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Insignia™ - Voice™ Smart Bluetooth Speaker and Alarm Clock with Google Assistant - Gray-Front_Standard

Customer rating

Rating 4.4 out of 5 stars with 3940 reviews

92%
would recommend to a friend

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  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Decent but lacking

    Posted
    Crasher
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • Top 250 ContributorTop 250 Contributor

    The Insignia Voice is a home alarm clock that offers google assistant with a 360 speaker for audio and voice playback. While it looks good in person and on paper there are some key features that it falls short in. Lets dive in and see if this is gonna be worth the buy for you. First impression out of the box is that this a pretty nice and sleek looking unit. The unit is not bulky or tall and takes up very little space on a night stand. Out of the box you will receive the Insignia smart clock and power cord. Once powered up you will notice all the display lights will come on. You have a center O button which acts as a pause/play button and action button. A + and - button are used to lower and raise volume and also control dimming features. On the back of the speaker is a mic button that serves as a mute and factory reset. Set up is very easy, once the unit is plugged in it will voice prompt you to download the Google home app which is free on the Playstore. Set up is very easy with no issues and took as little as 1 minute to complete. Once set up is complete the app will show you all the things you can do with your smart device. It will also allow you to set up a primary account for your music and video streaming for example if you have a Spotify account you can set it up as your primary music source this way when you say "Hey google play my hip hop playlist" it will automatically pull it from Spotify first and start streaming all the music you have in that play list. You can also hold down the + and - button which puts it into Bluetooth mode allowing the unit to sync up to your cellphone. I personally don't like this feature due to the fact that every single audio piece gets streamed through the speaker and eventually it gets annoying plus everyone around you can hear whatever it is you are watching. Now lets talk about one of the first issues i ran in to after initial set up was complete and that is the clock feature. I live in Denver and yet my clock was set to Eastern time zone. I tried several things to remedy this situation and could not find an answer. I called tech support and they told me that my phones time needed to be set to auto and then to proceed to do a factory reset on the unit itself. I did this and yet the time still remained two hours ahead. I then called back and they proceeded to tell me that it must be an issue with google and not the unit. I thought maybe after a couple of days it would sync up and display the right time. After two days it was still two hours ahead. This was very disappointing for a few reasons, one whats the point of using the alarm clock feature if my time is set two hours ahead and two this now defeats the purpose of being a smart CLOCK! After trying a few different things through my frustration i finally found a way to get the time to set properly. I had to manually set my time to Denver and turn off the Auto feature then do a hard reset on the clock in which it did finally set the right time, however i wanted to see if it would adjust the time if i adjusted my time and no, it did not. So i guess when daylight savings time comes around the corner im going to have the same issue again. This is very disappointing and is a clear example of a hardware issue and not an issue with Google Home. Lets move on and talk about the smart features of the Google Assistant. First off i just wanna say i have always been a big fan of android devices and the google assistant app. I actually use the Google Assistant quite a bit on my cellphone since it allows for hands free functionality. The Assistant on the Insignia Voice differs from the Assistant that can be found on your cellphone in many ways. The Google assistant on the Insignia Voice allows for some cool features like weather updates, sport updates, and much more other cool features. I mean heck you can even play trivia games with your Insignia Voice. However it does not allow for basic features that everybody does on a daily basis. What i mean by this is that you cannot have it read or send text messages, read emails, make phone calls and several other key things. The Google Assistant lets me know that it cannot do these features just yet but may be able to in the future. What i don't understand is why would you not implement these features into a smart device when these are features that everybody uses at least a couple times a day. Being able to play games and get sports updates is cool and all but i read my emails and text messages several times a day and this takes a bigger importance for me than some trivia game. I guess what this really comes down to is what you are hoping to get out of the Smart device in the way of a personal assistant. Sure it can put together a grocery list and set up reminders on a calendar for you, but how can you teach something to ride a motorcycle if it cant even ride a bicycle (metaphorically speaking of course.) Now lets talk about that 360 sounding speaker. This is a section i was actually very pleasantly surprised from. The sound quality is actually not too bad. When it plays whatever tunes you want it to, the sound quality can be heard equally from all sides of the room. And while this is not a expensive sounding speaker system i had no issues making out all my highs, mids and lows with very good clarity from my Insignia Voice speaker. Here's my final take away from this speaker. There are alot of cool features that the google assistant can do and to go in to detail on all of them would take up way too much space and time. While it does offer some cool things it also lacks some of the very basic features in every day life. My hope is that one day it will fix this with a firmware update allowing calls and text message play backs at the very least. What this is going to come down to as a buyer is rather or not something like that is going to bother you. The sound quality coming out the speakers however is pretty darn good. Pop on some of your favorite jams while your cooking or getting ready to go to work in the morning and you will find that sound quality is good enough for you to get in to your music and start singing and dancing along. The struggle of having to set the correct time and not getting proper information from tech support was very frustrating and the main reason i only gave this review 3 stars because at the end of the day i feel that this is a very average unit when compared to some of the other devices that are out there in the market at this price point. If you do decide to buy this my suggestion is to hold on your receipt in case you can't get your time to set properly and need to return the unit. All in all i feel that there are better units out there that can do a better job than this device but if your still curious to see if this is the right fit for you than by all means give it a shot.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Pretty Cool and Useful

