In a world where technology is constantly evolving, it’s no surprise that household devices are becoming smarter and more accessible. One such device is the smart speaker, which allows users to control various functions of their home using voice commands.
The best smart speaker is a great device that can control household devices, access the near-infinite amount of information online, play music from our favourite band and much more.
Another useful thing about smart speakers is the option of keeping a record of the songs you listen to. This is a useful tool when it comes to discovering new songs and artists you might like. Some speakers even allow their users to make requests for adding specific songs or albums onto a playlist which can be created in real-time too.
There are many different brands and models of smart speakers in the NZ market, so it can be difficult to know which one is the best for your needs. In this blog, We will discuss the features of the best smart speakers, to help you decide which one is right for you.
Table of Contents
How to choose the best smart speaker for you
How does a smart speaker work?
A smart speaker is able to perform the functionalities of a voice-activated personal assistant. It can adjust the climate of your house, manage calendars, order pizza, unlock your door and so much more.
A smart speaker can work as a virtual assistant. It can answer questions, set alarms and timers, tell you the time and weather, and play music from online streaming services such as Spotify.
Most smart speakers ask for your name when you set up the device. It will then call you by that name whenever it speaks back to you. You can customize this if you want. Ask your speaker, “Hey Google (or Alexa), what is my name?”
Most provide voice control to listen to music or other audio. You can ask for specific songs, artists and albums; or call up playlists and radio stations. Some smart speakers also offer other controls such as adjusting the volume and changing tracks.
What features should you look out for?
When looking for a smart speaker, you’ll want to consider the features that are important to you. Some speakers have better sound quality than others, while others may offer extra features like integration with other smart home devices or the ability to make phone calls.
Size may also be a consideration for some people. Some smart speakers are small and portable, while others are larger and designed to stay in one place.
Some speakers are compatible with devices like smartphones and laptops, while others are designed for use with specific platforms like Amazon Echo or Google Home. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that the speaker has a good battery life so that you can use it for extended periods of time.
If you’re looking for a smart speaker that is compatible with a variety of devices and has a large library of compatible apps and services, the Amazon Echo is a great option. The Echo has a good microphone and speakers, as well as a battery life that is capable of lasting for several hours. Additionally, the Echo is compatible with a variety of platforms, including Amazon’s own Echo devices as well as iPhones and Android smartphones.
Which voice assistant is best?
There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on individual preferences. Some people may prefer the functionality of Amazon Alexa, while others may prefer Google Assistant. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference.
However, there are some reasons to choose one assistant over the other. Google Assistant offers a ‘conversational’ experience that allows you to ask follow-up questions without having to say “Hey Google” again. For example, if you were looking for information on Thor’s hammer in Norse mythology, the assistant will understand that you’re referring to Mjölnir, Thor’s hammer. Alexa requires the wake words “Alexa” or “Echo” if you want her to understand your next question.
If you’re looking for a voice assistant at home, Google Assistant now supports multi-room audio whereas Amazon Alexa currently only supports a single device per account. This means that with Google Assistant you can play music or use your voice assistant to control any number of supported devices at the same time.
The Best Smart Speakers NZ
1. Apple HomePod mini – White
The Apple HomePod mini is the perfect addition to any home. It is a 360-degree speaker that provides rich, immersive sound. With multiple speakers around the house, you can have an exceptional audio experience. The voice recognition feature gives each family member a personalized experience, making it the perfect addition to any household.
Additionally, Siri helps with everyday tasks and keeps your data private and secure. The HomePod mini is also compatible with other Apple devices, so you can easily control all of your devices with one speaker.
2. Google Nest Mini Smart Speaker w/Google Assistant
The Google Nest Mini is stylish and compact, with a form that emphasizes ease of use. The device looks like a little version of its bigger brother. It has four colour options: sandstone, charcoal, and chalk.
It is a great gadget that can provide multi-room audio. The device is also equipped with hands-free capabilities, which makes it easy to control. In order to use the voice features of Google Assistant, you will need to set up Voice Match. The speaker also supports up to six users.
3. Amazon Echo Dot
The Amazon Echo Dot is a voice-controlled smart speaker with Alexa. It has a compact Round shape. You can use it to control compatible smart home devices with your voice, listen to Audible, podcasts, or radio stations, and much more.
With the Amazon Echo Dot, you can also set timers, add items to lists and create calendar events and reminders. Voice control your smart home with the Echo Dot. It can also be used to control your compatible smart devices with just the sound of your voice.
It gives you hands-free access to Alexa, so you can ask for music, hear the news, check weather forecasts and much more! works with a growing number of smart home devices from lights and switches to thermostats, and more! You can even use your voice to control your TV with Fire TV or a compatible streaming media player.
4. Sonos One Smart Speaker
The Sonos One is a great option for those looking for a quality smart speaker. It not only sounds great, but it also has a smooth matte finish that gives it an appearance that will complement any room. Plus, with Amazon Alexa built-in, the One blends great sound with the easy-to-use voice service. You can use it to control Amazon Music, Spotify, Apple Music, internet radio and hundreds of other streaming services. And if you have other Sonos speakers in other rooms, you can send songs, news and more to them with just a few taps on your phone.
5. Philips Smart Speaker with Google Assistant
The Philips TAPs402 is a speaker that combines the perfect balance of style and multi-functional use. It is a bar-shaped smart speaker that comes with Google Assistant built-in. It can be synced with Google Assistant so it’s useful in many different instances. It has a wireless Qi charger on the front, two 1.5″ full-range drivers plus a passive radiator to boost the bass. The speaker has a timer on the front and the control button on top and has a wireless range of up to 10 meters.
Does Alexa work in New Zealand?
Yes, Alexa works in New Zealand. You can ask her to do a variety of tasks, including playing music, giving you news updates, and controlling smart home devices. You may need to download the New Zealand version of the Alexa app (if you don’t already have it), which is available for iOS and Android.
Does Echo DOT work in NZ?
Yes, Echo DOT( 3rd Gen) does work in NZ. With its improved sound and new design, you can now stream songs from Amazon Music and take advantage of new features and skills, like tracking your fitness or planning your commute as well.
Is Google home available in NZ?
Yes, Google Home is available in NZ. It uses the same Google Assistant service found in Android phones. You can get local weather, sports games (mostly), news and public transport information. Plus all the normal Google assistant stuff like general information, and setting timers/alarms/reminders.
Do you need WiFi for Alexa?
Yes, you need WiFi for Alexa to connect to the internet and access various applications and features. The device will not allow you to set up a Google account, stream your favourite music, purchase apps, or do anything else without connecting it to Wi-Fi.