Smart speakers make a great gift for tech-savvy folks who love to control all of their smart devices via voice commands. They’re also great for people who keep asking you questions; you keep telling them to “Google it,” but they never do. If either of those describes someone on your shopping list, you have a few gifting options under $100.
But which to choose? Smart speakers made by Google work better for people with mostly Google apps, accounts and products, but they are adaptable to fit most gadgets; Amazon’s line of speakers is also pretty versatile. The best choice — whether you’re buying for yourself or as a gift — really comes down to personal preference. But luckily for you, there are often deals running on these devices, so you can nab a real bargain along the way.
Google’s Nest Mini –from $69
The Nest Mini is Google’s most basic smart speaker and a good starter model. It does most of the same things as the full-sized Nest speaker in a smaller footprint and with sound quality that doesn’t quite stack up. The second generation model, released in 2019, will currently set you back $79 if you buy one direct from Google, and $69 at Officeworks.
(Google smart speakers are not available on Amazon because they are in direct competition with Amazon’s Alexa products.)
Echo Dot 5th Gen – from $97 (without clock)
The Echo Dot is comparable to Google’s Nest Mini. They are both smaller than their better-sounding and more expensive smart speakers (the Echo Studio from Amazon and the Nest Audio from Google.). The Echo Dot does many of the same things as the Nest Mini, but the newer features, like the ability to tell the temperature in the room it’s in via an internal sensor, set it apart from the Nest Mini.
You can grab it from Amazon at $99, which is also running a deal where you can nab two for $158. Additionally, you can purchase one for $97 at Officeworks. JB HiFi is also selling Echo Dots at $99 or two for $158.
Amazon Echo Pop – $79
If you’d like to go cheaper again, you can opt for Amazon’s more compact smart speaker, the Echo Pop, for $79. This is broadly described as the no-frills version of the Dot and offers a similar sound experience (a little lower quality) without the added features of the Dot, like motion sensors. If you’re looking for a simple speaker without any cool additional features, however, this will likely do the job. It also comes in fun colours, which is cute.
Lead Image Credit: Google/Amazon