    Posted
    NathanR
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    I've had two of these for two months now, and they are absolutely incredible. They sync well with my Philips Hue lights, and provide pretty good sound quality. Pros~ They can sync with other Google Homes or Chromecasts in you house. They sync well with Philips Hue lights. There is also a super stealthy USB port on the back if you'd like to charge something. It is an awesome alarm clock! I used to use a Home mini as an alarm clock, but really didn't work well since Google had to deactivate the top surface. This thing works seamlessly. You literally say 'Hey Google' then when, what time, and how to wake you up. Yes, you can specify how. I had it set to play NPR to wake me up. You can set it to wake you to a specific song, or playlist or the radio. I've definitely waken up better now then when I used my phone or a screeching alarm clock. And just tap the top to turn off. If you like sound playing while you fall asleep, (like me), then you can set up routines to activate when you say you are going to bed. Mine will say the next day's weather, then turn my lights off. It will then play cicadas and cricket sound, which are VERY convincing. There are others like a fan, water stream, thunderstorm, or just plain white noise. A nice touch is the proximity sensors on the top illuminate capacitive buttons when you wave your hand over it. Helpful in the dark. Design~ The size of the unit is pretty much the same size as the original Google Home. But, it definitely looks better. The more angular design and black color as opposed to white is definitely better looking and blends in to environments better. Cons~ Only a couple, and they are not a big deal. 1) The power brick is pretty big compared to other speakers, so you may want to think about that before putting it on a power strip, and 2) the clock face is a little too bright for me at night. It is adjustable, and I have it to its lowest setting, but it's a little bright.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Great if you can get it for $25

    Posted
    Bauce40

    I bought this speaker for $25 figuring for that price to get a decent speaker, clock and assistant in my bedroom I can't go wrong especially when Google Home Minis are usually around $35-50. I originally had a Echo Dot in my room and never owned a Google Home device. I will say that set-up is super easy. I have an iPhone and I had the Google Home app (I have a few Chromecast devices) and it recognized it immediately and turned on the time and then began an update that took just a few minutes. After that I was ready to go. I tried playing one of my Spotify playlists. Didn't work. It started playing a random playlist with a similar name. If I ask for a specific artist, album or song though it played just fine. The playlist issue seems to be a Google Home issues as well, not specific to this device. I will say though, for a small speaker the sound isn't bad. It also isn't great. It won't compare to a Sonos or other high end speaker. For $25 it sounds amazing. For $100, you'd be better off spending the extra $50 and getting the Sonos Play One and connecting a Echo Dot to it or Sonos One for an extra $100. It works great for bedroom audio and while it gets plenty loud, I wouldn't necessarily use it for a party. There is bass, but hardly any deep bass. The mids and lows sound ok but can get muddled. Again for $25 it's great for listening in the bedroom. I even set my Chromecast Audio back up on my speaker bar in my family room and now using the Home Group I can stream music to both my Insignia speaker and my Chromecast Audio at the same time giving me a multi-room option, which I do love. My only drawbacks to this device are the Spotify playlist issue (which seems to be a Google issue) and that when the alarm clock goes off, even when you stop the audio tone of the alarm, the clock on the front continues to flash and I have found no ways of stopping this. Hoping I can find a fix or with a firmware update because that kills the whole alarm clock functionality for me. I will say, in regards to Spotify playlists, my Echo dot plays my personal playlists with no issues. Not sure why Google can't, but hopefully this gets fixed with updates. My other complaint (again this is with Google and not Insignia) is that Google Home devices do not work with SiriusXM and my Echo Dot does. Again, could be fixed in the future with updates. Ultimately, for $25 you can't go wrong. You get a decent sounding speaker, a Google Assistant device and a clock all wrapped in one. Sure the alarm flashing sucks, but overall it's not a bad package. Hopefully with updates my complaints can be fixed. I would totally buy this again for $25, but for the original price of $100 it's not really worth it. Even at $50 it's questionable, but probably worth it.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Surprisingly great

    Posted
    BillFromKCMO

    Usually, you buy the Insignia brand and expect a mediocre product, as shortcuts are taken and price is considered before quality. Not so with this Smart Speaker; Best Buy's contract manufacturer has figured out how to make it inexpensive and be a high-quality product. I have other Google Assistant speakers in my home and while they're good, this one is honestly better in many respects. It was purchased under the guise of being an alarm clock and a Google Assistant speaker for the bedroom, with a focus more on the fact I picked up for a few bucks more than a regular alarm clock than anything else. So imagine my surprise when I connected my iPhone via Bluetooth and experienced excellent bass and treble response, especially for what I paid for the speaker. The sound quality isn't as good as a dedicated mid-range BT speaker or a high-end speaker with Google Assistant or Alexa in it, but it's actually a step up from two speakers I own that directly compete with this one. Setup is super easy with these speakers, just like with any other Google Speaker. You'll need your iPhone or Android device with the Google Home app installed to get it going, Once set up and connected to WiFi, you'll be able to say "Hey Google" and have it do pretty much anything you want a smart speaker to do; the only thing 3rd party Assistant speakers don't do that the actual Google Home speakers do is make phone calls, but chances are you won't miss that feature. Audio quality is good from pretty much any source. I tested with Bluetooth and Pandora, and both were crystal clear. You can also use Google Play Music, YouTube Music, Spotify, and Deezer (some services require a subscription). Chromecast Audio is also built in, so it can be a target for Chromecast Audio-compatible apps. It's only when you get to the upper limits of the device's volume level that you get audio distortion. Other nice features are a display on the front of the unit that shows a clock, outdoor temperature, volume level, and even the outside temperature; USB port for charging your phone or other device at night; touch controls for those times when you can't say "Hey Google, mute the music"; and a pleasant, modern aesthetic to the device's design. It also has dual-band WiFi connectivity to connect to your network with. If there's a drawback to this speaker, it's that it uses a wall wart instead of an internal power supply. That's not really even a con though, that's me nitpicking. All in all, the Insignia Voice Smart Speaker is a terrific value for what it is. I'd recommend it over most of the major brands, unless you need a water-resistant speaker or want something that will give you a hi-fi experience, in which case there are other options. But for a speaker that will sit by your nightstand, in your kitchen, in your bathroom, or somewhere else that a small speaker that responds to your voice makes sense, this is perfect for the job.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    L O V E. IT!!!!

