Smart speakers, or intelligent loudspeakers, are now part of the furnishings of millions of homes in Italy too. Initially used as digital assistants to ask for the time or the weather forecast, they have now become the access point to home automation systems that control different aspects of daily life, depending on the home technology equipment of each person.
It is not surprising that dozens of models and types have spread on the market, coming from a number of manufacturers that have grown exponentially for years to then reach a phase of consolidation. After all, with these gadgets it is now possible to program the cleaning of the robot vacuum cleaner, start the timer of the smart oven, adjust the home lighting for a gradual alarm clock and – last but not least – even listen to music.
How smart speakers have changed over time
Since 2018 — the year in which the first gadgets arrived in Italy — smart speakers have evolved in many ways. They are equipped with more sophisticated and numerous microphones, to perceive commands in the most difficult situations; they boast acoustic speakers specially designed to distribute audio and music optimally in the room; they have more modern designs that match most environments and in some cases they have hybridized with other electronic devices such as televisions, displays and sound bars, to give life to more recent and potentially equally interesting product categories.
The best smart speakers of 2022
A lot has changed since a handful of models were on the market, and navigating through the offerings today can be complex. Here then is a rundown of all the most popular products among which it is worth aiming for in 2022, depending on needs and budgets.
There is only one caveat: check that the smart ecosystem on which the products are based is the same one you refer to on a daily basis with your smartphone or home automation gadgets. To tell the truth, nowadays almost all smart products are compatible with at least two or even three of the most popular systems, namely:
- Google Assistant , the artificial intelligence of the Mountain View house present on products from the Nest range and on gadgets from third-party manufacturers.
- Alexa , Amazon’s digital assistant born on the smart speakers of the Amazon Echo range but now present on hundreds of products, including third-party speakers.
- Homekit , the ecosystem managed by Apple that allows you to control home automation exclusively from products made in-house in the Cupertino house.
For daily needs, however, there are those who are already more familiar with one of these three ecosystems: for these people, the choice of the smart speaker cannot ignore this element, or the risk is to end up with a product that will end up with the rarely use.