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The prices offered are the same as those charged by the parent companies.
Best cheaper range from Amazon
The Amazon company, a pioneer in this field, presents several models of High Tech items:
- the "classic" Echo aka Alexa, ideal for homes,
- the Amazon Tap, easier to transport,
- the Echo Dot, very small.
Amazon Echo (3ème génération)
- it measures: 148 mm in height for 99 mm in diameter,
- it weighs 780 grams,
- it has dual bandwidth 2.4 and 5 GHz,
- it uses Wi-Fi compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n/ac,
- it has a built-in bluetooth chip.
- Supports A2DP and AVRCP,
- Voice control not supported on Mac OS X,
- Not supported on devices requiring a PIN code.
It has new premium speakers with Dolby sound for a 360° audio experience. The equalizer settings are adjustable and it is possible to pair your device with a second compatible Echo to have stereo sound.
The Apk Alexa is compatible with Fire OS, Android and iOS. It allows you to:
- Use your voice to play a track,
View news, weather, traffic and sports scores,
- Control an entire connected home.
Alexa maintains skills which are applications intended for the speaker.
The novelty is that this speaker is designed to protect your personal information with the disconnection of all microphones using a specific button.
The inexpensive Dot (3rd generation)
- measures 32 mm in height for 84 mm in diameter for 2,
- measures 43 mm in height for 99 mm in diameter for 3,
- they weigh less than 200 g,
Audio: It has:
- a built-in speaker operating as a connected alarm clock,
- seven far-field microphones,
- It is a hands-free, controlled device by voice and using Alexa for several possibilities,
- Object control can be done (home automation).
Best range of the Google Giant
The giant has also launched three High Tech products called "Home":
- the Home,
- the Max,
- the Mini.
It has integrated all its armada, Gmail, Google Photos, Google Drive and others to get the most out of it.
It has integrated several features into its devices. Those not listed require the use of other tools and services.
- This connected speaker has no buttons, its upper part is tactile,
- It is equipped with a speaker and several multidirectional microphones.
The Home is a voice-controlled speaker. She uses the Google Assistant. She sees the questions and she is able to do a lot of things.
It's a premium, inexpensive, smart and connected speaker. Personalization is central to Google's concerns in this device.
It is a premium speaker, smart and connected . Personalization is central to Google's concerns in this device. This is how, in a household of several people, she can distinguish voices and is not mistaken when someone asks her to do something for him.
The inexpensive Mini
It's the little brother of the first Google Home. It takes the form of a small pebble running under Google Assistant, Google's artificial intelligence.
It is an entertainment, assistance and control system for connected objects, capable of responding to the user's voice requests. It can also access all the services offered by Google.
- two omnidirectional microphones,
- 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 button on the device is on the back of the speaker. It is used to activate or deactivate the assistant's microphone.
Apple has already launched its product in 2018: The HomePod, which is the rival of Google and Amazon. For this, he bet on the quality of his product.
- it measures 170 mm in height and 142 mm in diameter,
- it weighs 2.5 kg,
- it is wireless and has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
- seven horn tweeters, each with its own specific amplifier,
- six microphones and deep bass ,
- dynamic processing worthy of a professional studio.
It was presented as a “Home Assistant”, to which it is possible to assign a whole bunch of requests (weather forecast, internet search, news ) that it will process thanks to the Siri Assistant.
Here are some of the smart speakers that are currently on the market: We can't speak of a better speaker . There are always improvements.
- Sony LF-S50G,
- Onkyo smart speaker P3 and V3,
- Panasonic SC-GA10,
- JBL Link20,
- Libratone Zipp,
- Harman Kardon Allure and Invoke,
- LG ThinQ.
And then there is one speaker that emerges from all the others. It's the Sonos one. It is certainly one of the best models on the market. It has sound power with impeccable audio quality and stereo sound.
This compact Wi-Fi speaker from Sonos is sold in France but does not yet have all the new features: Alexa, Google Assistant, AirPlay 2 for the French language.
