Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Apple HomePod, Amazon Echo, Google Home and more: The BBC puts 7 speakers to the test

For the last four weeks, Mark Savage (a BBC Music reporter) has been living in an Orwellian nightmare: "One in which I have to watch every word I say because "they" are always listening. And by "they", I mean Alexa, Siri and Google.

It seemed like a good idea - get seven smart speakers and test them in a real house to see how they affected our listening habits and daily routine.

At times, they've been pretty helpful. If we're running low on biscuits, one of us can bark, "Hey Siri, add Hob Nobs to the shopping list" and a reminder appears on our phones.

During Storm Emma, Google kept me up-to-date on train cancellations, while our kids amused themselves for hours by asking Alexa what noise a cat makes."

I have a Sonos One - with Alexa. The Alexa functionality works well, and certainly better than / more useful than, say Cortana (which is just a gimmick). The killer app is Sonos as a speaker - love it & will be gradually adding more Sonos devices. Really high quality audio, with great control from the Android app, PC app, and voice. Loads of music streaming services available too. Honestly: get one!

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