The best smart speakers with Google Assistant

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Steven L. Ken
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Now more and more Italians are choosing to have one at home smart speaker. The surge in the spread of these technological gadgets came when - in March 2018 - the Google Home line-up finally landed also with us. After appreciating the intelligence of Google Assistant, there are many who are growing impatient to have one, or even more, around the house. The panorama in Italy is not yet wide, but if you are looking for the best smart speaker for your needs it is worth taking a look at the ones we have selected.



Smart speakers, for offices and homes

Their diffusion started rather slowly as far as our territory is concerned. The first audio devices connected via wifi - and managed via apps - were bought by a few users mainly because they were very expensive. In short, until recently we continued to prefer the dear old speaker Bluetooth.



After the arrival of the device line Google Home, it seems that a real craze has exploded. This is not a passing trend or a "tech whim", we have simply begun to adapt to what will be the future and the numbers speak for themselves. Some reports, with data collected globally, show indeed growth levels impressive.

Why do we like them so much?

The reasons are simple and, mainly, to be found in the compatibility of these speakers with the various ones intelligent voice assistants available on the market. Whether it's Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri and - timidly - even Cortana doesn't matter. Having such a device available allows us to manage many aspects of our home.



A smart home within everyone's reach, far from the concept of hyper-expensive home automation, which can only be achieved with the help of specialists in the sector. All you need is a smart speaker and the right accessories - available on the web low price - to home automation any environment following absolutely guided configurations. Most of these servers are multiplatform and well integrated between the various devices on which we configure our personal account. So, once we have created our ideal smart home we can manage it from remote with our smartphone or with our car's infotainment system.

But a smart speaker with integrated voice assistant is not just that. It is also a flow of information always available ed Entertainmentsimply by using your voice. From searching the Internet to playing our favorite streaming music services, it only takes a few interactions and the assistant will do the rest.

The perspective is that of a category of products that are carving out a niche based on the distance of the device from the user: when the smartphone is not at hand (for example when you are inside a home), the speaker it becomes the most immediate and rapid tool for finding information or issuing commands. A matter of convenience and immediacy, in short, such as to give smart speakers a complementary role (and in a synergistic perspective) to what is instead the personal smartphone.

The best smart speakers with integrated Google Assistant

In our selection of smart devices, we have included only the best products that support theGoogle smart assistant. The reason is merely linked to its availability in Italy and its multi-platform vocation. Apple Siri can only be used on the Home Pod, while there is still some time to wait for Alexa to reach us too (a matter of weeks now).



We have divided the selected speakers according to theirs most interesting feature. However, it is not excluded that some of them may fall into multiple categories.

The smallest and cheapest smart speakers

If you want to delve into the world of these products and do not intend to make large investments, you can grab the very popular Google Home Mini with an investment of around € 59, it depends on the various offers available on the Web. This is the simplest and smallest model of smart speaker launched directly by the Mountain View giant. Size and price don't mean it's not a great product, quite the contrary. In addition to allowing the use of Google Assistant, the device is also a good audio speaker, with quite high volume. Furthermore, the Bluetooth connectivity still offers you the possibility of connecting it to other external players, which you may already have at home.

The purchase is available in various physical and non-physical stores, as well as on the official website.

Home Mini is not equipped with an integrated battery, to work it needs to be connected to the electricity supply (or at most to a power bank considering that it is powered via the microUSB input). If you are looking for a smart speaker with similar characteristics, but which you can take to any corner of the house, TicHome Mini it is certainly the right product for you. The price rises a little, it takes € 89 to be able to grab it, but it could better meet your needs. The device is equipped with IPX6 certification, which makes it resistant to dust and water splashes. So no problem even outside the home. There integrated battery allows you to carry it around everywhere and use it with Google Assistant (where possible) or simply to enjoy some good music. The audio quality - in relation to the price - is definitely satisfactory. You can find it for sale on the official store at this address.

The perfect product for audiophiles

When we decide to buy a smart speaker for our home or office, we need to consider even if we only need it to take advantage of the integrated voice assistant or to play music content. In short, we need to understand if we are looking for a mere hub dedicated to the smart home or a product that can also perform other tasks.

Let's be clear, most smart speakers with Google Assistant on board are also a good audio speaker, but from this point of view there are some that excel. The same search giant has launched Google Home Max, specially designed for this. Regarding the physical size, the device is quite large. This is to accommodate audio drivers capable of delivering deep bass and tweeters that take care of delivering clear highs. In addition, artificial intelligence allows Google Home Max to choose the better audio setup based on the music we are listening to. Unfortunately, the mega smart speaker is not yet available in Italy, not officially. However, a few days ago he landed in France, Spain and the UK. This implies that it will be much easier to buy it from abroad if you want one. The official price is € 399.

Among the brands synonymous with high audio quality it is impossible not to mention JBL. There are two smart speakers of the brand, with integrated Google Assistant, certainly noteworthy. JBL Link 300 it could be considered a product of equal quality to Google Home Max, but with more compact dimensions. The very simple design focuses on integrating the technology of 360 degree audio broadcast, all around the speaker. Again, you will not find the device on sale officially in Italy. A quick search on Ebay will allow you to buy it at a price between € 200 and € 300.

Still from the same line-up it also comes JBL Link 20. This is a speaker that could also be among the best in the category of portable ones. In fact, the integrated battery allows you to carry it around the house and beyond. A little bigger than the micro speakers mentioned in the previous paragraph, but definitely smaller than those just described. A middle ground perfectly compatible with Google Assistant and with more than satisfactory audio quality for its segment. Again, if you want to buy one, do a quick search on Ebay. The price is less than 200 €. Alternatively, you can save a few Euros by choosing JBL Link 10, less powerful than its big brother and smaller in size.

A smart speaker as a design object

All audio speakers, more or less smart they are, tend to be equipped with pleasant aesthetic lines. Apart from some particular “rugged” models, intended for outdoor use, most of these devices immediately embellish the bookcase or shelf on which it is placed. Even in this segment there are clearly some that are better than the others, although it is possible to draw up rankings when it comes to such a subjective parameter as aesthetic satisfaction.

Impossible not to mention Google Home “Classic”, the smart speaker with Google Assistant par excellence. The first and the most particular in terms of design. Like every product of the company, the aesthetic lines point to elegance and simplicity. Just place it on a surface to instantly make it more interesting. The price of the speaker is € 149 and you can find it on sale in several stores as well as in the official one.

If in addition to design you are also looking for excellent audio quality, the choice could fall on Sony LF-S50G. A very nice speaker to look at, also equipped with a small one showing the time. The audio diffusion, guaranteed by the Sony brand, takes place at 360 degrees. In addition, this gem is also equipped with NFC connectivity to speed up the connection with other devices. Its price is similar to that of Google Home, but to find it you will have to do a quick search on Ebay and buy it from abroad.

Finally, LG ThinQ WK7 is one of the smart speakers of the company that associates the audio quality of meridian. In fact, the product was made in collaboration with the audio equipment giant. On an aesthetic level, LG's speaker is simple, yet very elegant. An immediate touch of style for the home or office. Although it has just been (re) presented at IFA 2018, it is already possible to buy the speaker on Amazon at a price of around 207 €.

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