Smart speakers are pretty common these days. Smart displays are picking up steam, too. Google has a nice range of options with Google Assistant on board, and if you're feeling particularly brave (or just don't care about Facebook's antics) you can put a Facebook Portal video calling device in your home. Options! And prices range to match.
Not every smart speaker is priced or outfitted with the same specs. It all comes down to what you're looking for, and even which room of your home that a speaker or display might be going in. Not every room needs an Apple HomePod, for instance. But a Google Home Mini or an Amazon Echo Dot might not be great for a main room.
The only bad part is if you're a diehard Apple fan and don't want to mix-and-match your smart speakers.
There's nothing wrong with that. But hey, if you're an Apple Music subscriber you could use an Amazon Echo smart speaker for voice controls. But if you prefer to stick with Apple, and only Apple, when it comes to hardware, then you're looking at a pretty expensive option to fill your house and its rooms.
I only ever need or want one smart speaker, a nice addition to the living room. As such, I've stuck with the HomePod after trying out the original Google Home. The HomePod has served me well, mostly because I primarily use it for listening to music and anything else is just a bonus add-on. But I know that some, if not most, of smart speaker owners are looking for the smarts, too.
I do ask Siri questions, usually dealing with random number problems here and there. Or I ask Siri when a particular sports team is playing next. But the primary use case for the HomePod in my home is playing music, and for that I am very happy with it. Audio quality from this speaker is fantastic, even when I do get the opportunity to turn it up quite a bit.
Being happy with a device is important, no matter how much it costs. But especially when a device is expensive. The HomePod is certainly not cheap, and other smart speaker options follow that line, too. There are some other choices out there, though, and sales happen from time-to-time.
This is kind of inspired by Apple's upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference and the rumors that Siri is getting an upgrade or two. But that doesn't necessarily mean it will translate to HomePod (yet). But that's okay in my book because I'm happy with the HomePod as it is. Sure, more features, and better Siri use cases would be welcomed, but this is a good place to start.
What about you, though? How many different smart speakers/displays do you own, and do you mix-and-match your brands? Are you happy with your smart speaker purchase(s) so far? How would you change them if you could? Let me know!