Three Things to Know About Smart Speakers with Alexa Built In

Why do it yourself when Amazon’s AI assistant can do it just as well?

Amazon Echo sitting on top of router.
Alexa! Tell me about compatible smart speakers!Unsplash

Alexa is the voice of Amazon smart speakers, and as an AI voice assistant, it’s right up there with Siri and Google Assistant. In fact, in some devices, Alexa works alongside both, giving users a sort of back-up intelligence system. Although she plays well with others, Alexa works quite nicely alone. For those who are new to the world of Alexa, here are three great things you should know about it: 1) Alexa can guard your home when no one is home, and alert you to suspicious activity. It can also give you delivery notifications, among other standard smart-speaker functions. 2) When quiet is a must, Alexa can speak in a whisper. 3) Despite its Amazon connection, Alexa also works with Apple Music.

Echo Dot (2nd Generation) - Smart speaker with Alexa - Black
It has seven far-field microphones for hands-free control that can hear you, even when you can’t hear yourself think.Amazon

If you’re worried about intruders when you aren’t home, you can set up Alexa Guard so that the speaker’s built-in mic will listen for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, breaking glass and other warning sounds, and deliver a notification through your phone. It can also turn on smart lights every so often to make it look like someone is at home. All you have to do is say “Alexa, I’m leaving” to activate it. Alexa also allows you to set up location triggers so if you don’t want to enter a dark house, it can automatically turn on smart lights as soon as you pull up into the driveway.

Bose Home Speaker 300, with Amazon Alexa built-in, Black
It’s compatible with both Alexa and Google Assistant, and with dimensions of 6.3” X 5.5” X 4”, it’s on the tinier end of similar smart speakers.Bose

Alexa is a stickler for syntax, so you have to be careful what you say and how you say it to be understood.However, Alexa is also sensitive to your voice tone. If noise-level is an issue, you can whisper a question or command to Alexa and receive a whispered response.

Bose Wave SoundTouch Music System IV, works with Alexa, Platinum Silver
It uses “waveguide speaker technology” to deliver deep, high-fidelity listening for streamers, Internet radio and music library playlists.Bose

Alexa’s default music streaming app is Amazon Prime Music, but you can change settings to another one—even to Apple Music. Unfortunately, when it comes to listening to tunes, Alexa doesn’t play nicely with everyone; you can’t use it for Google Play Music.

Also Consider

iHome iBT158 Smart Bluetooth Speaker - With Alexa Built-In and Color Changing LED Lights - Perfect Portable Audio Device for Parties, Outdoors, and Other Events
It has an elastic strap for portability and can play music for up to 12 hours on fully charged battery.iHome
Bose Home Speaker 500 with Alexa Voice Control Built-in, Black
It can be paired with other units and similar models for multi-room listening. In addition to the physical buttons and speaking, it can be controlled with an app.Bose