With the voice assistants flooding the market we are starting to see the different ways that voice is taking form in our homes. We started by talking to our smartphones and now we’re talking into the open space of the room hoping someone is listening for our every command.
With Amazon there are a number of options to get into voice and there are so many ways we can slice it. Here are a few ways we are using Alexa in our home.
Echo Dot – $79
This is the bare bones option. A hockey puck sized product which will sit perfectly on the bedside table ready to answer your questions, control your compatible devices and play music if it must, just not very well. We’ve loved this for walking into the bedroom and simply saying “Alexa, turn the bedroom lamps on”, getting comfy in bed and then having Alexa turn the lights off again.
Echo Plus – $229
We’ve installed this one in the kitchen. It has a larger speaker setup than the Dot so the sound quality is much more impressive than you’d imagine. From our lounge room many meters away we don’t need to raise our voices to be heard on the Echo Plus and if we just want some chill out music or hear a flash briefing, this beauty is up for the job. With this device, it can act as the hub for your smart devices, this means no longer requiring a hub for Philips Hue (for example), freeing up some ports on your router. We’ve added the Taste skill onto this one which is perfect for dinner inspiration.
Sonos One – $299
Not a product from Amazon. This is a product from a company which knows speakers, understands good quality audio and continues to improve their speakers years after you’ve bought them. This particular speaker from Sonos has microphones built in ready to be used for Amazon Alexa, which will come to life in March. The speaker itself is of real quality with great sound and is so great for some music. You could buy two and set them up as a stereo pair. This one is being used in the kids bedroom and will be great for handsfree operation and music control, along with everything else Alexa brings.
Sonos Play: 5 & Amazon Echo Dot – $824
We’ve gone to the bigger side of town on this and combined two products to produce a large result. The Amazon Echo Dot, with a paltry sized speaker, has a 3.5mm audio output option. The Sonos Play: 5, while being a beast of a Wi-Fi speaker, has a 3.5mm audio input option. Put the two together and it doesn’t take long to realise why the majority of people with smart speakers are using them to play music. When you’re using voice to control music on a stunning speaker you have achieved true happiness. Getting ready in the morning, asking Alexa for your morning playlist and hearing it out of a speaker like the Play: 5 you’ll be very impressed. The Echo Dot in white also looks natural when placed on a white Sonos speaker. Now, if you already own a home theatre system or large speaker with 3.5mm input, use your Echo Dot in this way and you won’t be disappointed.