The smart speaker revolution shows no signs of slowing with millions of these devices now in homes across the globe.
Until recently, Apple’s HomePod was one of the most expensive smart speakers you could buy but a new price cut has just made this device a little more affordable.
In fact, Apple has now dropped the cost of the HomePod to £279 which is a saving of £40 off the original price.
So, if that’s got you thinking about buying a smart speaker, here’s how they all compare and which is best for you.
BEST ON A BUDGET
AMAZON ECHO • From £49
There’s no question that the Amazon Echo offers some serious value for money.
These Alexa-powered devices start from under £50 (Echo Dot) and even the standard Echo, which includes 360 degree sound, costs just £89.
Along with playing music, the Echo can also switch on your lights, ramp up that heating, read you the news and tell you what the weather is like outside.
There’s also games you can play, timers can be set plus you can make voice and video calls (video on Echo Spot and Show models only).
Amazon has also just announced that Apple Music is now available on the platform which means you can now access all your Apple playlists from these Echo speakers.
BEST FOR THE WEB
GOOGLE HOME • Starting from £49
The Google Home and Google Home mini haven’t changed in appearance since they were first launched in 2017.
However, Google is constantly updating the usability of these smart speakers with them now able to answer pretty much anything you ask them.
With Google’s huge online and search knowledge there’s little these devices won’t know and they are defiantly the best option for those who want the ultimate clever speaker.
Sound quality is also reasonably good and you can boost the audio experience by opting for the Google Home Max which currently costs £399.
This bigger music box includes dual 4.5″ woofers for deep, balanced bass and custom tweeters for crystal‑clear highs.
With Smart Sound, Google Home Max also uses machine learning to automatically adjust the equaliser settings to match the acoustics of your room.
Google says this gives you the most balanced sound – wherever you put it.
BEST FOR SOUND
APPLE HOMEPOD • £279
If you’re an Apple fan and want the easiest setup and sound experience then the HomePod is tough to beat.
That’s thanks to its seven-tweeter array and high-excursion woofer that seamlessly combine to output clear sound.
HomePod also has a host of unique technologies inside; most notably the hardware can identify when it is placed near a wall and alter its audio delivery accordingly.
With spatial awareness, it automatically analyses the acoustics, adjusts the sound based on the speaker’s location, and separates the music into direct and ambient sound.
Apple is offering the ability to link two HomePods together for stereo sound and recent software updates now allow this speaker to make and receive phone calls – all users have to do is ask Siri to call someone and the action will proceed.
Find my iPhone support has now arrived, meaning owners can easily locate other Apple hardware they may have misplaced.
using Siri, you can also set timers, play music, send text messages and check your diary via simple voice controls.