A party simply isn’t a party without music, and a solid music playlist coming through great-sounding smart speakers can really set the mood. It helps everyone feel joyful and cozy, nostalgic, and might even prompt them to get up off their feet and dance, or start 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 music is playing everywhere as you move around the house cooking, cleaning, or even working from home. Through my workday, I have music going in the kitchen, in the backyard should I decide to take my laptop outside for an hour or two, in the bathroom for when I take my shower, and in the basement when I do my daily workouts.
So how can you ensure that your music is playing seamlessly throughout the house so no matter where you, 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 and Alexa-compatible 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 top-40 tunes while you listen to classical or throwback music upstairs. 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 larger-sized speaker, and keep in mind that many other brands beyond Amazon make Alexa-compatible smart speakers that will work alongside your Echo speakers, like Sonos, Bose, Edifier, and others.
You could also use a smart display in one room 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 Nest (and compatible) smart speakers
Any of the Google Nest smart speakers will work, too, with models like the 2nd-Gen Google Nest Mini functioning much like the Echo Dot, ideal for smaller rooms or areas where you just want lower-volume background music.
A Google Nest speaker is a good option, providing room-filling sound with the ability to pair with other Google-branded and compatible 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.
If you want even bigger sound throughout the home, or in at least one room of the home, consider the Google Nest Audio that has a woofer, tweeter, and tuning software to provide powerful sound that’s 70% louder than the original Google Home product (as they were previously named) with 50% more bass. With Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 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, from brands like JBL, Sonos, Creative, and others.
Apple HomePod mini 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.
The Apple HomePod mini packs a powerful punch in a smaller package.
Sonos smart speakers
Another smart speaker option to consider are the many options available from Sonos, most of which work with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant so you can add them to either system. The Sonos Move and Roam can go with you virtually anywhere, and even consider adding one like the Sonos Arc or Sonos Ray Sound Bar to your home theatre set-up to provide music in the living room as well as enhance audio when you’re watching TV.
Each can function essentially as another Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant-enabled speaker to keep the music going in another room. Or set up multiple 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.
Music is not just for entertaining: it can be a great addition to your everyday, providing a soundtrack as you clean, work from home, have dinner, or even enjoy a family game night. But when you have people over, you’ll want to a good smart speaker that lets you crank up the volume in one room while keeping it at a background level in others. Most importanlty, you want it to be able to play seamlessly throughout the house.
A good system of smart speakers can make this a reality. The best part is that most are easily expandable by adding new and compatible speakers over time, all of which can function together for a smart, whole-home music experience. Trust me, you’ll love having it and wonder how you ever lived without your own personal soundtrack and music in every room.
Check out a wide selection of smart speakers at Best Buy Online.