” house.
  • Decor. Laconic but stylish design.
  • Dimensions. Small and easy column. You can install it anywhere.
  • Cost and quality ratio. The model is really worth his money. Functional assistant is combined with a pleasant sound. It is worth noting that playback is not loud, but low frequencies are pretty good.
  • Support for various gadgets. You can use the column as a pair with Gadgets running Android and with iOS-smartphones.

“Smart” speakers can not communicate with each other, it is worth considering.

The main cons model.

  • No support for Russian. True, such an option is tested and sometimes even turns on for several days. It is worth noting that on the territory of Russia there is almost entire functionality, albeit in English.
  • Unable to replace the music column. The sound is not bad, however, most musical genres reproduce not very high quality.
  • Bluetooth is not provided. Listen to music from the smartphone directly will not work.

Xiaomi Mi Ai Speaker

“Smart” column 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. Built-in speakers quite well reproduce music in most genres. Sound quality not only indoors, but also on the street.

You can use Wireless Connection via Bluetooth. Additionally there is a 3.5 mm connector. The model can work with smartphones, TVs and other gadgets. The device can make reminders, play the role of alarm, 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.
  • Sound. The model reproduces all frequencies. It is quite convenient to use it as a monocolone for a TV.
  • Unusual functions. Interactive column can read fairy tales for the night of children. And her voice is quite pleasant.

It is worth noting that the power of the speakers is small.

Main disadvantages.

  1. Lack of charger included.
  2. Sometimes there are sound comments in Chinese.
  3. Lack of scenarios. Set the value of the commands will have to. This process is not complicated, but it takes time.

How to choose?

“Smart” speakers significantly simplify household tasks and allow you to use modern technologies in the house to maximum.

When choosing it is worth considering such nuances.

  • Sound quality matters. “Smart” speakers are designed not only for listening to music, this is not their main task. It should be chosen by the option that will be able to play your favorite songs.
  • Most models do not understand teams in Russian. It is worth considering. Some can recognize Russian, but respond to English. If the ownership of a foreign language is below average, it is worth paying attention only to Russian-speaking models.
  • “Smart” column can be chosen on any wallet. Domestic models are more economical. It is worth noting that even expensive American models will not be able to use in full force in Russia. Some functionality is simply unavailable.
  • It is worth paying attention to the size. Some models are quite overall and will be ridiculous to look in a small apartment. Others, on the contrary, too compact for the big house.

How to setup?

    Each model has its own features of the connection. If the “smart” column works only in a bundle with a gadget, then it is enough to pair on the Bluetooth wireless network. It is necessary to activate it on the smartphone and device, connect and enjoy using. The exact instructions are always in the accompanying documentation.

    Manufacturers try to simplify the settings and use of technology. Some column parameters can be adjusted from a smartphone. Most models have physical buttons on the body to adjust the volume.

    No special settings before use do not need to be done. To activate microphones, it is enough to pronounce a voice command.

    Top 5 smart speakers are presented.

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