If you want to experience voice control in all its glory, then you should try Amazon Alexa on the Echo speaker. You can order food, switch the lights on and off, turn on the music, and much more just by giving voice commands to Alexa. It’s a magical experience that has made the Echo popular with many home tech lovers. As a matter of fact, the Echo will have an estimated 70% of voice-enabled speaker users by the end of the year.
But many voice-enabled speaker developers are working on devices that will challenge the Echo’s current lead. Let’s look at three speakers that may dethrone the Amazon Echo:
Harman Kardon Invoke Speaker
The Invoke is a tall, tubular tower speaker with a wide base that stretches up into a slim neck. It looks like a sleeker version of Amazon Echo that is about to go to dinner at a fancy restaurant. Harman Kardon says they made the Invoke speaker using premium materials, which include a metallic speaker cabinet. Its speaker grill covers most of its surface and has a blue light on top that glows when the speaker is listening to your voice.
The speaker provides a 360-degree audio and Microsoft’s personal assistant Cortana. Cortana will be able to hear your voice commands even in noisy rooms thanks to the seven microphones within the speaker. The Harman Kardon Invoke speaker also allows you to make calls and receive hands-free calls with Skype. It also allows you to control music and other devices in your home and will even answer your questions.
The Invoke speaker also runs on a combination of algorithms that help with echo cancellation and noise reduction. It comes in Graphite Black or Pearl Silver and launches in the fall. What it has going for it is its superior sound quality and the fact that Microsoft is working on making Cortana the most intelligent virtual assistant in the market.
Lenovo Smart Assistant
The first thing you will notice about the Lenovo Smart Assistant is that it eerily looks like the Amazon Echo speaker. It is tubular and tall just like the Echo and is also built around Alexa. Lenovo, the giant PC maker, actually worked directly with Amazon to integrate the speaker with Alexa. This speaker will be able to do pretty much what the Echo can do. You will be able to give voice commands for it to read the news, set the timer, order food, and even play your favorite music.
But it also has some differences with the Amazon Echo speaker. First, the speaker comes in color schemes like light green, gray, or orange fabric while the Echo only comes in black and white. Secondly, the top part of the speaker seems to be jutting out, which the developer says is for ventilation. It also has eight 360-degree far-field microphones that have voice suppression and echo cancellation for clear voice commands. You can get it for $130 when it launches, which is slightly less than the Echo’s $179 price.
Lenovo Smart Speaker’s sound quality, color variety, and price give it a competitive edge over the Echo.
Just like the other speakers on this list, you can voice command this speaker to turn off the lights, call an Uber, stream music on a stereo, call for an emergency, set alarms and more. Ivee has multi-room capabilities, which is music to the ears of music lovers.
It’s a thin cylindrical tube with a wide circular base and a green breathing strip of light just where the tube ends and the base begins. Its small size enables you to move it around without the risk of breaking it.
You can integrate this speaker with a number of connected devices and even very useful services. These include devices like the Nest Thermostat, Philips Hue lights, WeMo devices, Wink and allow you to enjoy services like Spotify, Emergency Service, and Uber. Ivee offers you all these capabilities at only a small price of $99 when it launches.
Other speakers that may challenge the Amazon Echo’s dominance include Mattel Aristotle, LG SmartThinQ, and the new Apple HomePod. For more information about home automation, please visit our website today.