This Black Friday, choice of speaker can boil down to the actual AI brains that they come powered by, which make it a battle between Alexa, Google Assistant and Cortana.
Smart home speaker systems are the new must-haves in today’s age, one that is expected to chip with tasks ranging from setting up reminders to even book a cab for the user. They can also do a lot of tasks in between, like reading out the weather report or the latest news headlines and so on.
So for those who have been holding on to their purchase of the smart home speaker, now is a good time to take the plunge given the Black Friday discounts currently on offer.
Mentioned here are the smart speaker options users can invest in at the moment.
Amazon Echo: Amazon are the pioneers here, one that is credited to have started the whole trend of smart speakers in the first place. Also, true to their strategy of pricing their products competitively, the new second gen Echo Plus is up for grabs for just $80. That is $20 less than the regular price it commands owing to Black Friday.
That again makes for an affordable device, one that can belt out pretty decent sound while having the brains – credit for which goes to Alexa – to have meaningful answers to user’s queries. Prices mentioned are as per ongoing deals from Amazon, Best Buy, and Target. Buy Amazon Echo at $79.99.
Echo Dot: True to its name, the Dot is a tiny little thing that is designed for those who’d like to experience this whole thing about smart speakers without having to spend much. Also, Amazon has done a wonderful job with the Dot given that it packs in almost the same AI punch as its bigger and more pricey sibling. The only compromise can be the vastly downgraded sound quality which again is understandable given that there simply isn’t the space to fit in as many woofers as in the bigger Echo.
Buyers can get their first taste of the Alexa powered smart speaker spending just $30, which is $20 less than the regular price of $50. The prices are again as per Amazon, Target and Best Buy deals on the same. Buy Echo Dot at $29.99.
Google Home: Google happens to be the only other player to have a working home speaker system to offer. And it is also another company that knows how to play the price card all too well. Another advantage Google has to its credit is the huge treasure trove of information it can draw upon that covers almost all of our online activities. Couple to that a really formidable AI system and it is these that make Google Home so very relevant.
So if the Google Home device seems appealing enough, it’s $79 that buyers need to shell out. That applies to deals from Google, Best Buy, and Target. Kohl too is offering the Google Home speakers for the same price but is also throwing in a $15 ‘Kohl’s cash’ as well. Costco is a step ahead and is bringing prices down to just $50 for those who buy a pair of Google Home speakers. Buy Google Home at $50.
Google Home Mini: Similar to the Amazon strategy, Google too has a smaller and cheaper speaker on offer in the form of the Home Mini. Also, the Home Mini is able to perform almost anything that it bigger sibling is capable of, which quite belies its diminutive proportions.
So for those that see greater potential with the Home Mini, its $29 that they need to fork out right away. Then there is also a $10 worth of gift card for the taking as well. Target and Best Buy too are offering the Home Mini for $29 though the price eventually comes to $19 given the $10 worth of gift card they each are offering. Buy Google Home Mini at $29.00.
Harman Kardon Invoke: Late entrant Microsoft is aiming to make up for the delay in entering the segment with the Harman Kardon Invoke. The speaker impressed with its solid looks and given its Harman Kardon links, sound quality too is expected to be equally impressive as well. No points for guessing the speaker is being powered by Cortana.
Microsoft is also offering a huge $100 discount on the speaker which makes it priced at $99.95, down from its original price of $199.95. Buy Harman Kardon Invoke at $99.95.