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Are Earbuds Safe For You? Breaking Down the Truth About Earbud Safety

flatlay photography of wireless headphones

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According to statistics, 77% of people own smartphones.  Our smartphones are more than just devices to make phone calls; we also have access to all sorts of media in the palms of our hands.  

We listen to music, watch videos, and even make music with our smartphones. Essentially, they are our own portable multimedia hubs.

Our sense of hearing is significantly engaged as we consume the media that is available to us.  Many people listen to music via their smartphones, and a recent study reported that 87% of the population uses earbuds or headphones when listening to music.  

If you look around you, you will notice just how true this is; it’s almost a guarantee you’ll see someone wearing them anywhere you go.

 If you’ve ever been to a health club, you’ve probably seen just how many people love to exercise while listening to music; most likely, they had their earbuds in.  Or, if you’ve taken a subway ride, you’ve seen passengers with their eyes glued to their phones, and odds are, they had their earbuds in.

Ever since Apple started including their own brand of earbuds (earpods) with their products, earbuds have become more desirable than headphones, and people tend to gravitate towards them.  

The only issue is that there is a concern as to whether earbuds, which are designed to sit close to your eardrum, are bad for you. The questions is - are earbuds safe?  Let’s find out.

Are Earbuds Safe?

Earbueds

Image via pexels

The first set of earbuds recorded in history was introduced to the world in a science magazine in 1926.  They were touted as being lightweight and ultra-portable; however, they did not achieve mainstream appeal at the time.

It wasn’t until the early 2000s that earbuds were popularized alongside the advent of Apple’s iPod mp3 player, and amidst their rise to mainstream prominence, people started to ask, “are earbuds safe?”

With all that being said, we have less than 20 years of research related to the safety and possible negative effects of earbuds.  Studies analyzing the long-term effects they have on our eardrums have only started popping up recently; thus, those who have concerns are justified.  

Here are some of the main claims as to why earbuds may be a safety risk:

Noise Cancelling Headphones

Hearing Loss

As compared to headphones, earbuds fit inside your ear, blocking your ear canal from outside sound.  This means that the sound produced by earbuds reverberates inside your ear canal, resulting in a more concentrated sound.  

Some wonder if such a concentrated sound could be damaging to your eardrums.  Headphones, on the other hand, do not block the ear canal and give your ears a chance to breathe.

In addition, compared to headphones, earbuds emit sounds a lot closer to your eardrums.  It’s not outside the realm of possibility that if a sound is too loud, it can actually tear right through your eardrum and cause extreme, permanent hearing loss.  

Fortunately, smartphones are not capable of emitting audio loud enough to do this, but the fact remains that our ears are sensitive.

Smartphones are, however, capable of producing volumes that can cause nerve damage, and nerve damage results in hearing loss.  

Hearing loss in these cases is usually incremental; thus, you may not notice a significant change in your hearing ability after one high-volume listening session.  However, with prolonged exposure to high volumes over time, damage is inevitable.

Ear Infection

Items that are not cleaned properly will accumulate bacteria, and earbuds are no exception.  It just so happens that the majority of people who use earbuds do not clean them after they are used, and some who ponder the question “are earbuds safe?” suspect that the use of unsanitized earbuds may cause ear infections.

An ear infection which is left untreated can cause hearing loss and damage to the bones in the middle ear.  This is yet another factor that has been mentioned in discussions about earbud safety.

The Truth About Earbuds And Eardrum Damage

airpod apple device

Image via pexels

So again, are earbuds safe?  Well, don’t throw away your earbuds, because the answer to the aforementioned question is - yes, earbuds are safe.  They are completely safe to use.  

This does not mean, however, that you cannot experience hearing loss when using them; it is entirely possible. But, the real contributor to hearing loss is the decibel level of sounds and not the earbuds themselves.

Just as we use inches and feet to measure length, we use decibels to measure the intensity of sounds.  For example, the sound of someone breathing measures at 10 decibels (dB), and normal conversation volume averages at about 60 dB.  

At 80 dB, damage to your ears is possible after 8 hours of exposure, and at 100 dB, serious damage is possible after 8 hours.

The higher the sound volume, the more likely ear damage will occur and in shorter periods of time.  This doesn’t mean that you cannot listen to loud music from time to time, but you should take into the account the advice of Hippocrates, who said, “Anything in excess is opposed to nature.”

Consider the following analogies.  Drinking a cup of coffee in the morning is perfectly safe; however, if you were to drink 10 cups of coffee in the morning, that much caffeine could put you on the brink of a heart attack.  

Also, there is nothing wrong with using salt to season your food, but exceeding your recommended daily sodium intake day after day may eventually cause you to have high cholesterol.

The next time you ask yourself “are earbuds safe?” simultaneously ask yourself if coffee or salt is safe.  It’s not the product itself but rather how it is used or abused; that is the most vital in relation to health.

As for earbuds potentially perpetuating ear infections, there is absolutely no evidence to support this.  

A recent controlled study that tested to see whether or not earbuds can cause infections concluded that earbuds do not pose any threat to health in that regard.  At the end of the study, the group of participants this study focused on did not have any infections due to earbud use.