    Posted
    SunnyDiego
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    This is my first smart home device! I love it! I use it daily. Just by speaking I can add things to my calendar, set an alarm, set reminders, set a shopping list, have it read my plans for the day, read me the news, ask it will it rain, ask where a particular movie is playing, etc etc. I have it play the sound of a brook for when I am sleeping. I bought a smart plug for my bedroom lamp (by Belkin WeMo) which synced perfectly so all I have to say is "Hey Google, turn off the light" (or turn on the light). I had to change the "nickname' from Wemo to "light" so I could say turn of light vs turn off Wemo. Now I don't have to walk in the dark and feel for my lamp in order to turn it on. Lol. The speaker looks nice as well! This model does not have a recharable battery, which is fine for me since I won't need to take it from room to room. I did not buy it for music playing, which sounds pretty nice, but don't expect Bose...it's not that, but it's way better then your cell phone playing music that's for sure! I bought it for convenience of turning on my light and enjoying the features of the smart speaker. I'm so happy with it. I got it for a great sale price as a Deal of the Day promotion. I bought one for my daughter for her home and I bought an extra...for "just in case". Lol. Oh, and for those that do not have internet at home and just hot spot on your cell, you can use it thru hotspot. You need 2 devices, 1 being your cell and the other a iPad or tablet. Download foxfi and the foxfi pda net apps to your cell. Turn on the "Wi-Fi hotspot" on your cell from foxfi. Use foxfi as your WiFi. On your cell turn on your hot spot from your carrier. Download the goggle home app to your iPad or tablet. Sync up the speaker and set it up thru your iPad or tablet using the Goggle Home app. On foxfi make sure to set the timer to none so your WiFi hotspot doesn't time out. It works great! I turn off my carrier hot spot when I leave the house. I turn it back on when I get home. The only thing is that you do need to wait a few mins for it to sync back up. I can't justify paying for internet since I have unlimited data and hotspot. Using just my cell meets my needs for now. However if I ever decide to expand on more home smart devices, I will have to bite the bullet. But as for now, it's not necessary. Most people have internet at home so setup will be breezy. This great speaker is a VERY nice alternative to Goggle Home. As of now (March 2018), this Insignia Voice Speaker does not make calls, send or read texts, but I did read somewhere that they are working on that now...so in the future it won't be an issue. As of now, the Goggle Home device does do that. I got mine at such a great price, it was worth buying. At regular price tho I would have most likely went with Goggle Home since it would be just a few bucks more.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great alternative speaker

    Posted
    nmackpaddywhack
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    *This review is not sponsored. I am a personal tech reviewer.* SOUND: The Insignia Smart Speaker is a solid option for entry into the smart speaker market. The volume and sound on this device vastly outperforms the Google Home Mini. While low-range isn't perfect (as expected for the price point), the device puts out a fair amount of bass. At full volume, the speaker can fill a medium-sized room with audio. It certainly isn't Bose or Sonos quality. And, it isn't meant to be. Smart Features: The speaker essentially does everything that the Google Home Mini does, but with a small display. It does however have a few limitations such as lack of voice calling. However, this speaker can and should act as a supplement to any smart home set-up, not as as the primary device. It processes requests quickly and accurately. I have not yet utilized the alarm clock features. However, note that alarm clock features cannot be controlled remotely from the Google Assistant app. Additionally, apps like Spotify can be streamed to the device (as well as multi-room control). The volume control buttons and on-screen controls allow for control of the volume from the speaker rather than having to push the volume button or shout volume commands. My only gripe is that the weather indicator will not stay Microphone: Microphone performs well! While it doesn't utilize the same "360" microphone technology as the Google Home product line, it still manages to hear prompts and requests. That said, like the Google Home Mini, if the volume is at a high/max volume, the device will not hear you unless you come very close and raise your voice considerably. That said, if you are planning to play music at those volumes, you should be switching to the free stock Android Google Assistant (and iOS app) for home control. Display: The small digital LED display is perfectly-sized for the device. As a nightstand device, which is how I use it, the brightness of the display does not disturb my sleep while also being bright enough for use in a well-lit room. The digital led on the top of the speaker for the volume controls and play/pause are very useful with a futuristic vibe. Build: The product has a quality, sturdy build with rubber mats on bottom to prevent sliding. The device will sit in one spot (due to requiring power source) so moving it around is easy, but if portability is a big issue (which it shouldn't be for a smart home speaker) then upgrade to the newer version. Rating: I rated it 4 out of 5 stars because this is a quality, entry smart home product. Placed in a pre-existing (budding) smart home set-up, this device acts a wonderful supplement for smart home connection from the bed. To receive a five out of five rating, the device would require improved microphone, weather indicator, and better packaging.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Excellent Speaker & Assistant! Life changer!

