What's next after a smart speaker

Smart speakers or WLAN speakers: which box would you like?

After work, finally home and off to the sofa! Sunk in the depths of the couch, it is noticeable that the appropriate sound system is missing. But get up again because of that? Fortunately, smart speakers like Amazon Echo or Google Home relieve us of such efforts. The background music starts in no time with a voice command. So it's no wonder that millions of Germans are already using smart speakers and making everyday life easier. The savvy boxes can do a lot more.

What the smart speakers can already do today

Thanks to Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant, the smart speakers are increasingly becoming indispensable assistants for dealing with everyday problems. When does the garbage have to go? What do you have to buy the next time you shop? The loudspeakers can be made even more “smarter” and more universal through the use of external providers. But the boxes also offer a lot for entertainment. Those who are in acute unemployment can pass the time with games like the boredom killer or interactive adventure stories. The Amazon Echo Show, for example, also plays videos and is therefore also suitable for connection to front door cameras. However, a screen is not necessarily required to control and monitor your own four walls. Most speakers are now able to control the lighting or regulate the heating. This of course assumes that the corresponding smart home devices are installed in the house and also respond to the control via the voice assistant.

What should the device be used for in the smart home?

While Amazon had the area to itself for a long time, more and more providers are now entering the market - the range is correspondingly wide. Customers have to ask themselves the question: What do I want to do with the loudspeaker anyway? If videos are a must, the Amazon Echo Show or Google Nest Hub are among the choices. If you are primarily mobile and would like to set up the box outdoors, you should keep an eye on the JBL Link 20 or the Sony SRS-XB501, as these can also establish a connection to the smartphone via Bluetooth.

If all of this is too much for you and your ears should only ring because of good music, you should be happy with Sonos or the Apple HomePod. Perhaps then it would also be appropriate to ask whether a couple of WLAN speakers would be enough? They usually get by without a language assistant - even without a tangle of cables.

Millions of Germans are already using smart speakers and making everyday life easier.

Smart speakers or WLAN boxes - you should pay attention to that

WLAN loudspeakers are a good alternative, especially for multi-room solutions, i.e. the distribution of several boxes over the entire apartment. In addition to top dog Sonos, Yamaha (MusicCast) and furniture giant IKEA (Symfonisk) also offer loudspeakers. In contrast to Bluetooth speakers, the range of the WLAN boxes is significantly greater. While the former is over after about ten meters, the latter can remain connected to the output source over the entire home network. In this way, the boxes can also be distributed over several floors. Another advantage of WLAN transmission: the battery of the playing device, tablet, smartphone or similar is less stressed and lasts longer.

In addition, one should not lose sight of whether the speaker of choice is also compatible with the music streaming service of your choice. This is especially true for smart speakers. Apple's voice assistant Siri and the HomePod equipped with it, for example, are only compatible with Apple Music - Spotify customers also fall on deaf ears here. Alexa and Google Assistant do not cause any problems, but do not play the respective music service of the competitor.

Foresight is also recommended when buying a smart speaker. Anyone who buys a device from Amazon or Google also brings their voice assistants into the house - of course. If, however, a device from a third-party manufacturer ends up in the four walls, you should first find out about the service that goes with it. Not that there are two incompatible devices in the house when the speaker collection is expanded at a later date.

What does the future hold for smart speakers?

It should become more human - as far as the voice is concerned. Alexa should speak more emotionally and expressively in the near future. Even celebrities like Samuel L. Jackson should speak a few sentences. And there is also progress in terms of safety. The Alexa Guard function, which is already available in the USA, should soon find its way into Europe. The voice assistant then reports suspicious noises to the owners after they leave the apartment.

If the hustle and bustle actually seems strange to you, with appropriately equipped devices you can also be switched to live video in your own four walls and talk to supposed intruders. However, the police or fire brigade are not automatically alerted. This decision has to be made by a person.

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