The point to take away from all of this is that earbuds are perfectly fine to use as long as whatever you listen to is set at a reasonable volume level.  

Even if you do listen to music that is a bit loud, there is nothing to worry about as long as you limit the amount of time you listen to it.  And, earbuds do not increase the chance of contracting an ear infection.

How To Use Earbuds Safely

Ear buds

Image via pexels

As mentioned above, it is definitely possible to experience hearing loss with earbuds if you use them irresponsibly.  Any loud noise can cause damage to the eardrum if it is absurdly loud or listened to for too long.  

With earbuds, you have the luxury of being in control of the volume, and if you follow a few simple guidelines, your hearing will not be negatively affected.

Keep Your Volume Below The Halfway Point

Level of sounds

Image via pexels

Most smartphones these days have their volume bars calibrated to operate within a certain decibel range.  An iPhone can reach a maximum of 100-115 decibels, and this level of sound is equal to what you would experience at a rock concert.

Just because you can turn your music up that loud does not mean that you need to. Experts recommend that you keep your volume level below 50%.   

In noisy environments, this may not be practical, but it’s a good rule to follow when you’re able to in order to evade any risk of hearing loss.

Use Noise-Cancelling Earbuds

noise cancelling earbuds

Image via pexels

If you have to turn your volume up loud due to outside noise, investing in a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones is a great idea.  

They will help block out unwanted sound, allowing you to turn your volume down to a lower level.  A good pair of noise-cancelling earbuds will fit snug in your ear, act as earplugs, and produce quality sound.

Take Periodic Listening Breaks

Earbuds

Image via unsplash

Because eardrum damage is possible when you listen to sounds at 85 dB and above for 8 hours straight, it is recommended that you take periodic breaks when using earbuds.  

Scientists say that 60 dB is a more reasonable level to keep your volume at, but if you choose to listen at 85 dB or more, you should strive to take an extended break every 4 hours.

It’s important to give your eardrums a rest.  As with any part of your body, your ears become fatigued when they are overworked.  By giving them a chance to rest and recover, you can help ensure that nerve damage does not occur.

Final Words

Ear Buds

Image via unsplash

Asking “are earbuds safe?” is like asking if coffee or salt is safe.  Used responsibly and in moderation, there is nothing to fret about.  

Earbud use does not result in hearing loss unless they are used to listen to audio at unreasonably high volumes for lengthy periods of time.

If you follow a few simple rules of thumb, they are a perfectly safe and a convenient tool that will help you enjoy all types of audio on a range of multimedia devices.  

Even though there are naysayers who will make unwarranted arguments about why they are bad for you, science says and proves otherwise.

How Earbuds Work And More – Understanding the Tech Behind Earbuds

white earphones

Everyone today owns a pair of headphones or earbuds. Some audiophiles even have multiple pairs to enjoy entertainment in different settings. However, did you ever stop and wonder how earbuds work or how they evolved to the devices we use today? But before you seek answers to those, there is another pertinent question that you must ask. Here's more about how earbuds work.

What Are Earbuds?

Earbuds are similar to earphones but they rest just outside the ear canal. They sit at the center of your outer ear and in some cases are considered better for your ear health as compared to earphones. Earbuds are basically tiny speakers that sit inside your ears and provide the same effect as listening to music on loudspeakers in a noise-free environment might feel.

There is no mystery revolving around earbuds or headphones. They have been systematically developed over the decades. The 70s saw monster sized headphones that literally enveloped the entire ear. In the 80s, developers came out with portable music players. This meant that headphones had to shrink in size to match with music on the go. And that was the starting point of the earbuds which we use today.

Apple brought a marginal breakthrough in this segment. In 2001, Apple came out with sleek and striking iPods. These were the first iPods, and they instantly became a rage. There was a white pair of elegant and striking earphones that came with the package. This was when the race to modern earbuds started.

Suddenly, everyone wanted to listen to music on players and earphones were ubiquitous. Even today Apple is ahead in the game by launching AirPods. This brings us to the next question.

woman listening to music in bus

How Earbuds Work


It is a wonder that earbuds sound so good, as they consist of only a thin cord, minuscule earbuds, and very tiny speakers. These petite compact pieces of technology are a necessity for many people today who are music lovers or seek entertainment ‘on the go.’

Each ear has a very thin conical membrane known as an eardrum. These thin membranes vibrate when there is a change in air pressure. These vibrations and changes in air pressure are referred to as sound.

Emphatically, earbuds are nothing but small speakers that produce sound by vibrating eardrums with sound waves. However, there are various components to an earbud that is important to know before completely understanding how earbuds work.

Exterior Earbud Shell

This holds all the important components that are used inside an earbud in place. The front side of an earbud shell has holes to let sound waves pass.

Magnet

They place a very tiny magnet in the back of exterior earbud shell. This is useful in providing a magnetic effect.

Diaphragm

The diaphragm is made of very thin flexible plastic material. This is located right in front of the earbud shell.

Metal Coil

A metal coil is placed right behind the diaphragm. This is useful in conducting an electrical current.

Cord

The earbud cord is what is used to plug the earbuds into your music device. There are however, wireless options available in the market today. In most cases, your earbud shell might have a foam or soft padding to make the experience more comfortable.

