Garmin Speak is an Amazon Echo Dot For Your Car

by Leon Thompson October 19, 2017, 0:22
Garmin Speak is an Amazon Echo Dot For Your Car

But at $150, it's priced similar to Garmin's cheapest touchscreen navigation device, and as fun as having Alexa along for the ride is, she isn't necessary for finding the closest gas station, or the quickest route to grandma's.

Garmin has also included Garmin GPS turn-by-turn navigation, which can be activated with voice commands like "Alexa, ask Garmin to find the nearest rest stop". It affixes right to your front window and is a little black circle with a blue LED light.

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The sound quality is what I expected from Sonos - powerful, without blowing my ears out (my landlady who has told me to keep the noise down for dropping a box too loudly did not come knock on my door once during the four consecutive hours that I played my Sonos One). Those aren't very good options, and the compact Garmin Speak, which looks like a palm-sized miniature version of the Amazon Echo, makes it much easier to bring Alexa along for a drive, with the added benefit of Garmin's highly-regarded navigation capabilities. Then you're getting whisked away to all the lukewarm pizza you can handle. Thanks to voice capture technology with echo cancelation, you can call out Alexa and the Sonos One will hear you - even while playing loud music. Allowing you to focus on the road instead of pulling out a phone or tablet. Okay, but there's already a world of mounts available for Sonos speakers. Check out all the bells and whistles over at Garmin. Just one of them was able to fill my living room with full, balanced sound; pairing a second speaker to the first made it all the more richer.

Ned Curic, Amazon Alexa's automotive VP, said, "Our vision is that the Alexa service will be everywhere our customers want it, including inside the vehicle". Additionally, support for Apple's AirPlay 2 will be coming to all Sonos devices in 2018. That means the new Sonos speaker can control the lighting, shading, security and a host of other smart-home skills throughout the home.

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The company is no longer in the spotlight since consumers' attention switched towards Google Home's and Amazon Echo's voice-controlled speakers. Basically, the Garmin Speak has a small display that provides users with real-time location, directions, and lane guidance. In this mode, you don't even have to say, "Alexa", but you do have to use your hands. The caveat is that while you can use Alexa to move forward and back through songs, you have to use the Sonos app to initiate the playback. You can also use Alexa to remotely control smart home devices like lights, locks, and thermostats.

The Garmin Speak syncs with a smartphone app to deliver the connection to Alexa and connects to the vehicle's audio system via Bluetooth or AUX connectivity.

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