Few months ago, only Amazon Echo and Google Home were the main representatives of the smart speakers technology. Not only because they were made by the tech giants behind the famous digital assistants; Alexa and Assistant, but also because other manufacturers were not ready to reveal their products that were developed in silence.
With these limited options, smart speakers market was ready to receive new products capable of addressing the shortcomings of existing products. One of these major shortcomings is the disappointing audio quality, which need the experience of the audio industry pioneers.
In late 2017 and the beginning of the 2018, a number of companies known for their history in audio industry, launched their own smart speakers, which combines Alexa and Assistant’s intelligence with superior high-quality sound signed by JBL, Harman Kardon, Bang & Olufsen and more.
Other companies such as LG and Lenovo unveiled their own new smart speakers with touch displays, or the “Smart Displays” that announced by Google during the CES 2018 show in Las Vegas, and powered by a visual version of Google Assistant similar to the one used by Android smartphones and tablets.
With this huge and rapid diversity in the smart speakers market, consumers now have the ability to choose from a range of products that meet their needs. Therefore, today we review some of the best smart speakers that released during the first month of 2018.
Best Smart Speakers of 2018 So Far
Vale and Villa Connect by Braven
Braven has been able to impose itself on the market through a range of high-quality wireless speakers, such as BRV-XXL that received recommendations by many experts. During CES 2018, the company introduced its first smart speakers powered by both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
WK7 by LG
In association with the company known for its high-quality audio equipment Meridian, LG announced its new smart speaker powered by Google Assistant, WK7. Thanks to this partnership, the new smart speaker can play superior high-quality audio and features 24-bit up-sampling to enhance the playback of lesser-quality source material, according to the South Korean tech giant.
Smart Display by Lenovo
Lenovo was the first company to show its new product, which is a part of Google’s Smart Display initiative announced at CES 2018. Lenovo announced two models of its Smart Display, first one with 8-inch HD display ($200) and the other one with 10-inch HD display ($250) and both powered by a 1.75-inch, 10-speaker with a passive radiator to enhance bass response.
LINK View by JBL
Another part of Google’s Smart Display initiative, LINK View by JBL features an 8-inch HD display in the middle, with two 10-watt forward facing speakers and a rear facing passive radiator to enhance bass impact.
The range of smart speakers that we reviewed briefly in this report are a collection of the best that combine intelligence and high-quality audio, a range that is likely to increase over the next few months.