The metal coil gets charged whenever you plug in your earbuds to your music player due to an electrical current flowing through earphone wiring. This charge, in turn, makes the diaphragm vibrate by creating a magnetic effect the moves back and forth.

You would have noticed holes in the front of your earbuds shells. This is to allow sound waves created by quick air movements to escape into your ear canal. And this is how you can hear audio from your music player.

If you are an audiophile who likes listening to the low frequency, then you should go for earbuds that have a slow vibrating diaphragm. Higher the diaphragm vibration, higher the pitch will be detected by your eardrums. Volume played is determined by the combined force of sound waves and diaphragm vibrations.

color blue earbuds

Advantages Of Earbuds


Earbuds are a necessity today with more and more people seeking entertainment while traveling or commuting. There are a lot of ways that earbuds can be beneficial:

1. Portable and Non-Bulky

Earbuds are highly portable devices. You can simply bunch them up and keep them with your pocket change. Many even come with their own carrying cases which do not allow the cords to get tangled. Earbuds also make great companions when you step out of the house without carrying a bag. You can simply let the wired ones fall around your neck like a necklace. Earbuds are tiny and absolutely non-bulky. You do not have to worry about them as they are not big enough to cover your entire ears.

2. Fashionable

Many people worry about every aspect of their clothing before stepping out of their homes. Everything needs to match right from the shoes to bag and even spectacle frames or sunglasses. Earbuds are great for people who do not want to ruin their get up as they are tiny enough to fit innocuously inside the ears. With an absolute wireless pair like the AirPods, you do not even have to worry about a dangling wire.

3. Colors and Variety

There are many types of earbuds available in the market in varying shapes and sizes. There are also different types of earbuds; wired, wireless, ear pods without wire. You can pick your match from the wide variety available on sale. In fact, earbuds have become a fashion statement on their own, a lot like headphones.

4. Noise Cancellation and Sound Isolation

Mostly earbuds today come with noise cancelation and sound isolation technology. Earbuds sit right outside the ear canal which makes this technology function better than a headphone in the same price range.

5. Water Resistant

There are some models of earbuds that are waste-resistant and splash proof. This enables your earbuds to be highly portable. You can even listen to good music in the rain with a high-end model designed to be water-resistant.

6. Inexpensive and Affordable

In comparison with headphones, earbuds tend to have a better technology and features than them in the same price range. However, where sound quality is concerned headphones are always better than earbuds.

7. Great Companions for Workouts and Runs

The best buddy to any run or workout session is music. However, you would have noticed that earphones keeping dropping from the ears and headphones keep slipping. With earbuds, you will never have this problem. Perfectly fitted earbuds will never slip or drop out from the ears.

8. Music Increases Motivation

Earbuds let you hear your favorite tunes privately while performing a number of chores and tasks. Music sets the mood and helps keep you motivated by boosting your energy levels. You also get an optimistic boost that can help you complete the most difficult tasks and achieve the hardest goals.

9. Earbuds Provide Privacy

By wearing earbuds, you provide a clear signal to people that you are engaged. This allows you to enjoy your privacy while you listen to your tunes or complete your tasks. They can also work as props if you want to pretend to be busy.

10. Comfort

Earbuds are the most comfortable as compared with every other type of listening device. A perfectly fitted earbud pair is not heavy on your ears like headphones; nor does it hurt your ear canals like earphones. This is why many companies provide multiple ear tips so that you can find your best fit.

cool black earbuds

How Earbuds Work vs. How Headphones Work

Headphones and earbuds work differently although on the same principle. Headphones tend to rest on the outer ears. Some like Supra-aural models can cover your entire ears.

Headphones are big, bulky and not too portable. If you are using headphones, you will always have to carry a bag to keep the headsets in. They are also not very strong and are prone to damages.

Earbuds are light, non-bulky and very portable. They are the first choice among runners and people indulging in fitness routines. In fact, wireless earbuds can also be used easily by people practicing yoga.

Headphones provide unmatched sound quality. Their sheer size provides for bigger speakers in the shells. Earbuds, on the other hand, lose out on the size part. Tiny speakers provide good sound quality; however, they cannot match with bass provided by headphones.

Conclusion

There are several benefits to how earbuds work. Many people prefer earbuds over headphones and other listening devices. People who want a good listening experience on a budget should opt for earbuds.

Earbuds protect the ear canal as they function at low volumes and do not fit inside the ear canal. This makes them a perfect candidate for people who suffer from common infections or hearing problems.

Earbuds are also a great option for individuals who cannot sport big headphones like professionals or executives. Earbuds provide a more personal and private listening experience than bulky headphones.

Speaker & Earbud Reviews: Sony 2.1 Speakers

Sony 2.1 Speakers

A surround sound system for your computer can sometimes be considered an inconvenience or a modern luxury. However, there are options that offer clarity, along with a balanced sound that makes them a necessity, such as the Sony 2.1 speakers.

With the use of a surround sound system on your computer, you can watch movies, work, listen to music, all as if you were using your television. And while some are immensely bulky, there are some to found that are economical in size, with strong output, that doesn’t occupy too much desk space. Today we look at one of those options.