La One de Sonos
- Dimensions 162x120x120 mm,
- Weight 1.85 kg,
- Two finishes, black and white,
- Touch interface.
- Microphone mute function,
- Privacy with LED,
- Equipped with multiple microphones.
La commande vocale n'est pas prise en charge dans plusieurs pays. En plus, les skills sont ajoutés au fur et à mesure. D'un autrecôté, il faut savoir qu'il existe des kits de fixation murale et des supports adaptés mais qui sont énormément chers sur le site de l'enceinte.
Kardon Harman Citation One
- Dimensions 140x188x140 mm,
- Weight 2 kg,
- 802.11a/b/g/n/ac wireless network,
- Built around top quality microphones.
The Citation One is a speaker with sophisticated design. It is the ultimate in advanced audio. It is based on the Google Assistant which allows you to:
- Get answers to your questions,
- Listen to music (300 broadcasting services),
- Control your home automation .
The factors which push you to buy such or such speaker are:
- The quality of the voice assistants and the compatible applications,
- The quality of the sound, the sound system and the amplification of the top -speaker or speakers,
- The design, the hands-free kit,
- An inexpensive speaker, at the lowest price.
In 2017, the 'Amazon's Alexa took first place in sales with 70% of the market while Google Home came in second with 23% of sales.
Since the start of 2018, another speaker is talked about, it is the Sony LF-S50G which has an irreproachable sound quality and other unprecedented functions.
The quality speakers, the best connected speakers, portable or not, are built around a Hifi amplifier of a few watts. They use 802.11b / g / n wifi or ac and the 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz frequency bands. They are sold with their hands-free kit.
All of them currently use state-of-the-art Alexa and Google voice assistants (OK Google, Bose Surround).
And finally, plug in its Hi-fi speaker is a plus. It allows you to create sound in the home by dialoguing thanks to its integrated assistant.
Invasion of privacy
We take here extracts from the article of the CNIL France (National Commission for Computing and Liberties) of 20/12/2018.
Etapes de fonctionement
The operating principle of a smart speaker goes through 5 steps:
- Step 1:
The user gives a command using a keyword,
- Step 2:
The keyword pronounced "wakes up" the speaker. Some speakers use voice biometrics, which means having the user record samples of their voice for one reason or another. These data are collected without the user's consent.
- Step 3:
The user provides his request. There are two possibilities:
. The requests are saved locally,
. The requests are sent to the cloud, that is to say to servers which keep a history of requests as well as the corresponding data (date, time, etc.),
- Step 4:
The loudspeaker response sentences are first transcribed into text and then synthesized on the loudspeaker,
- Step 5:
The loudspeaker is on standby.
Three essential points must be observed in order not to harm your privacy. These 3 points of vigilance are:
- First point: Confidentiality of exchanges
If the speaker detects one of the pre-recorded keywords, it can activate and register the conversation, even if it is on standby. To remedy this:
. You should prefer a speaker equipped with a microphone activation and deactivation button,
. You have to mute the microphone or turn off the device when you don't want to be listened to,
. You must warn everyone around you at home,
. It is especially necessary to supervise the interactions of the children.
- Second point: The monetization of the ultimate
The enclosure is at the center of the life at home. Home life habits are discovered in the presence of the enclosure. The advice given by the committee is:
. You have to connect services that are really useful for you,
. You have to be vigilant for everything that is said in front of the device.
- Third point: The absence of a screen
The absence of a screen does not allow you to have an overview on all recorded data. The advice recommended in this case is:
. You must always go to the "dashboard" to delete the conversation history.
News : Connected speakers
The main news of the moment are as follows:
- It will soon be possible to pay bills with Alexa. The complete file which also talks about the skills available in French and the configuration of Alexa and the Echo can be found at the following address: "Journal du Net"
- The Google Nest mini and the Nest Hub max arrive in France. The file talks about the differences between the Google Home models, the applications available in French, the Google Assistant and how to set up Google Home. See this folder
- Voice assistants can be hacked remotely by ... lasers. The file warns of the danger that surrounds us following tests carried out on connected speakers and laser beams. The file is here: "Journal du Geek"