    Posted
    Calvin
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I love this thing. I normally don't post reviews but I had to! I bought this a few months ago and it works amazing. I love that its' an assistant that tells you the time and most importantly it DISPLAYS IT! Most assistants are only a speaker and you have to talk to them to get results back instead of just looking at it. Not with this! I use this every night to listen to Spotify, one of my favorite things is you just say "Hey Google, play x playlist or x song." I usually play a playlist called "Atmospheric Calm" on Spotify at bedtime and then I say "Hey Google, stop playing in 35 minutes" or "Hey Google, sleep in 35 minutes" where it will actually stop playing in 35 minutes, by then I'm fast asleep and the speaker stops playing. THIS WAS A GAME CHANGER. I no longer watch TV to get to sleep, I listen to calming music and it automatically cuts itself off by the time I kick into deep sleep. All lights out and eyes closed with relaxing beats. You can also do "Hey Google, shuffle" and it will start shuffling a playlist or your music starting the next song. ONE DOWNSIDE: The "Alarm" sound on this thing really is too quiet and relaxing. It uses the volume you have the device set at to play the alarm and there is no way to make the alarm play at 100% volume like any android or Apple (iOS) Device would. Before my sleep schedule was fixed I was not being woken up by this thing and was late to work a couple times. Very embarrassing. "Hey supervisor, my new alarm isn't good enough to wake me up", yeah, not fun.. SOLUTION TO DOWNSIDE: Instead of using the default alarm, what I will do is "Hey Google, SET A MUSIC ALARM." it will ask what time and what to play, I'll say something like "9 AM, ACDC" and it will play ACDC loud, just make sure that you set your volume up a bit. THe music even at like 60 volume will wake me up with certain songs but the default alarm sound is really weak and calming where it will not wake a medium/heavy sleeper up. OVERALL: For the money this is a very high quality speaker that puts out good sound up close. Once you get into bigger rooms and jack the volume up you will start to hear some distortion and also some "dulling" of notes or tangy highs and muffled lows.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Good replacement for my old alarm clock

    Posted
    jasvanek
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I did read a lot of the reviews before I purchased mine so I was concerned that this might be a waste of money. But I have really wanted a Google Home with the a screen of some sort. Don't like having to ask Google for the time. So when I saw this in an email it got my interest. I love my Google Homes and minis. They are almost essential for a smart home. The only downside of them to me is no basic display. Just a clock and weather were all i was wanting. So this fits what I have wanted for about a year. I'm not going to rehash the complaints of others although I will say some are more valid than others. I have not had an issue with random noises, volume fluctuations or time zones. I did notice that night mode is not available on this unit. Not too much of a problem since you can set the master and alarm volumes separately. I know that is rather new for the Google units so maybe it will show up in a later update. My main purpose for the Voice was as a bedroom alarm clock replacement. Display is good for this and easily visible from 10-12 feet. I wish the temp would display constantly, but I know that that part of the display is used for other functions so I can live with it. I give it 5/5 for replacing my bedside clock. For those reviews bemoaning the sound quality I think you're being pretty unfair. It is not quite as good as the Google Home but far better than the Home Mini. If you are wanting a high-end immersive sound then you need to look at some of the other devices designed for that. Sonos makes a very nice unit but you are going to pay for it. Or wait for the Google Home Max to come out. No free lunch, but the sound is fine for the average user. I'm comfortable with giving 4 stars. I would hope that the good people at Insignia listen to the suggestions of their customers and look forward to seeing what the 2.0 version looks like. Not that this one is bad, but there is room for growth.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Useful Home Assistant with Some Minor Limitations

    Posted
    dorkhead2
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    Overall, this speaker with Google Voice Assistant works very well. Just like on an Android phone, you simply say, "OK Google" and begin asking any question you have. The female voice assistant will either give you an exact answer or perform a Google search and read the primary result back to you. For example, if you ask Google, "OK Google, what time does Disneyland open tomorrow?" She will tell you the exact operating hours for Disneyland for the requested day. But if you ask, "OK Google, at what age should my child stop sucking his thumb?" Google will respond by reading you an answer from a reputable website. The Voice Assistant also performs very well when asked to turn on or off my WiFi connected house lights. A few of my lights are connected using TP-Link light switches, and others are connected using WeMo light switches. If your lights are not already setup in the Google Assistant app, you are guided during the speaker setup to add them to the Home Control portion of the app. Adding them allows you to control your lights and other connected devices, (Nest Thermostat, Roomba, WiFi outlets, etc.) using your voice either through your phone or through the Insignia speaker. Since the speaker is setup on my nightstand, my wife loves to ask Google to turn off the bedroom light, instead of having to get out of bed to physically turn it off. A few limitations include not being able to manually adjust the time displayed on the front of the device. Other users have inquired about this option and Insignia's tech support has responded in forums that they are not able to change the time because the device syncs with Google time servers. Hopefully someday there will be an option to manually adjust the time, so if you're like me, you can set the clock ahead a few minutes to help with getting out the door early. Another limitation is the device's inability to place phone calls yet. When you ask Google to call someone, it responds that the feature is not currently active. Hopefully this feature will also be added in future software updates. And the final limitation is the speaker quality (not really though). If you're very particular about the sound quality of the music being played through your speakers, then this unit will not satisfy you. However, if you just want to enjoy music without concern for high quality sound, then this speaker will do just fine. The sound it does produce is good enough and can get loud if you crank it up. The bass isn't all that strong, but again, this is not a device meant for an audiophile. It will meet the needs of most people. Ultimately, I am very satisfied with this speaker. It's a reasonably priced speaker and home assistant. It's perfect for a bedroom night stand or living room clock (or anywhere else you can plug in this unit). If Insignia continues to update the features on this speaker, it will easily get a 5-star rating. Still, if I could give it 4.5 stars, I would.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Last year's alarm clock.