Comparison Table

The Sony 2.1 Speakers

sony 2-1 speakers

image source: amazon.com

The Sony 2.1 speaker system is able to compile everything that you’d get in a full-priced, surround sound speaker system, but is delivered in a palatable, economical package. It has a sleek, modern design with a chrome, tubular shape, which brings a unique, peculiar style that is interesting to look at, while not being intrusive or a perpetual eye-sore. Some might say that it’s downright futuristic, looking as if it’s a broken-off piece of a starship.


Once set up, you’ll notice they are stylish with an aluminum finish that is minimalist, while also appearing modern. Their design allows for the speakers to be placed horizontally or, if you like, vertically. This gives the speakers an adaptability that allows you to place them wherever you wish so as to either hide or showcase the speakers.


This is a rare feature when it comes to surround sound systems as they often come with loads of wires and equipment (see equalizers). This speaker system allows you the option to showcase or hide while not being hideous in design or bombarding you with lights and colors.

Product Specs

It houses a built-in subwoofer that elevates your audio’s bass and fills out your sound with 25W. The bass is adjustable and can be used to prop up the sometimes tinny sound from the satellites. It also produces strong base while not being a boxy monstrosity like some square subwoofers on other systems.


The twin satellites that come with the system will provide you with ample sound of 6W each and are magnetically shielded so as to prevent any and all noise interference and disturbance to your monitor. This makes the system a great choice if you’re looking for something with big power and are using a PC that you don’t want to be damaged.


The satellites are rather uniform in their composition, coming in at 63 x 143 x 63mm. The sub, however quirky in its oblong construction, measures a peculiar 374 x 149 x 183mm. Again, this can either be a pro or con depending on how attractive a design you believe it to be.


The Sony 2.1’s also posses a control panel that allows you to adjust volume and bass, along with two input ports which give you the option to plug in anything from an iPod, iPhone, PC, or any notebook/Mac device. And for those wanting to keep the volume to themselves, there’s a headphone jack. As is commonly found with Sony, the satellites house two small drivers that have substantial weight. This does not feel like a cheap product. As sometimes found with competitors, speakers in this price range can feel hollow and inexpensive. This is not the case with this system.


As far as sound evaluation, the Sony 2.1 speakers offer a crisp sound with high tone capability, as well as resonate clarity. If you’re looking for a system to elevate your laptop, this is a strong choice. Propped up by a booming subwoofer, the system as a whole stands out. However, the problems with the system’s capabilities lie in its ability to balance the sound out unaccompanied, in what is known as mid-range. This weakness is clearly seen when the system is used as the primary output for movies or television.


The voices will sound distant and muffled if used for anything dialog heavy. Increasing the volume will not completely fix this issue as it will distort the voices and music. Much toggling is needed to assist this. In this case, sometimes turning up the bass can help the problem, but it quickly becomes a game of toggling to determine the appropriate levels for the appropriate use.


Limited mid-range capability is excruciatingly noticeable when listening to music at lower volumes. The percussion consumes the recording and drowns out instrumentation, becoming somewhat of a distorted mess. That is to be expected in the system of this price point. This problem seeps into other areas of use such as gaming where gunshots and explosions will tend to sound very superficial and paper thin. Scenes on battlefields or sports games can blur together into a continuous fuzz, offering no balance and a wall of indistinguishable sound.

While music may be the speaker’s strong suit, they do not appear to be the most versatile option. Songs with more production and instrumentation may blend together, and you may find yourself missing certain instruments in the recording. Such is the case with systems of this wattage. Luckily, these weaknesses are more than made up for with the system’s overall sound output. The sound can easily fill out a room if they’re being used casually for listening to music from your iPod or computer. Once toggled with, and given time to blend, these issues become less noticeable.


There is a flair to the design, and while that might not be for everybody, they are able to be hidden with relative ease, and there is no question that they supply strong output. As far as this class of speaker goes, the Sony 2.1’s will give you a strong output; you’ll just need to tamper with them a bit.

How it Compares

To give you an idea of what the competition is, and what options sit before you, we’re hand selected several options that share similar pricing.


The Sony 2.1 Speakers

Sony PC 2.1 Speakers (Black)
  • Target total output power: 25W Satellite: 2.5W+2.5W Sub-woofer: 20W
  • Kelton type speaker system for sub-woofer Powerful bass sound yet compact size
  • Suitable for DVD / game entertainment

Pros

  • Easy to set up and use
  • Great wattage and substantial construction
  • Can remain unseen, sleek metallic design

Cons

  • The design may not be for everyone
  • Can distort at higher volumes

Logitech Speaker system Z323

Logitech Speaker System Z323 with Subwoofer
  • Immersive Logitech 360-degree sound for crystal-clear, room-filling audio
  • Ported, down-firing subwoofer delivers deep, rich bass. Satellites(height x width x depth): 8.3 x 3.4 x 4.5 inches
  • RCA and 3.5 millimeter inputs for easy connections to gaming console, DVD player or iPod

Logitech offers clear sound with a down-firing subwoofer that delivers a rich bass. There are RCA and 3.5 mm inputs for easy connections. The satellites have dimensions of 8.3" x 3.4" x 4.5" in. The speakers come in a sleek black color and offer a 360-degree sound that is crystal clear. The 30W of power produce a big, bold sound that offers a full range.


