A voice-activated device uses speech recognition to understand spoken commands and answer questions, and typically text to speech to play a reply. Over the years voice activation technology has helped to provide assistance, manage customer experience, and boost productivity.
The technology can respond to several commands at once, separating vocal messages, and providing feedback much akin to having conversations with a real person. Their appeal is simple, they respond to the most natural of human behaviors to command, interact, and monitor your devices.
Application such as Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, and Cortana has added yet another layer of improved customer support and interactions. When it comes to business customer relations, voice technology has allowed users to get real-time answers to queries while at the same time connecting employees to on-demand resources. These smart assistants are voice-activated, which means you can literally ask them to do a range of things, including playing music, answering questions, and controlling other smart devices.
To help you decide on the smart device that suits your smart office’s needs here are some of our top pics for voice-activated devices to choose from.
Best Voice Activated Devices for the Office
- Top Pick: Amazon Echo Show 8
- Runner Up: Bose Home Speaker 300
- Best Value: Lenovo Smart Tab M10 Plus
Amazon Echo Show 8
Top Pick: Amazon’s Echo Show 8 is a perfect addition to enhance your video conferencing experience in your office. This unit comes with an 8-inch HD screen and stereo sound along with Alexa to help you manage your day. You can connect with colleagues through video calls and messaging with people who have the Alexa app or an Echo device with a screen.
With Echo Show you can also manage some 60,000-voice control compatible devices that includes thermostats and smart lights. Amazon Alexa-enabled devices come with a rich range of features such as managing and joining meetings, meeting reminders, and to-do-lists thanks to its touchscreen and video camera. Dimensions. It supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and it is compatible with Fire OS, Android, and iOS devices.
The unit comes in at 7.9 x 5.4 x 3.9 inches and weighs just 36.6 ounces.
Echo Show 8 HD smart display with Alexa – stay connected with video calling
Bose Home Speaker 300
Runner Up: This unit by Bose offers lifelike sound in a compact size. It comes with built in Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for hands-free voice control experience. With Alexa only you can make or take calls with this smart speaker to Bose smart products, Amazon Echo products, and anyone in your contacts list. You can do this hands free and phone free.
It comes with a noise-rejecting mic system that listens in every direction for your voice. You can pair your device to this speaker to stream your favorite music and more via a Bluetooth connection, your Wi-Fi network, Apple AirPlay 2, or Spotify Connect. This unit comes in at 4.02 x 5.59 x 6.34 inches and weighs 2.09 pounds.
Bose Home Speaker 300: Bluetooth Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Built-in
Lenovo Smart Tab M10 Plus
Best Value: Lenovo Smart Tab M10 Plus comes with a 2.3 GHz octa-core processor along with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. This Android tablet has a built-in Alexa, a 10.3″ FHD screen and dual speakers for conference calls.
Users can enjoy hands-free video and audio calls or communicate with those in the same office through connected Alexa devices. You can stream or play videos, check the weather, access tens of thousands of Alexa skills, dim the lights, or change the temperature by just using your voice. This unit is both WIFI and Bluetooth enabled and comes in at 9.6 x 6.04 x 0.33 inches.
Lenovo Smart Tab M10 Plus, FHD 10.3″ Android Tablet, Alexa-Enabled Smart Device, Octa-Core Processor, 32GB Storage, 2GB RAM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Sonos One (Gen 2)
Sonos offers a smart speaker with built-in voice control. It comes with its own Sonos app, Apple AirPlay2, Google Assistant and has Amazon’s Alexa voice control.
This unit offers multi-room audio with flexible stereo and surround configurations and is WIFI enabled. To facilitate this voice control, Sonos has equipped the speaker with six internal microphones. The unit comes in at 4.72 x 4.72 x 6.34 inches and weighs 4.08 pounds.
Sonos One (Gen 2) – Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa Built-in
Bang & Olufsen Speaker
Bang & Olufsen Speaker offers great sound performance, a slimmer design and an intuitive button interface. The battery lasts up to 18 hours at typical listening volumes and up to 43 hours at low volume. This unit is IP67 certified making it impervious to dust or sand particles and protected against immersion in water of 1 meter or 3.2 feet of depth for up to 30 minutes. Thanks to its built-in Amazon Alexa, you can use voice commands to play music, change tracks, make a call and much more. It has a three-microphone array for great call clarity, it is 5.24 x 1.83 x 5.24 inches, and weighs just 1.23 pounds.
Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 2nd Gen Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker with Voice Assist & Alexa Integration, 3 Microphones for Great Call Quality
Yamaha YAS-209BL comes with a wireless subwoofer, room-filling virtual surround sound, and Amazon’s Alexa onboard. With Alexa’s built-in voice control, you can play music, listen to the news, control smart devices and more.
The clear voice sound mode allows you to hear dialogue better by bringing the conversation to the forefront. The unit comes in at 2.44 x 4.29 x 36.6 inches weighs 20 pounds and is WIFI and Bluetooth enabled.
Yamaha Audio YAS-209BL Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer, Bluetooth, and Alexa Voice Control Built-In
RIVA ARENA Smart Speaker
RIVA’s smart speaker can help you connect to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Chromecast, Spotify Connect, Airplay, DLNA and more. It is easy to set up to smart devices or voice control using Google Assistant. It offers stereophonic sound from a single speaker with RIVA’s patented Trillium audio.
The Trillium audio technology up-mixes the left-right stereo signal and outputs it through three channels. This creates a stereophonic sound in each individual speaker for easy listening irrespective of where you are in a room. This unit comes 5 x 4.87 x 7 inches dimensions and weighs just three pounds.
RIVA ARENA Smart Speaker Compact Wireless for Multi-Room music streaming and voice control works with Google Assistant
What to look for in Voice-Activated Devices
- Integration with devices: When choosing a voice-activated device make sure that your assistant considers the smart devices that are already in your office. Invest in a tech ecosystem that can integrate with your devices Siri for Apple, Alexa for Amazon, and Google assistant for android.
- Compatibility: The effectiveness of your voice assistant centers on the number of things it can control. It should be able to access apps, accomplish simple tasks, make calls, turn on the light bulbs or even tweak the thermostat.
- Frequent updates: Voice assistants are always evolving. While shopping for voice-activated devices look for developers which are constantly working to make their devices tackle more complex tasks or respond correctly to every request.
- Performs tasks you need: Almost all voice assistants perform similar tasks, but some have an edge over others when it comes to specific tasks. For instance, when it comes to shopping on Amazon Prime devices that work with Alexa might be worth investing in. If you are mostly into researching information online you might opt for a device that works with Google Assistant.
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