    Posted
    Bergman
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    There are two factors to take into consideration when looking at this product. Hardware, and software. You are here because you are interested in the software, so let's discuss that first: 1. It has Google Assistant. The device will show up in your Google Home app. As a result, you can do *nearly* everything you can do with a Google Home. You can ask it questions, you can cast music (or even use Bluetooth), you can set alarms and timers, and you can interact with Google Assistant compatible smart home services, like Philips. 2. BestBuy owns Insignia. BestBuy also does not really update the software on its Insignia devices. Don't expect more that one update a year, if at all at this point. One one hand, this is not a big deal. Google Assistant still works. You may not get new Assistant features like Continued Conversation, but that may not bother you just as people who purchase a Home Mini aren't bothered by the fact that it does not display the time. On the other hand, this means that any features that break for some reason will likely remain broken. Take radio.com, for instance. My local radio stations are all on radio.com. My Insignia speaker decided to no longer play radio.com stations. It'll say "Sure! Playing [radio station] on radio.com...... Something went wrong." This was a drawback people were willing to accept in order to get a good clock/speaker that also has Assistant, for a competitive price. That will not be the case for long. Lenovo just announced an alarm clock with Google Assistant, and it will not be neglected like the Insignia. The hardware discussion is a bit shorter. It's fairly good. The mic picks up the hotword 90% of the time. The speaker is loud, but not great. I don't know how to describe it. When I make it loud enough for me to hear, certain music keys or voice pitches seem "sharp" and overly loud, while others are difficult to hear. There is no perfect volume on this device. In order for me to actually hear all of the syllables of a person speaking in a podcast, the volume has to be loud enough for people a floor below me to hear it as well. Bottom line: If all you require is an alarm clock that can occasionally play music and handle most Assistant commands, wait for this to go on sale for $25 (every couple of months or so) and get it. But if you're looking for a Google Assistant device that also displays the time, wait for the Lenovo product to be officially released. The Insignia works for all of the things you needed last year. But Google Assistant moved on, and you should as well.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Average Sound Quality, Cool Features

    Posted
    BenisJ
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I am split between two universes: Google and Amazon. I am struggling to figure out which one is best and deserves to be my personal assistant, but the "Insignia™ - Voice™ Smart Bluetooth Speaker and Alarm Clock with the Google Assistant built in" (you'd think they could come up with a more friendly, catchy name) is pushing me in the Google direction. The device itself is average. As others have mentioned, you can't make calls on it yet. It also isn't the most robust sounding speaker on the market. Nor does it come with a battery of any kind which is odd because whose to say you might not want to take it to the backyard, or into the basement or garage for awhile as an internet music player? I cannot speak to any of the technical glitches others have had. I have not experienced any problems. The midrange sounds are clear and the volume levels are good across the range from quiet to loud. I personally think it launches at just the right level of volume. The assistant voice is clear. The assistant's microphone is pretty good. So far it has successfully picked up my voice without issue. Currently I have this model in the office about 5 feet away and it picks up my commands without me feeling like I am shouting. The dimmable screen is a plus as well as the mute microphone and USB charging port on the back. Not sure how to make the temperature stay on the screen all the time. I got this unit initially as a radio alarm clock replacement and at night phone charger. It met those needs just fine, until I realized I didn't know the proper command(s) to make it wake me to music nor would it wake me if the power went out. That short-coming resulted in moving it from the bedroom to the office. The Google Assistant features seem more intuitive to me than say, Alexa, but I've also lived in the Google world for a lot longer. It is nice to say "Hey Google, tell me about my day" and have it run through my calendar, give me traffic info, tell me about the weather and then start playing the news for me first thing in the morning. When I want a little background music: "Hey Google, stream some Q101" or "Hey Google, shuffle my Pearl Jam mix." Google just seems to get me better than the other assistants and the commands feel very natural but it does take time to learn all the different commands. There is no way to cover all the commands and interconnectivity of the Google Home enabled devices like this one, but so far it has been a joy to incorporate this little device into my daily lifestyle--and to explore how Google Assistant can *improve* my life. Don't buy this device thinking you are getting an awesome speaker. Buy this device because you want you want an inexpensive, Google personal assistant device that has average sound, decent volume and fun features (minus phone calls...for now). Good choice for a beginner who already has a history via their Google account...and it won't break the bank. My lack of stars are primarily due to the average audio quality, the lack of a battery, and the inability (currently) to place/answer a call.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Some shortcomings compared to normal Google Home