The system itself weighs 8 lbs but can feel slightly hollowed out and cheap. It comes with black cables that extend to almost three feet, along with a single volume control on the right speaker that also serves as an on/off control for the speaker system.


Unfortunately, there is only a single adjustable switch in the back of the subwoofer to adjust the bass. And while there is no switch for the treble, if you hook this up to your computer, the treble can be adjusted from there.

Pros

  • Affordable and competitive pricing
  • Strong subwoofer
  • Long cables to connect to satellites

Cons

  • Limited warranty
  • Higher volume distortion
  • Easy to blow out

Edifier R980T Active Bookshelf Speakers

Edifier R980T 4" Active Bookshelf Speakers - 2.0 Computer Speaker -...
  • 24 WATTS RMS POWER OUTPUT - Active bookshelf speaker system with 24W total power output with calibrated, flared bass...
  • CLASSIC WOOD FINISH - 100% wooden enclosures to minimize acoustic resonance, Magnetically shielded speakers
  • CABLES INCLUDED - RCA and 3.5mm cables and speaker wire included. Universal 110V-240V power supply.

The Edifier’s posses 24W total power and are calibrated with a flared bass in front. RCA and 3.5mm cables are included along with speaker wire, offering universal 110V-240V power supply. The system can easily connect to any device that has a 3.5mm headphone output or dual RCA output.


The system has a unique wood finish enclosure that minimizes acoustic resonance. While these may not be best for a table top, they fit snugly on a bookshelf or an area with more space. They are a well-rounded system that is full of presence and depth that are fairly rich in detail for their size. They are considered active speakers, so there is no preamp needed, there is one built inside of them. Multiple input sources can be used, and these speakers can easily stand up to them.


While the system looks like something more substantial than average computer speakers, they will work for anything as small as a laptop. The system comes with a 2-year warranty with guaranteed high quality and reliability with hassle-free parts and labor.

Pros

  • Quality, high-performance sound at high volume 
  • Wooden protection for resonance
  • Well-balanced tone

Cons

  • Strange wiring that complicates assembly
  • Trouble handling low ends of the sound spectrum
  • Will need to toggle with wiring

GOgroove BassPULSE 2.1 Speakers

GOgroove BassPULSE 2.1 Computer Speakers with Blue LED Glow Lights and...
  • POWERFUL 2.1 SOUND QUALITY WITH BOOMING SUBWOOFER : Satellite channel speakers and bass heavy sub woofer stream audio...
  • VOLUME & BASS CONTROLS: Adjust the sound on the Full-range 5 watt satellite speakers & side-firing 10 watt subwoofer...
  • GLOWING BLUE LED ACCENT LIGHTS: Bright lights provide bold flare and pulse to the beat of the music when the bass...

The BassPULSE 2.1 offers a strong subwoofer with 40W of power. The satellite channel speakers and bass heavy sub that can stream audio from any device with a 3.5mm cable.


It can easily fill a room with its output. The satellites speakers are full range, and it has a side firing subwoofer with front-loaded volume control which optimizes the powerful bass that can surprise you. If you’re looking to build a game center, then this is more the system for you. The overall wattage is nice, and you’ll get a good mixture of sound in the mid-range and higher volumes that can eventuate play on a battlefield. With a 10W sub, you’ll feel blasts and bombs with convincing power.


The design is unique as well with bright blue lights that provide bold color and supply stylish flair. The lights pulse and blink along with the music being amplified to add an interesting, unique aesthetic. GOgroove Speakers offer a strong warranty of 3-years, so there is ample protection here.

Pros

  • High wattage that booms sound
  • Modern LED lights that add style 
  • Compact and adaptable to space

Cons

  • Fragile satellites
  • Wiring can be very sensitive   

Conclusion

Overall if you’re looking for a quality speaker system that can fill the room, along with unique design, the Sony 2.1 speakers are an admirable choice.


Bottom line: The Sony 2.1 speakers can handle a myriad of demands and meet, maybe even exceed your expectations.


Speaker & Amp; Earbud Knowledge | What Speakers Work With Google Home

speaker

Google Home is a fun and useful tool for searching for information, controlling your smart home devices, and streaming music. You are going to want to get the most out of your music streaming experience, so you will need to find a compatible speaker that delivers the right punch for the right price. You are going to want to find what speakers work with Google Home along with other devices to get the best value from Google Home

Comparison Table

Getting Started

The Google HomeGoogle Home Mini, and Google Home Max are the search engine and smartphone giant's answer to Amazon's Echo series of smart speakers. As such, they come ready to stream audio right out of the box. But there are ways to enhance the experience with better speakers and additional smart home gadgets and devices.


The power behind the Google Home is the Google Assistant technology, and that comes built into several types of smart speakers besides Google Home. If quality audio is your thing, then you may want to consider one of those devices to improve your aural experience. Look at what speakers work with Google Home or Google Assistant to get your money's worth.


