The elderly may belong to a different generation that does not embrace technology as this generation does. However, with the right smart speaker, you will no longer have to worry about things like confusion, missed medications, or forgetfulness.
The elderly are part and parcel of our society and need attention too. According to a study by the University of Pennsylvania, seniors who have smart speakers in their homes were happier due to the positive and results when they used these devices. Nothing makes us happier than seeing our old folks dancing and singing to the music of their time. These devices not only offer entertainment but also give the elderly easy control over their homes and reduce their mobility which minimizes any accidents.
You can automate repetitive and routine tasks using voice commands that would otherwise wear out your folk. These devices also improve communication hands-free between the elderly and their family or their nurses.
The top 5 best smart speaker for the elderly – A Comparison Table
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Echo Plus 2nd Generation Speaker – Best overall smart speaker
This is one of the best smart speakers on the market and is an excellent choice for seniors. Over the years, it has undergone developments and updates giving it a great sound. It has a great sound and a durable and attractive fabric design with an inbuilt Zigbee hub that you can set up easily and control your smart home devices and comes with a sensor for temperature. For audio, it comes with a 3.0-inch neodymium woofer and 0.8-inch tweeter. The Alexa app it comes with is compatible with Android, iOS, Fire OS devices, and other operating systems.
- Its simple to set up and use which is ideal for the elderly
- It comes with most of the songs
- The voice command is great for a person with mobility challenges
- It has an Eldrey Alexa function that comes with medication reminders
- It’s compatible with all smart devices
- The voice commands make it hands-free to operate
- It’s affordable
- It supports a wide array of skills such as the ordering of groceries
- The sound is strong with clear highs and high-mids and can fill the room
- The bass is relatively weak
- The Bluetooth doesn’t work with Echo sub or stereo pairs
- You may need additional speakers for the whole house
Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen) – Best voice control
Amazon Echo Dot is the most popular and compact speaker allowing it to fit in small spaces. Its speaker quality is louder and richer than its predecessor the Echo Dot Gen 2 and can be paired with another Echo Dot for stereo sound. It lets you take control of your music streaming from popular apps like Spotify, Amazon Music, and many others, and even better, you can ask Alexa to play your favorite music, check the weather for you and even control your smart devices at the comfort of your chair. Alexa comes with tons of skills that you can make use of and when it comes to privacy, worry not. You can always switch off your microphone or even view and delete your voice recordings.
- Its sound is great
- The calling is hands-free and it works with all your smart home devices
- It comes with Alexa which has a great range of skills such as reading audiobooks and ordering food
- It’s excellent in automating your routine tasks
- It comes without a USB port
- When it comes to queries, Google Assistant has a wider knowledge base
Dot Genie Google Mini Speaker – Best home speaker for music
Dot Genie is the latest model of the Dot Genie line from Google is a high-performance smart speaker that you can use to speak to Google Assistant from anywhere in the room and is ideal for wall mounting. It’s easy to set it up because you don’t need any silly cord wrapping and allows you to take control of compatible smart devices in your home like Google Nest, Google Home, lights, cameras, etc. It also sends you notifications and allows you to set reminders. With its large knowledge base, it has an accurate base of information to answer any queries by elderly folks such as weather and news. With Google Home, you get access to a large song library and supports a wide array of languages. You can also connect it to your smartphone and add new voices using the personalization feature.
- It’s easy to install and activate and can be mounted
- It’s integrative with all Google tools
- The speakers are great
- It can control functions like turning off/on the light, setting the temperature, etc.
- It’s better at answering queries
- It doesn’t have audio ports
- It supports less third-party services than Alexa
Sonos One (Gen 2) smart speaker – Best home speaker for music
The Sonos One works with both Google Assistant and Alexa. It measures 6.3 x 4.7 x 4.7 inches, has a near cylinder shape, and comes in back or white colors. You can connect power by plugging the cable in its bottom. You can easily pair it with whole-house audio or a stereo system and has a comprehensive Sonos Library ideal for the elderly. The only downside is that you cannot make phone calls on this device. If you want to use Google Assistant, tap on the Google Assistant option and proceed with the subsequent settings. For Alexa, tap on the Alexa option and sign in to your Amazon account. This speaker is great if you’re looking for a speaker for entertainment.
