U.S. adults saw their ownership of smart speakers soar 128% in 2017

If we told you once throughout 2017, we told you a number of times that the smart speaker was having a great year. We also told you to expect the product to appear under many a Christmas Tree during the holiday shopping season. Now, a new survey from National Public Radio (NPR) and Edison Research reveals that 16% of American adults own a smart speaker and that is up a whopping 128% from last January. Sure enough, 7% received the device as a holiday gift, and 4% found their first smart speaker when they ripped the wrapping paper off their holiday present.

A rather simple device that combines …

Best smart speakers (2018)

Smart speakers are expected to be the fastest growing new category of technology in 2018, outpacing wearables, as well as AR and VR devices, according to analysis, but what are the best smart speakers around?
We look at the top smart speakers in 2018: from Google’s Home series to Amazon’s extensive lineup of Echo speakers, to all the other popular alternatives and Apple’s own, Siri-powered HomePod.

The big battle in smart speakers: Alexa vs Google Assistant

We compare their prices, features, pros and cons, and more right below, …

Smart speakers will be the fastest growing new category in 2018, outpacing wearables, AR and VR

Smart speakers will be the fastest-growing new category of technology in 2018, according to research by analytics firm Canalys.
Smart speaker sales will beat sales of wearables, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) devices, three of the commonly named technologies previously said to grow fast in a maturing smartphone market.
Total smart speaker sales are expected to reach a whopping 56.3 million units in 2018, with Google and Amazon expected to lead the way with their Google Home and Alexa speakers. …

Smart speakers are taking sales away from smartwatches and other wearables

A new report from research firm eMarketer notes that wearable technology, including smartwatches, has yet to catch on with the public. One of the reasons, according to the report, is that smart speakers have become the hot new tech product and are much more affordable than an intelligent timepiece. The report notes that consumers have yet to find a reason why they should purchase a smartwatch since in many cases, they can cost as much as a new smartphone.

Wearables growth continues to disappoint analysts. Back in 2015, eMarketer forecast that among U.S. adults, sales of wearables would rise …

Pixel 2 XL users are complaining about a rattling sound coming from the speakers

Those with the Google Pixel sequels have had to deal with a series of problems that have negatively affected how much they enjoy using their handsets. Already concerned about burn-in and other discoloration happening to their phones’ displays, some Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL units were also flagged because of strange noises that were coming out of the units’ speakers. And today, that particular problem has resurfaced. Some Pixel 2 XL owners are once again complaining (that seems to be the default position of Pixel 2 XL owners) about rattling sounds coming out of the speaker.

This happens to …

Amazon has shipped three times the number of smart speakers as Google has

Amazon created the smart speaker category with the widespread unveiling of the Amazon Echo in 2015. Comprised of a speaker and a virtual personal assistant, the device seemed simple enough, although most saw it as a niche product. Two years later, the smart speaker is one of the fastest growing tech products around. Amazon’s Alexa probably would have won Time Magazine’s Virtual Assistant of the Year if such an award existed. Now, almost every major tech firm has a smart speaker available.

Amazon’s main competition for the Echo is the Google Home line. Just as Amazon has various Echo models …

Amazon Echo speakers and Music Unlimited are coming to 28 new countries, see the entire list here

Amazon is doing a big expansion of its media services. Today, the company announced that it has introduced Music Unlimited, its paid music streaming service, and the Echo smart speakers to 28 new markets in Europe and South America. 

Here’s the complete list of newly-added countries: 
Belgium, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Panama, Peru, Poland, …

Best Bluetooth speakers comparison (2017): sound quality and price

Looking for the best Bluetooth speaker in a mid size form factor?
We take a look at the top Bluetooth speaker options in late 2017 and highlight the speakers that shine with great sound, battery life and additional features. Of course, the price of a speaker matters as well.
So which Bluetooth speaker should you buy if you had to shop today? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons for each one of them right below.

JBL Charge 3Top battery life, super loud and water-proof make it our top choice

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Apple HomePod manufacturer sees facial recognition eventually coming to smart speakers

The company that assembles Apple’s HomePod smart speaker, Inventec Appliances, said last week that it expects features offered by 3D-sensing cameras to eventually be available on smart speakers. That would include facial and image recognition that could make the product “more convenient and…easier to use,” according to Inventec Appliances president David Ho. The executive did say that he isn’t sure that a smart speaker with AI would be in demand by consumers.

While Ho didn’t mention Apple’s HomePod by name, he did say that Inventec Appliances is also producing a voice enabled smart speaker …