Smart home devices compatible with the Google Home/Google Assistant technology range from simple entertainment devices to thermostats, door locks, and appliances. If you are looking to get the most out of your Google Home device, consider adding some of these gadgets to your home network.

Smart Speakers

Smart speakers come with the Google Assistant installed, so there's no need to purchase a Google Home device and separate speakers. The Google Home speaker is itself a top-rated design with high-quality audio, multiple colors, and a pair of finishes for the base device (fabric covering or metal). The Google home can be bought online or at local retailers.


If you want something a little more portable with the battery life to take your audio on the go, you may want to consider the JBL Link 20. While it's a little more expensive, it can hold a charge for up to 10 hours, comes with Chromecast built in, and is even waterproof, the JBL Link 20 might be ideal for that backyard barbeque or pool party you are planning.

 Hard Travel Case For JBL Link 20 Voice-Activated Portable Bluetoot Speaker

Hard Travel Case for JBL Link 20 Voice-Activated Portable Bluetooth...
  • Hard Travel Case for JBL Link 20 Voice-Activated Portable Bluetooth Speaker by co2CREA
  • The case is shockproof dustproof and water resistance, protect your favorite device from bumps dents and scratches
  • Material: EVA, Color: Black

Google likes its hardware almost as much as it does its software, and it makes an impressive entry into the super-sized smart speaker market with the Google Home Max. If you want the all-in-one design and can afford the higher price tag, the Google Home Max has all the functionality of the original Google Home but packs a much bigger audio punch.


For a mid-sized alternative, you could also consider the Onkyo Smart Speaker G3. With full bass tones and crisp, clear vocals, the compact G3 delivers high-quality audio for about half the price of the Google Home Max. The only downside is that--like all other third-party speakers--it cannot make phone calls using the Google Assistant.

Chromecast Entertainment Devices

Entertainment gets a strong boost from the pair of Chromecast devices put out by Google itself. The Chromecast Audio streamer is a dedicated device for streaming Google Play Music and other music services like Pandora and Spotify. When connected to your existing speaker setup, the Chromecast Audio pairs with the voice control of Google Home to create an affordable, wireless multi-room Wi-Fi audio system. Use multiple Chromecast Audios to synchronize audio playback throughout your home.


When paired with the original Google Chromecast video streaming device, Google Home acts as a powerful, voice-activated remote control. Simply tell your Google Assistant to stream a favorite show on Netflix or to play that funny video on YouTube you love, then sit back, relax, and enjoy. You can even use it with a smart TV like a Vizio M-series that has Chromecast built in.

VIZIO M55-E0 SmartCast M-Series

VIZIO M55-E0 SmartCast M-Series 55" Class Ultra HD HDR XLED Plus...
  • Brand New in box. The product ships with all relevant accessories

Your Smart Home

smart home

image source: pixabay.com

Nest


The Nest company is one of the best-known manufacturers of smart home devices. These self-learning, Wi-Fi enabled devices include thermostats, smoke detectors, and security devices. Want to raise or lower the temperature in your home? Tell your Google Assistant to adjust the thermostat. Turn lights on or off, lock or unlock your doors, all with simple voice commands to Google Home.

Phillips Hue & LIFX

Philips Hue Smart Hub (Works with...
  • Voice Activated: With the Philips Hue Smart Hub, add up to 50 Philips Hue Smart lights of Your choice with this ZigBee...
  • Control Your Smart LIGHTS FROM Anywhere: The heart of Your Philips Hue system, this hue hub also enables you to Control...
  • Fully Automate Your Smart Home: Enhance Your Philips Hue system by setting Timers and alarms, connecting to a variety of...

Hook up over fifty lights in your home to a Phillips Hue Bridge, then control them with your Google Home or smartphone app. Voice commands run from basic lights on and off to adjusting lighting levels for just the right amount of brightness. Install LIFX Smart Lights to get millions of options in color and hundreds of shades of light. All with just a few simple vocal commands.

Smart Home Hubs


Want a smart home but don't have smart devices? A converter by TP-Link or a Wink hub is the answer. With switches and plugs that transform your devices, you can take control with Google Home and the power of your voice. Lamps and other devices will switch on and off whenever you tell them to. Dim the lights or lower the air conditioner with these devices.

Home Security

secure

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VIVINT Smart Doorbell Video Camera Pro

Although Vivint Security's primary interface for their total home automation and security systems is the home's main console, the company has recently integrated with Google Home to allow you to control security functions with voice commands. Set your alarm, turn on lights, lock your doors, and set your cameras to record all with your Google Home voice interaction.

Smart Locks From August

August Smart Lock - Keyless Home Entry with Your Smartphone - Silver
  • Add an August Connect Wi-Fi Bridge (sold separately) to remotely lock/unlock and monitor your door as well to integrate...
  • Secure, keyless entry for your smart home. Lock and unlock your door, control keyless access and keep track of who comes...
  • Keep your existing lock and keys. Easily attaches to your existing deadbolt, so everyone can still use their keys.

Smart locks from August keep your home secure and do not require a key. Use your app or voice commands to ensure your doors are locked or to unlock just the front door when you get home. Check in with Google Assistant to verify your doors are locked when you are away.

