Garmin Speak puts Amazon Alexa in your auto

Thursday, 19 Oct, 2017

The new Garmin Speak with Amazon Alexa provides in-vehicle access to the Amazon Alexa voice service along with turn-by-turn Global Positioning System navigation.

Motorola has announced the latest MotoMod for its Moto Z family of handsets - the Moto smart speaker with Amazon Alexa. The Garmin Speak does not look like an ordinary Global Positioning System. As a result, Alexa is super responsive, even while music is playing. You need to keep in mind to always say, "Alexa, ask Garmin to." when it comes to asking anything navigation-related, which I found easy to forget during my day of testing. Additionally, the app lets you manage your saved locations, including home, school, and work. But Alexa's integration into the best-sounding speaker yet still has some limitations. You can talk to the voice assistant through it the same way you'd talk to Alexa through an Echo: just say "Alexa" and follow it up with a voice command.

Like its predecessor the PLAY:1, the Sonos One sounds incredible for a $199 Speaker. After a year of teasing, it would have been nice for Sonos to have smoothed the experience out a bit more than it did, especially if the company believes its future rests on rise of smart speakers.

Using the Speak as a Global Positioning System device can be all done through voice commands.

We tested playing music with Alexa through Amazon Music on the Sonos One, but Spotify support should arrive soon, and hopefully before the holidays.

It's worth noting, too, that while Sonos One offers a large degree of Alexa functionality, it doesn't now support the entire feature set. The Sonos One is that speaker. The icon on the left turns down the volume, and the icon on the right turns it up. Besides the awesome advanced skills it features, the speaker offers ideal sound.

The One I reviewed was white with a white matte grille.

In terms of network and power supply, the product offers auto-switching 100-240 V with a 50-60 Hz AC universal input.

There are only two buttons on the Garmin Speak, one used to mute the microphone, and one used as an action/confirmation button.

The Sonos app guides the setup after that. The Sonos One is now available for pre-order, with a delivery date of October 24.

This product costs $200, being the double the cost of the new Echo speaker.

Connecting Alexa and the Sonos One was a bit more involved than I'd like. Like any Alexa enabled device, users can also download skills from the Alexa Skills store and extend the device's capability.

I'm an avid Alexa user.

But when that was set up, it was pretty exciting. "When you're done, go back to the Sonos app". I've been listening to the two and comparing them, and would say that the Sonos One edges out the PLAY:1 in terms of clarity. My kitchen is a long, open space, which could have been a challenge for such a compact speaker to fill, but I was pleasantly surprised.

Want to stream the newest song from your favorite artist? Alexa is also available for your home on the Amazon Echo devices, Amazon's answer to the Google Home, with new versions launched at the end of last month. I use Alexa to control my lights, my Dyson, and even my air conditioner. If you've completely bought into the Amazon eco-system, including music subscriptions and shopping, then having Alexa easily accessible from your vehicle while you commute to and from work will certainly be useful. After tuning the speakers, the bass was much more pronounced, and the vocals weren't as bright, but warmer in tone. It was incredibly powerful for such a small-form speaker.

From ABBA to Frank Zappa, anything I threw at the Sonos speakers came through spectacularly, given their size. Besides the great quality sound, you will also benefit from Alexa's voice. You can accomplish the same thing with an Echo Dot connected to Sonos speakers you already own, which is a good option for existing customers.