Amazon is leading the charge when it comes to smart speakers, with its Echo device expected to account for around 70% of the smart speaker market according to some forecasts.
And while that market is still small relative to others, rivals including Google and Microsoft are getting in on the action with their own devices.
Unfortunately, all these smart speakers are still relatively expensive, and although Amazon provides a cheaper Echo Dot alternative, users still have to provide their own speakers for that more affordable Alexa-equipped device.
Which is what makes Jam Audio’s new Jam Voice smart speaker a tempting offer. The new device comes with full Alexa voice control capabilities – that’s Amazon’s virtual assistant – and costs £100 less than the Echo.
That means you can pick up the Jam Voice, with its built-in speaker, for the same price as the speakerless Echo Dot – just £49.99 – though you will have to tap the speaker to activate Alexa.
The device comes with Bluetooth and the necessary Wi-Fi support for Alexa functionality, which means it can also link with other Jam Audio Wi-Fi-enabled speakers.
That allows for multi-room sound or, if you put two Jam devices together in the same room, you’ll be able to get full stereo sound.
Full Alexa functionality also means you’ll be able to play music using such services as Amazon Music and Spotify, and ask the virtual assistant for updates on the weather, news, sport results and more.
Jam Audio’s device also gives you control over smart home devices, and Jam has announced all its Wi-Fi multiroom speakers will become compatible with the Alexa Voice Service later this month.
The Jam Voice is currently available from Amazon, but will go on sale in late-July in Tesco, Currys PC World, and on Jam Audio’s site.
Those in the states can also get their hands on the budget Echo alternative in either black or white for $59.99 over at Amazon.