Put a Virtual Assistant in Your Home
There’s a good chance that your first smart home device will be a smart speaker. For one, it works just fine as a way to play music from your smartphone or the cloud. But if you start talking to it, the speaker will respond to your commands. It can do things like look up the weather and sports scores, turn on your coffee maker, read you a book or even change the channel on your TV.
Our favorite smart speaker is the Amazon Echo. It produces very good sound, and the Alexa voice assistant currently has the most robust set of features and abilities. Our budget pick is the Echo Dot, which costs just $50. Google Home is worth considering for its price and compatibility with Google’s services, but it doesn’t have as many skills as Amazon’s Alexa.
Editors’ Note: We are in the process of reviewing the Echo Show, the first Alexa speaker from Amazon with a built-in touch screen. Check out this review roundup to see what critics are saying so far. The Apple HomePod will be released this December, so stay tuned for a review.
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