Smart speakers from Amazon and Google are revolutionizing our homes. Both companies offer devices that take voice commands where you can control your smart home, order a Uber or a pizza, ask questions or put together a shopping list. They can do a whole lot more too.
The best and most useful feature is having the ability to play music through them using Google Play Music, Spotify, TuneIn Radio and Amazon Music. However Google only offers the Home which is similar to the Amazon Echo where they are both canister style speakers without an audio output. Amazon does have the Dot which is the most versatile out of the bunch, and the most affordable. It has a 3.5mm audio out jack which can be used to connect to a multitude of speakers with audio inputs and that includes your home audio system which is probably stuck in 1999. Instant smarts are what you get when you connect an Amazon Dot to your home audio system.
While there are hundreds, if not thousands of different Bluetooth and WiFi speakers, very few match up to the capability of home audio systems that are powered by amplifiers. Tower speakers with separate woofers and tweeters sound much more detailed than compact Bluetooth wannabes. I’ve paired an Amazon Dot to my office amplifier which is connected to two Polk towers, and a Polk subwoofer as well. With a subscription to Amazon Music Unlimited which only costs $7.99 per month for Prime members, I can control what my home audio system plays with simple voice commands. Because of this I now use my 10-year-old amplifier and speakers more than ever and my Bluetooth speakers are reserved for when I’m outside of the home. I’ve also connected a Dot to a Sonos Play 5 in my bedroom, which sounds great on its own, but wasn’t getting used as much as it should have simply because it didn’t have the ability to take voice commands.
While Google and Amazon fight over how many things their smart speakers can do, the most important one is having the ability to play music or read audio books. If you’re in the kitchen often it probably means your hands are getting dirty while cooking, and having the ability to control your music through voice commands keeps your speakers clean and germ free. It also means you’re not stuck listening to something you don’t want to hear.
If you have a home audio system, I highly recommend you pair an Amazon Dot to it to make it current with the ability to stream music over WiFi or Bluetooth.