    Posted
    Kevin

    This product is generally pretty good, especially when on a steep sale, but here are some things to consider which make me hesitate to buy any additional ones. 1. There's a general misconception that this speaker has the full Google Home feature set. That is not the case, as the software is modified and updated independently of the Google brand Google Home devices. I found this out after some searching. 2. This product lacks all of the Google Home features. Earlier this year, Google rolled out the ability to pair Google Home speakers with other non-Google Home Bluetooth speakers; a very handy feature. This product lacks that ability, presumably because it's behind on updates, or the Bluetooth radio is for some reason incapable. 3. There's no guarantee of continued updates or support. This is a Best Buy brand, so if they decide to cut support, whether it be because of a partnership with Amazon or the desire to sell a newer product, they can just cut support, and you have an end-of-life device on your hands that won't keep getting the upgrades and new abilities that Google brand Google Home devices will. 4. This speaker does not respect proximity rules. That is to say if you have a Google Home in your bathroom, and this speaker in your bedroom, and while standing in your bathroom you issue a command, if the one in the bedroom happens to hear you too, it will respond despite not being the speaker that's closest. This is an issue that I believe the Google branded Home speakers have worked out (so have the Amazon Echo devices,) but still plauges the insignia speakers. 5. The blue lights on this are ridiculous for an alarm clock speaker that presumably will be kept in a bedroom. Consider that blue light is scientifically proven to keep one awake and sleep experts recommend not looking at anything that produces light with a blue component before bed. This is why apps that turn off blue pixels on your TV and phone exist, and are starting to be built into Android and iOS. Why not red? 6. Speaker begins to distort around 80% to 85% volume. It still is listenable at or above that level, but is it isn't ideal. Overall it isn't a bad little device for the price, but I think for the purposes of having a smart speaker, one may be better served by going with a device that has the full feature suite and guaranteed updates and support.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    The missing link

    Posted
    An4h0ny
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    This device has been absolutely perfect for what I needed. This is at first blush, kind of an odd device, but the more I live with it the more I realize how genius it is. The best, quick way to describe this device is the missing link between the Google Mini and the Google Home... but with a digital clock face. The sound is a little better than the Mini but not QUITE as good as the Home. The sound is very good though. I needed it for an inexpensive way to provide multi-room synced audio in a small Day Spa with four treatment rooms and a lobby. I was a little anxious to take the plunge as I had NO experience with smart devices and setting them up. I did hit a snag but got through that (You have to have both Bluetooth AND Wi-Fi enabled on your phone and Bluetooth enabled on the device when setting it up) and since then, these have been a dream. Without going into too much detail, it's difficult to find just the right music for a spa and I have one CD that has been used for years because it is perfect for our needs. So first, I got these set up, then I made a group called "Spa Group." After that I ripped the songs from the CD, made a playlist on Google Play Music and now every morning I walk in, say "Hey Google, play _____ playlist on Spa Group." Then I say "Hey Google. Put this playlist on repeat." Boom. The playlist repeats in all rooms, all day with no more work from me. The only TINY ding I would give these is that when I first purchased them I thought they would display the temperature all the time. They don't. When you ask Google the current temperature, it will tell you the temperature in your location and display on the face for several seconds. That's it. But really... that is a very minor complaint and not worth taking the score down at all. These have been absolutely perfect for my needs. If you have a small business and need to stream synced music in different rooms, these work GREAT. I'm super happy with them and so glad I bought them!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great Buy When on Sale

    Posted
    Selden
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Before Thanksgiving Best Buy had a tremendous sale on these speakers, and I bought a pair for half the price of my Google Home, which I purchased when they first hit the market. Why replace the Google Home? A new feature since Google introduced their first speakers is the ability to pair for stereo. A pair of Insignia speakers sound much better than either alone, slightly better than the original Google Home. Also, I wanted a speaker in the bedroom with a time display that I could read from across the room, and use as an alarm clock. The display is dimmable, which is greatly appreciated. Set up was straightforward, and it found and holds a Wi-Fi signal without interruption. The only glitch that I ran into was that I did initial setup in a different location, on a different network, and both Insignias had to be reset to out of the box state (press and hold the microphone button at back for ~15 seconds) in order to set them up on my home network. Pairing was easy, with one exception: when two Insignias are paired for stereo, the time appears ONLY on the left speaker; the display on the right speaker changes to sET. This is definitely a Google software bug, as I spent over an hour setting and resetting using every variation I could think of, always with the same. When two speakers are unpaired, the right speaker MUST be set up again. For me, covering the display on the right speaker with a piece of black vinyl tape provided an acceptable work-around to the clock issue. My other complaint is not with the speaker but with Google's Assistant software, which in summer 2018 introduced the ability to run "routines" (a series of actions) at a set time. At this time (December 2018), timed routines rarely run at all, and if they do, rarely at the set time, which means that Assistant routines are unreliable for controlling the Insignia as an alarm clock. This issue is widely documented on Google's product support forum for Assistant, and affects ALL devices, not just Insignia speakers. Until Google fixes this issue, the Google Assistant is useless for controlling devices on a fixed schedule.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