Appliances

Neato Bot Vac Connected

Neato Botvac Connected Wi-Fi Enabled Robot Vacuum, Compatible with...
  • Works with Alexa for voice control (Alexa device sold separately).
  • Wi-Fi connected for ultimate control — use the Neato app to clean your floors from wherever you are and receive...
  • D-Shape design with CornerClever technology cleans close to walls and into corners. Long lasting Li-Ion battery.

More and more home appliances are automated and integrated with smart technology to increase efficiency. From the Neato Bot Vac Connected, a voice-powered smart vacuum cleaner, to the Smarter iKettle and Smarter Coffee Maker, kitchen devices controlled with a smartphone app or Google Home voice commands, appliance makers are making the voice-controlled future of science fiction a reality today. Even GE is making voice-controlled washing machines and dryers.

So Much More Than Speakers

Google Home is more than just a device for listening to music or getting search results, so knowing what speakers work with Google Home is only the first step in taking full advantage of Google Home and Google Assistant. Almost any speaker will work with Google Home devices, but there are numerous options for devices powered by Google Home and Google Assistant.


The first step is finding the right Google Assistant-powered device. Whether it is from the Google Home line of devices or a third-party device, choose the one that is right for you. If you want the full range of Google Assistant features, Google's proprietary devices are the way to go. If you do not care about making calls with Google Assistant, a robust third-party option may save you some money and bring you better sound quality.


If you really want to take advantage of your Google Home device, start looking at other compatible devices. Set up your home to be a voice-powered paradise.

 

Chromecast Audio from Google creates a wireless home audio experience for a relatively low cost. Chromecast video streaming lets you watch your favorite shows just by telling Google Home what you want to watch.


Get even more out of your Home and your house with a full line of smart home devices and appliances. Protect your home with voice-powered smart locks, lights, and security system. Save money on heating and cooling costs with a voice-controlled smart thermostat that can learn how hot or cold you like the house at certain times.

Order up a cup of coffee like the captain from Star Trek with a coffee maker that responds to your voice commands. Simplify your laundry with a voice-activated washing machine. The possibilities are endless, and the convenience is hard to beat.

Why Find What Speakers Work With Google Home?

Google Home, Google Home Mini, and Google Home Max are so much more than just music devices. It may be very simple to find what speakers work with Google Home, but you owe it to yourself to investigate everything you can accomplish with a Google Home device.


Search for recipes, preheat the oven, turn the lights down low, and set the mood music for a night in with just a few simple voice commands. Google Home is a powerful device to help you get your life just right. While knowing what speakers work with Google Home is a great starting place, knowing what devices work to make your home a better, and more efficient is even better.


While it can't do everything for you, Google Home and Google Assistant can help you do anything you can imagine. All you have to do is ask it. "Hey, Google!" is all it takes to get started.


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Speaker Doesn’t Work – Here’s What You Need To Do

speaker doesn't work that needs repair

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So your speaker doesn't work. Something that needs to be taken into account when discussing sound devices, is that they have revolutionized the way we listen to things today. From radio to television, to cellphone devices, speakers and headphones have transcended the way we listen and communicate.

Speakers and headphones have been around doing their job since they were created. Back in the 1920's horns were used for music and performances as speakers. They also created headphones around the same time, and serve a different but similar purpose; it was less for performances, and more for a person to hear a message like a radio transmission.

The Scoop on Speakers

Evolution of the Speaker

Records of the first speaker ever made dates back to 1861 where German scientist and inventor Johann Philipp Reis installed an electric loudspeaker in a telephone prototype. Fifteen years later, Alexander Graham Bell got a patent for his first electric loudspeaker which, unlike Reis's, could reproduce intelligible speech as part of the telephone he was inventing.

In 1877, Bell's design became the catalyst for the creation of an improved electric loudspeaker from someone else - a German scientist that goes by the name of Ernst Siemens. At first, the sound quality was bad, and amplification was almost impossible at low volume. Loudspeakers were driven by compressed air, which moved a thin vibrating membrane across a metal horn. Not the ideal thing to use when you're looking to broadcast a sound signal.

various electronic gadgets

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In 1937, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer introduced the Shearer Horn, which became the first two-way loudspeaker system that was designed for use in the film industry. It was made of eight 27-inch low-frequency drivers, and was designed by noted audio electronics, acoustics designer, and engineer Rudolph Bozak.

He was the Chief Engineer for American speaker company Cinaudagraph. As everyone began to see the difference between the two, people chose electric loudspeakers over their old Victrola-style acoustic gramophones.

The U.S. Navy then assigned an engineer, Arthur Janszen, a research project to figure out a way to change the way prior speakers were working. He believed the cone speakers available then were too non-linear in phase and amplitude. That made the speakers of the time poor in dealing with sound quality, so he built an electrostatic model of his own and created the electrostatic speaker.

Over the next half-century, advancements in the field of an electrostatic loudspeaker design resulted in the formation of a competitive and rapidly evolving market consisting of products that provide a better and more refined listening experience.

Why Is Having Speakers Important?

a girl lying down with a vintage radio

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Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you need to have the best music playing for yourself or your guest? Whether it's at home, outside, or someplace remote there are speakers designed just for you.

