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Smart speakers - Sonos, Amazon and Google

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  1. #11

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    However it seems these days that most smart speakers will play nice with either Alexa or Google so technically you don't have to buy an Amazon or Google product?
    Many of them license Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa software and use it internally. As far as I know, no need to buy Amazon or Google smart devices.

    This random article has some speakers that connect to both or one of those services.

    https://www.wired.com/story/best-smart-speakers/
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  2. #12

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    I've read good things about Riva.

    Can you just set up a smartphone with the Amazon/Google home assistant apps on all the time, hooked up to BT speakers?

    That'd be a good way to test both.

    My only exposure to 'smart speakers' has been a Google Home device when staying with in-laws. The thing... well, it worked like you'd expect from a voice recognition perspective, but the audio was also totally what you'd expect from a device of that form factor. Pretty much the same as one of those little portable bluetooth speakers you'd buy in a computer centre. Fine for playing nursery rhymes for kids or background noise. Not suitable for sitting down to listen to music, or for replacing TV audio.

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  3. #13

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    do anyone know much as about google assistant and smart home devices? i presume that you connect your google assistant device to the smart home devices such as light switches, motorised curtains, ip cameras, what else can you do with it

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  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by imparanoic
    do anyone know much as about google assistant and smart home devices? i presume that you connect your google assistant device to the smart home devices such as light switches, motorised curtains, ip cameras, what else can you do with it
    You can ask it to tell you a joke!
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  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgl
    I've read good things about Riva.

    Can you just set up a smartphone with the Amazon/Google home assistant apps on all the time, hooked up to BT speakers?

    That'd be a good way to test both.

    My only exposure to 'smart speakers' has been a Google Home device when staying with in-laws. The thing... well, it worked like you'd expect from a voice recognition perspective, but the audio was also totally what you'd expect from a device of that form factor. Pretty much the same as one of those little portable bluetooth speakers you'd buy in a computer centre. Fine for playing nursery rhymes for kids or background noise. Not suitable for sitting down to listen to music, or for replacing TV audio.
    Interesting. We find our Google speaker to have pretty good audio quality playing adult music.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by merchantms
    Interesting. We find our Google speaker to have pretty good audio quality playing adult music.
    depends on your requirement, JGL is used to listening to audiophile grade equipment, i get his point, a google speaker is like watching films with built in speaker only, but using a sonos for music is like adding a 7.2 home cinema amplifier to your TV, adds a lot presence sonicwise and significant wider dynamic range.
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  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by imparanoic
    depends on your requirement, JGL is used to listening to audiophile grade equipment, i get his point, a google speaker is like watching films with built in speaker only, but using a sonos for music is like adding a 7.2 home cinema amplifier to your TV, adds a lot presence sonicwise and significant wider dynamic range.
    Unfortunately living in HK in a small flat with small children, if we went for the high spec sound system our evening viewings would definitely wake them up. We have to turn down the subwoofer for the rather basic sound bar that came with the TV as it is.
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  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by merchantms
    Interesting. We find our Google speaker to have pretty good audio quality playing adult music.
    We're talking about this thing, right?

    Name:  Capture.JPG
Views: 155
Size:  17.7 KB

    When it's popped open, it's got what looks like four 2" speakers in it. It's essentially the same tech as what you get in a portable cylindrical JBL speaker or a TV soundbar (without the subwoofer). If you find those okay, the Google home will be okay too.
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  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by merchantms
    Unfortunately living in HK in a small flat with small children, if we went for the high spec sound system our evening viewings would definitely wake them up. We have to turn down the subwoofer for the rather basic sound bar that came with the TV as it is.
    i live in not so big apartment with 2 kids (4 and 6) but based in Fanling, so space is still a premium, but i still found space for large floorstanding tannoys speakers (secured, not cos my kids, their friends, even modified the speaker mesh with plastic grid guard to prevent kids fingers), full size centre and rear wall mounted small speakers from Cambridge audio which are great for sound dispersion), TV is new, i presonally drilled holes at the back of the pedestal stand and sercured with screwed bracket and cable ties to prevent kids friends toppling the tv
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  10. #20
    bdw
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgl
    We're talking about this thing, right?

    Name:  Capture.JPG
Views: 155
Size:  17.7 KB

    When it's popped open, it's got what looks like four 2" speakers in it. It's essentially the same tech as what you get in a portable cylindrical JBL speaker or a TV soundbar (without the subwoofer). If you find those okay, the Google home will be okay too.
    I've got one of those, plus two mini's in the kids bedroom, plus the google home hub (the one with the display) in the living room. That one you post has the best audio quality of the 4, the mini's and the hub is even worse. You are right they are not targeted at playing high quality audio. But in HK size apartments they are OK.

    I use them mainly for my home automation, they hookup with my Xiaomi lights, robot vacuum cleaner, air purifier, temperature and humidity sensors, Smart Kettle, etc. I just tell it to turn the lights on and off, start the vacuum cleaner etc. Occasionally I ask it to play something from spotify and it obliges. One nice feature is the way it sync's all the devices. So when I ask it to play something on all speakers then all 4 rooms of the house playing the same song at the same time is nice. A very cheap way of getting a multi room sound system.
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