A party simply isn’t a party without music. And when it comes to the holiday season, a great holiday-themed playlist played through smart speakers can really set the mood. It helps everyone get into the holiday spirit, feel joyful and cozy, and might even prompt a sing-a-long or two!
But, as with any party, not everyone congregates in the same room. You might have people sitting and chatting in the living room or den, others laughing it up in the kitchen (parties always move to the kitchen for some reason, don’t they?) and others, like kids, playing upstairs or in the basement as they steer clear of the “boring” adults.
It isn’t just about parties, though. Even when it’s just you and the rest of the family at home, you want to ensure that holiday music is playing everywhere as you move around the house cooking, cleaning, wrapping presents, and doing other chores to prepare for the season.
So how can you ensure that your music is playing seamlessly throughout the house so no matter where your guests or family members go, the tunes don’t go silent?
There are actually lots of smart speakers you can use to ensure that music plays seamlessly and in sync throughout the home. And with most, you can even choose to play different music in different rooms if you prefer that, too.
Amazon Echo Smart Speakers
Any of the Amazon Echo smart speakers will do the trick, as they can all link with one another to play the same music source in every room where an Echo or other compatible linked speaker is. Or, play different music in different rooms so the kids can have a dance party downstairs with upbeat holiday party tunes while you listen to classical and low-key holiday music upstairs as you cook and clean. Plus, you can control playback with your voice making it much easier – the Echo unit closest to you will respond accordingly, whether it’s queuing up a new playlist, skipping a song, or pausing music to ask it a question.
You’ll get the best sound from a device like the larger-sized 3rd-generation Amazon Echo as this models has an equalizer and 360-degree audio powered by Dolby along with dynamic bass response.
You could also use a smart display in one room, like an Amazon Echo Show 8, and have that connect as part of the system. If you just want some rooms to have quiet background music, a third-generation Amazon Echo Dot will suffice and is the most affordable option. This one boasts louder sound than previous generation models, but it still won’t rival a full-sized Echo speaker. Nonetheless, for music in the powder room, kid’s bedroom, or other small space, it is a totally great addition for keeping the music going everywhere.
Google Home (and Compatible) Smart Speakers
Any of the Google Home smart speakers will work, too, with the Google Home Mini functioning much like the Echo Dot, ideal for smaller rooms or areas where you just want lower-volume background music.
A Google Home is a good option, providing room-filling sound with the ability to pair with other Google Home units as well as a Chromecast Audio device if you have one plugged into a basic speaker to make it wireless enabled, or other speakers with Chromecast built-in. Control it all from your voice and play the same or different music in every room or through different devices, all in sync if you choose the former. The modular shell is a really cool option so you can buy multiple units and have them match to the décor of each room.
If you want even bigger sound throughout the home, or in at least one room of the home, consider the Google Home Max that has dual 4.5” woofers and a pair of tweeters, promising to offer high-fidelity sound. With Wi-Fi connectivity, you can stream music from your favourite apps and services and create a multi-room group by combining it with other Google smart speakers like those mentioned over as well as other Chromecast Audio-enabled speakers. Like within the Amazon ecosystem, you can also use a smart display like the Google Nest Hub.
There are other branded smart speakers that work within the Google ecosystem as well, like the JBL Link 10 portable speaker with Google Assistant. You can use the “OK Google” command to start up a holiday playlist, and with built-in Chromecast, you can link it as part of your whole-home music system. Use the Google Home app to control playback to make the same songs play through this speaker (or multiples of this speaker) as well as other Google speakers. It supports both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and has a rechargeable battery that lasts for up to 10 hours so you can move it around and play music in whatever rooms you want, when you want.
Apple HomePod Smart Speaker
For Apple households, the Apple HomePod might be the best option, and it can be used to provide multi-room music, or even stereo music in one room when you combine two.
Use multiple ones around the house, or pair one with other Apple HomeKit-enabled speakers then use the app or Siri to control playback so you have the same music synced and playing throughout the house, or different playlists playing in different rooms. You won’t be able to use this with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa and other compatible smart speakers (unless they are from third-party brands that are also HomeKit-enabled.) So this option is for the true Apple products lovers and households.
It includes spatial awareness that will sense its location and adjust audio accordingly and works seamlessly with Apple Music. You’ll need an Apple Music subscription as well as an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch with iOS 11.2.5 or later to set it up.
Sonos One Smart Speaker
Another smart speaker option to consider is the second-generation Sonos One, which can function essentially as another Amazon Alexa-enabled speaker, working with your other Echo devices to keep the music going in another room. Or set up multiple Sonos Ones or one Sonos One connected to other Sonos speakers and control everything by voice or the app. You can, once again, have the same music in every room or different music in different rooms playing from all of the popular streaming services like Spotify, Amazon Music, TuneIn, and more. It works with Google Assistant, too, so you can use it as part of a Google Home set-up as well.
Audibly, it includes a pair of Class-D amplifiers and custom-built drivers that are tuned to the speaker’s acoustic architecture. Like with the HomePod, you can pair two for stereo sound in your main room or add a Sub to get deeper bass. Other Sonos speakers it can be paired with to create a multi-room audio set-up include the Beam, Playbar, and Playbase.
If it isn’t too cold outside, by the way, and you want to take the music outside as well, you can do that with the Sonos Move, which also has Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa built-in and can work as part of a larger multi-room sound system. Its IP65 rating allows it to safely be used outside, withstanding bumps, drops, dirt, dust, moisture, and extreme cold or heat.
The music lover on your list will love a speaker he can use to provide music in the house. And he’ll especially appreciate one that is easily expandable by adding new and compatible speakers over time, all of which can function together for a smart, whole-home music experience – something that you’ll love having, especially during the holiday season.