    Great Concept Poor Execution

    Posted
    Deasile
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    SO, I absolutely love the device its self "in general" the clock is great, easily readable, the brightness control is great, the sound of the speaker was great for ME personally (though I am not an audiophile) every thing about the build quality spot on. B_U_T--- the software/firmware never ever updated to the latest version available "to this device", PLUS, this device doesn't even have the latest firmware for google home in general but some old out of date firmware (yes i did a crap ton of research) THEN on top of all that.. I would have to factory reset the darn thing every few hours because of some glitch that completely stopped the device from working, unless I did a factory reset and reset up, and even then it some times took 3 or more resets in a row to get it to re-establish the ability to be set up. You must be thinking OH well thats just one device... NO NO NO .. I had 5 devices, and they all had constant recurring issues. In the 48 hours that I owned all 5 devices I must have factory reset them 20 - 30 times (EACH). Oh maybe its your internet/router... I have a router that can support well pretty much anything and everything you can throw at it ASUS RT-AC5300, this router is so amazing. Oh well still maybe it was the router. Nope tried 3 other routers I have Netgear Nighthawk x10 AD7200 Smart WiFi, and i even went as far as to temporarily buy you guessed it the Google WiFi system. BTW the ASUS is the best.. just saying. anyway I tryed many configurations many iterations of settings and limited the routers to the "Insignias" only as to test well every variable i could think of nothing helped nothing worked the "Insignias" kept crapping out. Love the product wish it worked right but with all 5 failing constantly I have to say move on. P.S. the 5 "Google Home Minis" I bought to replace the "Insignias" have not had even one tinny issue since I set them up "Insignia" I will miss your slightly better speaker and clock :( All in all it could have been a bad "BATCH" since I did get them all at the same time so if you try them good luck.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Nice compact clock with Google

    Posted
    mkcar1
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    Nice nightstand alarm clock replacement with Google Positives; For me using it as an alarm clock on the nightstand is perfect. You can change the brightness level of the fulltime clock display. Also setting an alarm is easy and you can use hand motions above the speaker to access some functions. Insignia site states speaker is built by Sony. I have had good luck with their products so hope that continues here. The speaker is compact - as it is more or less a small tower design – and feels quite solid. Very nicely packaged. Its comes with an AC adapter and also has a usb port to charge a device. Kind of nice if you have your phone on the nightstand too and want to keep it charged and frees up an outlet. This is not portable as it needs to be plugged in to work. It has Chromecast audio capability built in but I could not find whether it uses 2.4 or 5 Ghz wireless or both Initial setup was done quickly as I already had Google Home installed on my android phone. Bluetooth sync is done separately, so be advised Sound quality is fine for the bedroom with 8 watts RMS rating. It is sufficient to be able to hear in adjoining room. But if you need something to really pump out the volume – this probably isn’t what you are looking for. A nice feature is if you ask it to turn volume up/down it shows the percentage of volume you are at for a few minutes. Also you can ask it to increase/decrease volume by a percentage or just say volume 70%. If asking what the outside temperature is, it shows for a couple of minutes on its display also. I have another Google assistant speaker by a different manufacturer and they synched up with no problem. You can play music on 1 or the either or both by stating to it exactly which one you want to play.. Negatives; The display to me isn’t as clear as it might be, but the lower the lighting on the unit, the clearer it seems to get. To this point you cant change the alarm sound or use music to wake up to. Firmware update? If you turn off the microphone there are 4 lights at the top that turn red and stay on to let you know it is turned off. Cant make calls – but I cant on my other Google assistant speaker either (different manufacturer). I did some research and it seems you need certain firmware version for Google Home (1.28.99351 or higher) and Google app version (7.17 or above). I have the latter but not the former and cant seem to figure out how to update Google Home on my phone. Overall a nice addition to my “smart” home.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Value Added Google Home Alternative

    Posted
    dronedad
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member
    • Top 1000 ContributorTop 1000 Contributor

    I removed this product from the packaging and immediately noticed that Best Buy has upped the quality of both the unboxing experience for and the quality of the product itself on Insignia branded products. Setup: This device gets treated like a regular google home, with the app handling all the setup. You get it connected to your wifi network, train it to understand your voice, or have it use the existing voice model, and it's off and running. I have an existing google home, with some other devices connected, so it was easy to add this one and name it with the room it's in. Build: If you set this next to the Google-branded home you'll immediately notice that it's almost exactly the same proportions, only squarcled instead of round. It does give it slightly less of a "burial urn" vibe, thank goodness, and makes it fit in more with other decor. It's surprisingly heavy and I assume this is from the magnets on the speakers. The speaker cover is a sturdy gray fabric and the plastic surfaces are solid and feel well made. The power plug is recessed into the bottom and there is an extra USB port that I need to research to see if that has charging capabilities or if it's there for other purposes. The display immediately turns on and gets the local time from the internet, using my address without any setup. The second part of the display doesn't come into play until later when you ask it other things. I wish the LED segments looked a little more modern and less like an old clock, and I wish I could control what was shown on the second line of the LCD at all times, but none of those are dealbreakers. Operation: As a google home device, this thing is powered by the google assistant and for all intents and purposes appeared to work the same. I did notice that it wouldn't make calls like my other google home can, but the sound that came from it when playing music was comparable and edged the standard google home slightly in sound quality. When you ask the device certain questions such as what's the weather like, it will light up the second display and show the temp. I haven't looked into it yet but I suspect you have some kind of control over what that second display shows, but it's not immediately accessible. When giving it commands I only noticed a slight delay in controlling some of my lights, otherwise all interactions were as quick as the standard Google home. Overall: I enjoy having the google home, and I find this to be a feature added inexpensive alternative. Somethings like the rotary volume that is sort of kitschy on the Google home have been taken away and replaced with linear volume controls.but overall the operation is so similar that there's no reason to buy a higher priced alternative. Combined with excellent sound from the speakers and you've got a winner!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    We Love This!

