Wirecutter Smart Speaker

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What is a smart speaker?

A smart speaker is a speaker that can connect to the internet and access music, movies, and other streaming content. They’re typically more affordable than traditional speakers and are often designed to be easy to use. Some models also have microphones that allow them to function as voice assistants, allowing users to control various functions without lifting a finger.

the Wirecutter Method to buying smart speakers

We tested 12 smart speakers to find the best buy. Here’s what we found. If you’re in the market for a smart speaker, there are plenty of options to choose from. You can spend hundreds of dollars on a high-end model like the Amazon Echo or Google Home, or opt for something less expensive like the Apple HomePod or Lenovo’s upcoming addition, the Echoesignal One. Whichever route you take, it’s important to keep in mind the Wirecutter’s recommendations for buying a smart speaker: Forget features and looks and get something that works well without any trouble. Here’s how we evaluated each model. We looked at sound quality, ease of use, voice recognition accuracy, streaming capabilities, portability, and overall value. We also considered reviews from other sources before making our picks. Finally, we consulted with Wirecutter founder Eric138 about his criteria for choosing a winner.

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Now that you know what to look for in a smart speaker, it’s time to choose one! We recommend starting with our top pick, the Amazon Echo Dot (3rd generation). It sounds great, has excellent voice recognition accuracy, and can do practically everything else that an Echo

The privacy concerns with two kinds of smart speakers

When it comes to smart speakers, there are two main types: those that integrate with the internet and those that don’t. Either way, you’re subject to the same privacy concerns. The first type of speaker is usually called a “smart speaker with Alexa,” because it uses the same voice assistant as Amazon’s Echo line of products. Like other voice-activated devices, these speakers collect data about what you say and do, as well as where you are in the room. This information can be used by the companys that make them to improve their services or sell more products. The second kind of speaker doesn’t have a built-in AI and relies on an apps marketplace to provide services such as music playback and video streaming. These speakers aren’t always connected to the internet, so they can’t be spyware targets. But like all speakers, they generate metadata (information about songs, videos, etc.), which could be exploited in the future by ad networks or data brokers. There are also privacy concerns with connected devices in general. For example, if your home security camera is connected to your router, anyone who has control of

The pros and cons of Amazon’s Alexa

If you’re an Alexa fan and you’re looking for a new smart speaker, we’ve got some bad news: the Wirecutter isn’t sure if the Echo is the best option right now. In fact, it’s only giving it two out of four stars. (The Google Home and HomeKit-enabled devices like the Apple TV and Roku also get two stars.) The main reason? The Echo doesn’t work with many of the services that are central to other smart speakers, like Spotify or Pandora. Plus, the sound quality could use a lot of improvement. However, if voice commands are your cup of tea, then the Echo might be worth checking out.

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Which APi should I choose for my smart speaker?

If you’re in the market for a smart speaker, there are a lot of options out there. You can buy an Amazon Echo, Google Home or Apple AirPods. But which one is best for you? In this guide, we’ll compare the three and recommend the best app interface for your needs.


Even if you don’t have any immediate plans to buy a smart speaker, you’ll likely at some point find yourself curious about them. We hope this guide has helped answer some of the most common questions about smart speakers, and that it’s brought some clarity to an often confusing topic. If you have any more questions or concerns, be sure to check out our Frequently Asked Questions section or our support team for help. Thanks for reading!