Rating: ★★★★ (4/5)
Who needs a voice-controlled speaker for their home, I hear you say? Well actually, it turns out everyone does...
This smart-looking smart speaker is fairly compact (measuring (H)17.2 x (W)14.2 x (D)14.2) and because it’s voice command activated the design is minimalism at its best, with not a button or switch in sight! Don’t panic though, you can skip tracks, pause and adjust the volume with a tap of your fingers too.
Set up was simple – although I fell at the first hurdle as to get it to work I needed to first update my iPhone to the latest software version. Once I’d done this it was quick and very easy to set up and in minutes my speaker was ready to go. With a wireless connection, using voice commands you can access iTunes, Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and more.
To get it to do anything you simply say ‘Hey Siri’ and then follow with your request. And here lies my only bugbear with this clever gadget. Starting every request with ‘Hey…’ is annoying after a while and the Apple HomePod won’t work if you drop the ‘Hey’ and just say Siri. Americanism’s aside, the sound quality is excellent due to the seven built-in speakers and powerful subwoofer. It can go surprisingly loud and I liked that when you request max volume, Siri politely checks if you’re sure as that’s ‘very loud’. You can request songs, turn the volume up or down, pause and skip skip a track all by voice command. You can also ask Siri for a weather forecast, where the nearest supermarket is, what the capital of every country is – pretty much anything you fancy. Siri will answer most questions, although as with all digital assistants his response isn’t always flawless. You can set reminders and timers – which is very handy when cooking dinner! You can also control other smart devices in your home – including lights – but I’ve yet to try this.
My six-year-old granddaughter loves it just as much as I do and can successfully request the soundtrack from The Greatest Showman. She also loves to test Siri on his capital city knowledge!
As with all Apple devices, this smart speaker works only with other Apple services. You’ll need an iTunes library or Apple Music account and will also need an iPhone or iPad running with the latest version of iOS.
I wouldn’t hesitate to order through AO again. The website is easy to navigate and you can choose from click and collect at over 5800 local stores including Spar, Londis and Costcutter. Alternatively, choose home delivery for free or pay a small fee if you need it quickly. On your delivery day morning AO send a text with an hour delivery window – which means you don’t have to stay in waiting all day.
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