The Best Smart Speaker
At present, we have a number of Smart speakers in the market. The first release of the Smart Speakers disappointed the music lovers. Not all, but some of them could not satisfy the expectations of the people. Alexa and Google Home have somewhere satisfied the demands of people. Echo and Google Home devices were really disappointed the music lovers.
No doubt, the voice command feature of these devices was awesome but due to some flaws in each of them, the result was greatly unimpressive. In the past six months, Sonos, Apple and Google have all released their Smart Speakers with the voice activated google assistant built in. All the Smart Speakers were better than any ordinary speakers if the audio quality is considered.
For the purposes of this story, we compared a single HomePod ($350), two Sonos One speakers ($350 total) paired in stereo and a single Google Home Max ($399). While the prices are in the same range, you’ll get different speaker components with each set.
Sonos One includes a single tweeter and one mid-woofer to cover both mid-range frequencies and bass. The Home Max answers with two tweeters and two large 4.5-inch woofers. The HomePod has seven total tweeters (each with its own amplifier), along with a single woofer that points straight up.
To check their voice quality we placed all of them in a single room and observed the results. Sonos One, ran the TruePlay tuning software, which adjusts audio quality for the room and placement of the speakers. The HomePod and Home Max both tune themselves automatically.
There wasn’t a clear, unequivocal winner among the three speakers tested; rather, each speaker showed its prowess in different situations.
- The Home Max provides strong bass, but it didn’t reproduce mids and highs with the same precision.
- At louder volumes (think 75 percent or higher), it sounds better than a pair of Sonos One speakers; the lack of bass means the One ends up sounding shriller than the Home Max when you crank it up.
- the HomePod and Sonos One offered better overall clarity across the range of songs we tested.
- The bass doesn’t feel as well regulated on the Home Max; while the HomePod does a great job of adjusting bass levels to match the room and the speaker’s overall volume level, the Max’s overall sonic picture is muddier and less distinct than the competition.
- the Sonos One is the speaker most lacking in bass here; pairing two of them together helps a bit, but it just doesn’t reproduce the physical, table-rattling, chest-thumping sounds you can coax from the Home Max and HomePod.
- HomePod has significantly better bass reproduction, but I wouldn’t describe it as an overly bass-heavy speaker. It just makes it a lot easier to hear every aspect of the song the way it was intended to be heard, bass included.
- Each Smart Speaker comes with a voice assistant that can be used to control audio playback, but Siri, the Google Assistant and Alexa can do much more than that.
- Siri does a good job of fielding queries. When Google assistant is asked to play rock music from the ’60s, it played a compilation album called Rock and Roll Instrumentals: 50’s–60’s that was populated with terrible covers of songs from that period. Alexa and Spotify did a solid job answering such requests by pulling up playlists from the service’s massive collection.
- Siri’s advantage dwindled once we moved on to other tasks. Overall, the Google Assistant was best at answering general knowledge queries, and it also does a better job of recognizing context in follow-up questions. Siri and Alexa could also answer these questions, but they didn’t have as much context awareness.
- Siri falls down when setting timers, because you can set only one at a time.
- Siri also can’t add things to a calendar, even though it can do so on iOS devices.
- Both the Google Assistant and Alexa support calendars, but Alexa ultimately wins because it supports multiple Google calendars (including Google’s own G Suite) as well as Microsoft Outlook and Apple iCloud.
- Siri is the only assistant that can take notes; it adds them to the Mac/iOS notes app.
Speaker as a phone
- Google wins when it comes to using the Home Max as a speakerphone.you can initiate calls with anyone in your Google address book just by asking.
- The HomePod can take only calls that you start on an iPhone, while Alexa on the Sonos One can’t handle calls or messages at all.
- Google can’t send text messages either, but Siri can.
- Apple needs to implement some better security features around that, and quickly.
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