Are you considering a home speaker for hands-free emergency calls, med reminders, kitchen timers, or some other reason? There are a few key differences you should be aware of before making a decision. Beyond price, the most important ones are:
Device compatibility: will you be able to set it up through a SmartPhone or tablet you already own?
Will you be able to call 911 (if calling 911 is a priority)?
Will you be able to call family, friends or other regular telephones?
Will you get named alarms (if reminders are a priority)?
See the answers at a glance with the quick comparison charts below.
Each chart compares 6 popular speakers:
The Echo Dot & Google Home Mini: Amazon & Google's most affordable Mini Speakers
The Echo Plus & Google Home: Amazon & Google's combination Speaker/SmartHome Hub controllers with the lowest price tag
The HomePod: Apple's only speaker, a combination Speaker/SmartHome Hub controller.
Analysis: Which Home Speaker is Best for Seniors?
I'm often asked which speaker I recommend. The answer changes based on your needs, priorities and the country you live in! It can also depend on the devices you already own because we need a SmartPhone or tablet to set up the speakers and their digital assistant apps.
For example, an iPhone 6 or higher is needed to make voice calling work with Alexa on the Echo speakers. And you can only call 911 if...
you live in the United States AND
have an Echo speaker AND
add an Echo Connect to turn your Echo into a hands-free speaker for the home phone.
Google Home speakers, however, do not require a SmartPhone to make calling work! You have the option to do set up through a tablet or a SmartPhone. However, Google has no way to make it possible to call 911 in any country (yet).
Which speaker is best for older adult needs? Is there a checklist?
Wishing you the best,