Main Types of Speakers

Home Indoor Speakers

Indoor speakers can come as a simple stereo pair, or they can be as comprehensive as a multi-unit home audio setup. They are designed to deliver amazing sound and provide the optimal audio output for indoor use.

Outdoor Speakers

Most outdoor speakers today are Bluetooth or NFC-enabled, allowing you to use your smartphone or tablet as a portable audio source. They are meant to be used in even the most extreme environments since the sound quality usually takes a backseat to rugged design and portability.

Car Speakers

The main specifications to consider when buying car speakers are power handling and sensitivity. These can either be full-range or component speakers, and are made from a different woofer, tweeter, and surround materials.

Home Theater Speaker 

Home theater speaker systems are available in various configurations; the most common of which are the 5.1- and 7.1-channel systems. When positioned correctly, these speakers produce a sound image that mimics that of a cinema or movie theater.

How to Install Speakers

One of the most commonly asked questions when purchasing a pair of speakers is how to install them. There are safety tips you should follow to make sure that wherever you place these speakers, you or nobody else gets hurt and that the product doesn't get damaged.

1

Setting up Your Equipment

Most outdoor speaker systems run off an existing indoor receiver. Since the receiver is a sensitive piece of electronics, you usually want to set the receiver up indoors. A multi-zone receiver allows you to have music playing outside while something else plays inside.

2

Install a Volume Control Box Outside

Make sure it is in a sheltered location. You will run the speaker wire from the receiver to the volume control box, and then from the volume control box to the associated speakers. Most volume control boxes can be easily mounted on an outdoor wall.

3

Install a Multi-Channel Amplifier

When running multiple pairs of speakers, each pair you add increases the chance of overloading the receiver's built-in amplifier. You can install the amplifier right next to the receiver and then run the speaker wire out of the amplifier.

4

Obtain Enough Speaker Wire

16-gauge is fine for less than 80 feet (24 m), but longer wires should be 14- or 12-gauge. If you don't use the right gauge for your speakers, your audio quality will suffer. With the longer the wire, the more degradation will occur. Run your speaker wire from the receiver to the outside area.


Drill a hole low in the wall to run the speaker wire from the inside to the outside. Seal the hole with silicone to maintain your house's insulation. Run the speaker wire to the volume control box and then run a second wire from the box to the speakers.

Speaker Doesn't Work - Diagnosis

Like any other product or appliance, speakers run the risk of being damaged and not working. There are a few things you could test out for diagnosis when your speaker doesn't work. Many times, it's something simple, other times not so much.

How to Troubleshoot Speakers

modern look speaker

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Measure the Speaker Impedance

One way to troubleshoot when your speaker doesn't work is to check the speaker's impedance with a multimeter. Speakers always come with an impedance rating. You can find the impedance rating written on the back of the speaker.

When measuring the impedance of the speaker using a multimeter, place one probe on one terminal when your speaker doesn't work and the other probe on the other terminal of the speaker. A good speaker will have an impedance at just about its impedance rating. If the impedance is at the speaker's rating, the speaker normally is good.

Checking for a Shorted Speaker or Speaker Wire

When the speaker doesn't work, it may be disconnected at the far end of the wire. Just recheck the wire to make sure it's connected. A common problem with speaker wires is that the bare copper ends of the wire sometimes touch other speaker wires or other metal parts.

It's best to strip only 1/2-5/8" of insulation and twist the protruding copper strands tightly together before connecting them to the receiver or amplifier. Be sure to do the same at the speaker end of the wires.

Figuring Out Which Speaker is Broken

Turn the volume up loud enough to be heard without having the speaker shut itself down. Then listen to each of the speakers. When the speaker doesn't work, it may be the bad one. If the unit shuts down with no speakers connected, then it will need repair.

Speaker Doesn't Work - Repair

marshall speaker

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Eventually, you will blow a speaker out, or a part of the machine will eventually stop working. The first thing that will come up is how do I fix it? The first step in trying to repair when the speaker doesn't work is to make sure it's plugged in correctly. This ensures you waste little time figuring it out before messing with anything on the inside.

If your speaker isn't working, or it has a hole in it, you can try to sew it shut.

The First Thing You Would Need is a Thread And Stitch.

Tie a big knot at the end of your thread if this is your first time sewing anything, otherwise, use whatever fastening method for which you're comfortable. Push your needle through the cone, approximately 1/8" to 1/4" from the outer edge. Pull your thread tight, and then push down through the ribbing, near the inside edge. Keep the stitch tight. Repeat this until you have gone all the way around your cone or have run out of thread.

Next Use Glue And Wait.

Add a second layer of structural integrity to your speakers by using the glue. Run a semi-consistent bead over your stitched area. It doesn't have to be thick. Use your glue and spread it to cover your thread evenly, taking care not to wipe too much glue off.

And Last But Not Least, Install And Test The Speaker.

Now that the glue has dried install your speaker and give it a test, and you're all set!

Conclusion

Like any other product or appliance, a speaker runs the risk of being damaged and just not working. There are a few things you could test out when running into problems with your speakers. Many times, it's something simple, other times not so much.