Smart speakers: a buyer’s guide | Technology | The Guardian

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Price: £89.99Amazon’s second-generation Echo is a revamped version of the device that invented the whole category of smart speakers in 2014. The new Echo is smaller, better sounding and better looking, in a choice of fabric or wood finishes. What makes the Echo great is Amazon’s virtual assistant, Alexa. A ring of seven microphones in the top listens out for your choice of wake word – the default is simply “Alexa” – before sending what you say to Amazon’s servers for interpretation. Alexa can almost always hear you including over music noise as loud as an extractor fan and from pretty far away. Alexa has multi-user support, can answer quite a lot of questions, is excellent at interpreting what you say and has a plethora of built-in talents and third-party skills that can be plugged into it, making it the most rounded voice assistant available. It particularly excels at smart home control and music playback, with full voice control over Spotify, Amazon Music and TuneIn. Read All Comments:

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