Back to School: 7 Smart Speakers Any Student Can Use


Summer is over, and that means students have returned to the classroom and, perhaps, the dorm room. Aside from the basic school supply list, you should also start upgrading your tech for the upcoming academic year, and adding a smart speaker with a virtual assistant is a good way to go. With a smart speaker in your home, you can have questions answered, control smart home gadgets, play music, order food, and much more. Here’s a look at the best smart speakers for students.

Sony LF-S50G

Doing homework is easier than ever with the Sony LF-S50G Wireless Speaker. With this speaker you can enjoy Bluetooth with NFC and Wi-Fi connectivity, voice control, and home-automation support. Play music, get answers, control your compatible smart devices, and more, all with the Google Assistant. The LF-S50G is designed for enhanced sound quality with a 2.09" woofer and a 1.89" tweeter mounted face-to-face with a two-stage diffuser between them to create 360° of sound.

Sony LF-S50G Wireless Speaker

Sonos One (Generation 2)

The second-generation Sonos One is a versatile wireless speaker with excellent sound quality, support for multi-room audio, and your choice of Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant voice control. Powered by a pair of Class-D amplifiers, a tweeter, and mid-woofer, the Sonos One gives you room-filling sound. The Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are built right in, so you can play music, check news, set alarms, get your questions answered, and so much more, completely hands-free.

Sonos One

Google Home

If you always search Google for answers, gets hands-free help from the search engine with the Google Home wireless speaker. This speaker lets you get answers to your questions, play your music, tackle your to-do list, and even control your smart home products with just your voice. You can also hook it up to your Chromecast, so you can say things like, “OK Google, play how to solve equations on YouTube.”

Google Home

Google’s smart speaker comes in a variety of models for every user. Small but mighty, the Google Home Mini gives you all the hands-free features in a small package. The Google Home provides you with more audio power, while the Google Home Max gives you greater sound that you can hear indoors and outside.

Google Home Mini

Apple HomePod

While you can connect certain iOS devices to other smart speakers, the Apple HomePod is designed to work with most iOS devices. Powered by the Apple A8 chip, the HomePod delivers high-fidelity audio wherever it’s playing. With Siri, you'll be able to set timers, convert measurements, get translations, get live news, sports, weather, and traffic. You can also create lists to which anyone can add. Additionally, you can use the HomePod to send messages using just your voice. And when you receive a text, Siri can read it to you. For hands-free conversations, start or receive a call on your iPhone and hand it off to HomePod.

Apple HomePod

JBL Link View

If you want more than audio, the JBL Link View 8" smart display lets you enjoy all the functionality of the Google Assistant with a view. The 8" screen and a pair of 2" full-range drivers that put it in a class of its own for music. Its onboard Google Assistant will answer questions and give you visual weather updates, plus it has some features like a video CNN news briefing and step-by-step audio and visual directions for recipes. Other notable skills include the ability to toss videos to its screen using Chromecast, pull up YouTube videos with your voice, and make video calls. The built-in camera lens cover and microphone mute switch adds security and privacy, deterring hackers.

JBL LINK VIEW 8" Virtual Assistant Speaker

Lenovo Smart Display

Lenovo combines the near-limitless knowledge base and functionality of Google Assistant with a full HD display and 10W full-range speaker with its Smart Display. Make your day easier and your home or dorm room smarter with this device. Want to watch celebrity chefs, call the family, remember a birthday, or get the weather? Simply say, "Hey, Google" to get started. With just your voice you can manage your tasks, play podcasts or music, and get answers to any question you may have. And with Lenovo’s screen you can see your results, as the Google Assistant enhances answers with images, maps, and videos. The Smart Display is available in both 8" and 10.1" sizes.

Lenovo 8" Smart Display

Amazon Echo Show (2nd Generation)

With the second-generation Amazon Echo Show you get quality sound, a vibrant display, and the Alexa voice assistant service all in one package. Get clear, room-filling audio through its two 2" drivers. And with far-field voice recognition technology, the built-in microphone allows the Echo Show to respond to your voice from any direction in the room. The Alexa voice assistant service allows you to play music, video chat with friends, check the weather and traffic anywhere in the US, hear sports scores, watch videos, and much more, intuitively. With more than 50,000 skills and counting, Alexa is always expanding its functionality. You can even create your own personal skills and custom responses with Alexa Skill Blueprints.

Amazon Echo Show

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