Mother’s Day is fast approaching and what says love and affection better in this day and age than the gift of home automation? We’ve scoured Best Buy and found these awesome deals on the Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod, Echo Dot, and Google Nest Mini smart speakers. Let Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri play your mom’s favorite songs from only $30. Best of all, order today and they’ll arrive before the big day.
— $30, was $50
The original Echo Dot was designed as cheap and easy access to Alexa. It was never really about the sound quality, with a maximum volume level that barely served as a wake-up alarm. Not anymore. The third generation of Echo Dot, while still tiny, has been upgraded into a proper speaker, with a bigger and more boisterous sound that could potentially dissuade you from getting the more expensive Echo models. Right now, you can purchase Echo Dot at Best Buy for the extremely affordable price of $30 instead of $50.
The Dot is still hockey-puck shaped and compact with a base that’s covered in anti-slide silicon. It now sports a small cylindrical DC power tip and a rounded wall plug, ditching the original’s micro-USB port. Its functionality remains the same. This speaker allows you to summon Alexa so you can ask her questions, make phone calls, set kitchen timers, provide the latest news, and more. For a relatively diminutive smart speaker, the sound that comes from the Dot is quite impressive, a dramatic improvement over its predecessor. This is all thanks to a single 1.6-inch speaker that fires audio in every direction. Its sound is well-balanced, with a smooth treble, clear midrange, and surprisingly potent bass. You can even crank it up to full volume and it’ll remain pleasant to listen to.
Want an Alexa-powered speaker but on a limited budget? The Echo Dot is your best option. We deemed it the best compact smart speaker on the market by a wide margin. Get it for just $30 at Best Buy today.
— $30, was $50
If you’re not a fan of Alexa but require a cheap and compact smart speaker, take a look at the Google Nest Mini. Now on its second iteration, this Google Assistant-powered smart speaker boasts an assortment of improvements, including better sound, faster processing, and much more. Although it doesn’t get as loud as we’d hoped for (the Echo Dot smashes it in this department), the Nest Mini is still a powerful, fast, and attractive smart speaker that comes at a very affordable price. Order it at Best Buy today for just $30 instead of $50.
Not much has changed in the Nest Mini’s design. It is still round with a height of 1.65 inches and a diameter of 3.85 inches. We applaud Google though for doing its part in taking care of the environment, as the Nest Mini’s top fabric portion is made from 100% recycled plastic, while the external enclosure is comprised of at least 35% post-consumer recycled plastic. Unlike the Echo Dot, you won’t find a 3.5mm audio jack here to connect an external speaker, but it does have Bluetooth support. A truly great refinement on the Nest Mini is its ability to detect the level of background noise and adjust the volume accordingly. For example, it’ll turn the volume up if there’s a lot of conversation in the room, although its maximum volume isn’t that loud. Featuring a 360-degree sound that emanates from a 40mm speaker driver, the Nest Mini’s sound is crystal clear with an ample amount of bass. Finally, voice detection is top-notch. The Nest Mini’s three far-field microphones had no problems picking up our commands even when we were a bit far away from it.
The Google Nest Mini has been made faster and smarter and is one of the best affordable smart speakers that you can buy. Get it for just $30 at Best Buy right now.
— $70, was $100
When we first encountered Echo in 2015, we were initially skeptical by this device that seemingly came out of some sci-fi movie. Was this just some fad that will eventually be forgotten, or was it here to stay? Turns out, it was the latter, and now we have the third generation of the Echo. Echo 3.0 is smaller and cuter yet still cylindrical, 8 inches in height and 3.9 inches in diameter. It comes in either cloth covers or sleek finishes. It has four buttons; two for adjusting the volume up or down, one for action, and one to turn off the microphone to stop Alexa from eavesdropping.
All Echo models are outfitted with Dolby speaker technology. The Echo, specifically, boasts a 3-inch woofer for a full bass sound and a 0.8-inch tweeter for clear treble. It now supports multiroom audio, meaning you can play a certain track in the kitchen while your family listens to something completely different in the living room. This is not an audiophile-grade speaker though. If you want next-level sound, you can hook up the Echo to a third-party audio system via the 3.5mm audio jack. Finally, unlike its predecessor, you now use the Echo to control a wide array of compatible smart home devices, like smart lights, thermostats, lock doors, and more.
The Echo normally retails for $100, but right now you can get it at Best Buy for the incredibly low price of $70.
— $200, was $300
With the HomePod, Apple puts the emphasis on design and sound quality more than smarts. The nearly four years of development is clearly evident on the HomePod. This is the best smart speaker that you can buy if you’re an avid fan of Apple, boasting a spectacular, nuanced sound and easy setup and control. Everyone else should look elsewhere.
For starters, the HomePod continues Apple’s legacy of keeping it simple yet stylish. This smart speaker is not only wonderfully minimalistic but is also built like a tank. At 5.5 pounds, it has real heft, and that’s because of robust cabinetry and huge magnets on the drivers inside which produces out-of-this-world bass. Its speaker grille is covered in a soft and squishy material that we couldn’t stop touching. The HomePod is very simple to set up, but here’s the catch: You must have an iOS device that’s capable of running iOS 11.2.5, otherwise you won’t be able to use it. The most primitive Apple devices that it will work on are the iPhone 5S, iPad Mini 2, and iPod Touch sixth generation. Another major downside is that you can only ask Siri to control Apple Music. She won’t be able to play any of your Spotify or Pandora playlists. Worst of all, there is a tragic lack of Bluetooth connection and auxiliary input jack to connect non-Apple devices. Now onto where the HomePod really aces it: Sound quality. With a large cavity that houses a 4-inch woofer and seven tweeters surrounding the speaker that each comes with its own high-power amplifier, the HomePod is the audiophile’s smart speaker. Every music genre that we played on it sounded lush and rich in details, perfectly complemented by a full-bodied bass that means business.
The HomePod is made exclusive for the Apple faithful. It normally retails for $300, but right now you can get it at Best Buy for a whopping $100 off.
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