Smart speakers: Consumer Reports

Local News

CONSUMER REPORTS  — Whether you’ve got a Google Home, Amazon Echo Dot, or an Apple HomePod, Consumer Reports says you can use it for more than just playing music.

“The options are really limitless. And if you have multiple speakers, you can do even more,” said Dan Wroclawski, Consumer Reports Home Editor.

If you’re new to the speaker game, start simple by streamlining. Get your morning news, weather briefings and read aloud your calendar. Your smart speaker can even walk you through a workout. Set up your speaker in the kitchen to act as your own personal sous chef. It can set multiple timers, add ingredients to a grocery list, and help with your food prep questions.

Your smart speaker can also stand in for a basic safety and security system. The Alexa Care Hub is a great feature for loved ones that live alone. It allows you to monitor them and check in on them with a quick phone call or video chat.

Control and connect your other smart devices to your speaker so you have one centralized hub for say your video doorbell. Or even a connected robotic vacuum if you’re feeling the 21st century.

Consumer Reports says to keep in mind, not as many products work with Apple’s HomeKit or Siri compared with Alexa and Google. But you should have enough to get you ready for 2021 and beyond.

If you have more than one speaker that uses the same assistant, Consumer Reports says you can create a multi-room sound system. When you set up your speakers for the first time, each assistant’s app will walk you through the process so you can play music wherever you have the speakers set up or just one area.

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