- It has a large music library (Sonos Library)
- It provides whole-house coverage and an excellent audio
- You have access to radio stations from across the world
- It offers you both Alex and Google Assistant voice assistants
- It supports AirPlay
- The sound can be distorted at top volumes
- It lacks home control
- It doesn’t have an option for making calls
Google Home Max speaker – Best audio design
This smart speaker is simple and has a round-edge design with a bright LED that you can use at night, and is portable. It’s easy to use and gives you the best audio performance. This device is meant to assist seniors as it makes their lives much easier by answering their questions, plates music, and controls their other smart devices in their homes. It’s compatible with both iOS and Android OS and available in chalk and charcoal colors. The packages include two 4.5-inch woofers and two 0.7-inch tweeters, 6 class D amps, and 6 microphones for voice commands. You can switch off the microphones using a switch and using an input jack, you can hook this device to an audio source. You can set calendar reminders as it integrates with G-Suite accounts. This Google Home Max speaker offers you an option to stream music from online streaming services like Spotify, YouTube Red, and lay via the speakers.
- It has a nice design
- The sound is loud, great, and full
- You can integrate it with Google Assistant and control your smart home devices
- You can pair it with a stereo or surround system
- It supports casting enabling you to playback when playing from any streaming service
- It’s expensive
- The touch controls are fussy
- You can have trouble using the microphones for voice command when there is loud music playing
Buying Guide for the Best Smart Speakers for the Elderly
It may not sound like a big deal but getting a smart speaker that seamlessly integrates into your home and matches your decor is awesome. Smart speakers come in different colors and designs that you can pick from. Some more powerful speakers come with screens that enhance your home’s look with photos and videos.
For an elderly person who might have a challenge with moving around in the house or room, a voice assistant is a great addition to a smart speaker. Google Assistant, Alexa or Siri, these are the AI companion leaders and choosing one over the rest is just a matter of preference. Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri are the leading voice assistants found in most smart devices on the market including smart speakers. When selecting a smart speaker, ensure you get one with a reliable voice assistant that you can rely upon to ask questions and give voice commands.
Smart speakers provide home entertainment by allowing you to stream and play music from your favorite streaming service like Spotify and have access to a huge database of songs from the past to date. You can be able to control this music by using voice commands to pause/play or adjust the volume.
Smart Home management
Smart speakers allow you to have control over compatible devices using a voice assistant. You can make calls from your smart speaker or ask questions and the voice assistant finds your answers online. Google Assistant is the best voice assistant when it comes to search queries as Google search is very mature. You can voice search the weather, traffic updates, or general questions using your voice. Skills enhance your speaker’s performance by making very powerful directories. You can play games, check your credit balance or sing songs, etc. A great third-party skills smart speaker will come in handy for your elderly folks.
Personalization is a key thing to look for in a smart speaker. They allow you to set up several user-profiles and can recognize different people’s voices. They also give notifications and responses based on one’s specifications and account history. With voice assistants, you can personalize email functions, calendar, and location as well. This enables you to receive weather updates and news based on your location.
The ability of a smart speaker to work in different rooms and offering you hands-free voice access. However, not all speakers provide you with hands-free voice assistants, so you need to check and ensure the device you pick supports this feature. Also, how compatible is the smart speaker with other smart devices? When it comes to iPhones, Siri is compatible with all of them while Google Assistant works with all Android devices.
Can I play music on Echo Plus 2nd Generation smart speakers from my iPhone?
You can play music from your iPhone on the Echo Plus speakers by connecting and pairing your phone with Alexa via Bluetooth. Once the pairing is done, go ahead and open your Apple Music app and play your song. You can also play streamed music from Apple Music, iTunes, and even from Apple TV.
Are smart speakers always listening to my conversations?
This is a common fear due to privacy. Despite them always listening for a voice command, smart speakers don’t listen in on your conversations. They record and analyze short audio snippets and detect specific words to ‘wake up’ and perform the command. If the word is not relevant, they discard the audio and wait.
Smart speakers are revolutionizing the way we live and can change and improve the way of living of elderly people by cutting on repetitive tasks through automation. Your elderly folk can live an independent and healthy life with a smart speaker. The reviewed smart speakers in this article are some of the best and affordable for seniors, and you should consider the above factors when buying one.