What is a smart speaker
A smart speaker is an electronic device :
- connected to the internet in Wi-Fi,
- who reacts to the voice of his user,
- who plays music,
- and that does other functions.
Functions at home
It is used to :
- broadcast music from the web,
- search in the internet,
- guide in your online shopping,
- inform about the weather,
- order a purchase or a reservation,
- give the definition of a word,
- centralizes control of systems at home,
Amazon, a pioneer in this field, presents several ranges :
- the "classic" Echo aka Alexa, ideal for homes,
- the Amazon Tap, easier to transport,
- the Echo Dot, very small.
1- Amazon ECHO Classic, ECHO 2 and ECHO Plus
- it measures :
* 23,5 (resp. 14,8 et 14,8) centimeters in height,
* 8,35 (resp. 8,8 et 8,4) centimeters in diameter,
- it weighs 1,045 (respectively 0,821 and 0,954) kg,
- it has a double bandwidth,
- it has a Wi-Fi antenna,
- it has a built-in Bluetooth chip.
Once set correctly, it automatically connects to the home Wi-Fi.
To control the device, the user must go through a dedicated application compatible with Android, iOS and Fire iOS (Amazon's own system).
He has :
- seven microphones that capture the voice of the user,
- a baffle of 5 centimeters,
- a speaker reproducing high-pitched sounds,
- 6-centimeter bass used to communicate with the owner of the device,
- he is constantly listening and a simple voice request activates him.
2- Amazon TAP
- it measures 5.9 centimeters in height and 6.6 centimeters in diameter,
- he weighs 470 g,
- it has a double bandwidth,
- it is equipped with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth,
- he is not always listening, just activate it.
Amazon Tap is a portable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi speaker that gives you rich, full sound. Just press the microphone button or activate the hands-free mode to request music, listen to news, search information, order a purchase with Alexa voice service.
It is equipped with two stereo speakers with Dolby processing. Its sound is omnidirectional 360 °.
3- Ech Dot
- it measures 3.2 centimeters in height and 8.4 centimeters in diameter,
- it weights 163 g,
He has :
- an integrated speaker,
- seven far-field microphones,
- It's a hands-free, voice-controlled device that uses Alexa to play music, control smart mobile devices, send and receive messages, provide information, etc,
- With connected devices from WeMo, Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, Nest, Ecobee and others, he can control objects (home automation).
Google launched, too, three products :
- the Google home,
- the Google Home Max,
- the Google Home Mini.
1- Google Home
- it has no buttons, its upper part is touch,
- it is equipped with a loudspeaker and several multidirectional microphones.
Google Home is a voice-activated speaker that works with the Google Assistant. Ask him questions and give him things to do. It has been specially designed to help you.
2- Google Home Max
It's a premium, smart and connected speaker.
Personalization is the focus of Google in this device. Thus, in a home of several people, she distinguishes voices and is not mistaken when someone asks her to do something for him..
3- Google Home Mini
He is the little brother of the first Google Home. It comes in the form of a small pebble running under Google Assistant, Google's artificial intelligence.
It is a system of entertainment, assistance and control of connected objects, able to answer the voice requests of the user. It can also access all services offered by Google.
- two omnidirectional pickups,
- a 40 mm speaker
- volume control is done by tapping on the sides of the device to increase or decrease the sound.
The only physical touch of the device is on the back of the speaker. It is used to activate or deactivate the microphone of the assistant.
Apple plans to launch its product in 2018.
- It measures 17 centimeters in height and 14.2 centimeters in diameter,
- he weighs 2.5 kg,
- it is wireless and has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
- even horn tweeters, each with its own specific amplifier,
- six microphones,
-dynamic treatment worthy of a professional studio.
It has been presented as a "Home Assistant", to which it is possible to assign a whole bunch of requests (weather, internet search, news) that it will handle thanks to the Assistant Siri.
Other smart speakers
Here are some of the speakers that are currently on the market :
- Sony LF-S50G,
The factors that drive you to buy this or that smart speaker are :
- Compatible applications,
- The sound quality,
- The design,
- The price.
In 2017, Amazon's Alexa took the top spot with 70% of the market, while Google Home was in second place with 23% of sales.
Since the beginning of 2018, another speaker is talking about it is the Sony LF-S50G which has an irreproachable sound quality and other new features.