    Posted
    Phjilek36
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    The Insignia Voice Speaker is great. Right out of the box, it looks and feels remarkably similar to the regular sized Google Home. It does sit a little taller and broader, but it features a similar fabric material around the lower part of the speaker. Around the front, you will find the display which shows the time, timers/alarms, and the temperature. The temperature will only show when you ask the temp. Shortly after, it disappears. Just like the Home, the top section of the Insignia Voice Speaker has a sloped top that has lights that blink and flash when the Google Assistant is activated. Just below these lights, you can find three capacitive-touch buttons that allow you to adjust the speaker’s volume, display brightness, launch Assistant, and more. Around back is a microphone mute button to stop the speaker from listening to you. Setting it up in the Google Home app, is easy. I can set it to default to sound on the Insignia Google assistant speaker, or on a connected speaker or group of speakers around my house. So when I say, "Hey Google. Play Michael Jackson songs." it will automatically play on the default speaker(s), if I dont tell it what I want it to play on. Or, if I say, "Hey Google. Play Peppa Pig on YouTube on TV. It will play a Peppa Pig episode on the TV...as long as I set the TV to be named "TV." I use IFTTT (If This Then That) to have different "recipes" to do different things. I control my lights in the kitchen/dining/livingroom/outside Christmas lights, by connecting it to the Insignia Connect light switch (only works on a single pole switch - not a 3-Way or 4-way). I hook my sprinkler system up to it, so I can say things like, "Hey Google. My lawn is looking brown." and it will start the sprinkler system, because i set it up as a thing I can say to do [THIS]. My kids like to play the trivia game, and ask it to tell then jokes. They dont need a Google account to use, but if they do, then it can set up their voice to recognize who they are, and personalize things to them. My wife uses the "Hey Google. Where is my phone?" a lot. It will call her phone and make the volume loud. That has to be set up with IFTTT to work, because it calls from the IFTTT company, not using the Insignia speaker. What I really like more about this Insignia brand Google Home is that the top has a touch pause/play as well as volume up (+) and a volume down (-) button that shows up when my finger is nearby. The Google Home does not have this feature, and you swirl your finger in a circle to get the volume up. Tapping anywhere on the top makes the sound/music pause, but on the Insignia you tap the circle. I am unable to make a call with the Google assistant, but that is the only thing I am unable to do with the Insignia version.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Best value in Smart Speakers/Alarm Clocks

    Posted
    DoctorHoo
    • Tech Insider NetworkTech Insider Network
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    Setup was very easy and exactly the same as with other Google Home based products I own. Just plug it in, install the Google Home app on your phone/tablet and follow the directions to connect it to the internet. I really like how the setup didn’t require me to type in my access point password so it gets extra points for setup friendliness. As an alarm clock, I think Insignia has hit a home run. It’s small size easily fits into my night stand and the built-in digital clock display is easily read and not too bright. The inclusion of a USB port for charging your phone is a welcome and convenient feature. It has all the features to be a perfect bedside alarm clock. I really like using voice commands to set up my alarm over the old fashion way of holding down a button until the correct time is entered. All I have to do is say, “Hey Google, wake me up at 6:30am tomorrow” and it wakes me up the next morning as directed. Also, with a smart alarm clock, it will always have the correct time when power is restored after an outage. Sound quality is very good and in my opinion better than the Google Home Mini. I don’t have the regular Google Home to compare it to. Comparing audio quality to my Sony LF-S50G I think the Sony has slightly better midrange response (vocals sound a little better on the Sony). I really like the ability to use TuneIn to listen to local radio stations and podcasts. You never have to worry about poor radio reception. Voice recognition is excellent and is about the same as all my other Google Home based products. I can be heard from another room and I rarely have to repeat myself to be understood. I think the Insignia NS-CSPGASP is currently the best value for combo smart speakers / alarm clocks. For the price, it can’t be beat.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great low-cost alternative to Google Home

    Posted
    RonB

    I own 3 of these units now (and 4 Google Homes). I would say they are a bit harder to get setup than the Home from Google, but not terribly so. I had to use a second device to setup my last one after the phone wouldn't work to do it. In terms of quality, it's excellent. Workmanship is good and it looks nice sitting on a night stand or table. I really love having the clock built in. It also briefly displays the alarm time after you ask it to set an alarm. Temperature displays on the second row when you ask it for the current temp. One of main reasons people buy these is to use for music. The sound is very good on these units. I actually prefer them to the Google Home. The Google Home's sound is VERY "bass-y", to the point that it muffles voices a bit, especially on an audio book. I find the Insignia units to be much more crisp and balanced across the spectrum, giving good bass, while still keeping crisp mids and highs. Seems strange for a $30 unit to sound better, but in my opinion it does. The one thing that it is missing vs Google Home is the ability to make phone calls, but I've only really done that once to try it out when I first started setting up a smart home. It's just not a feature that I find I need. If that's a key feature for you, keep in mind the Insignia unit can't do it. Overall, this is a great unit that replicates almost all functionality of a Google Home, at less than 25% of the price if you can catch the $30 sale.

    I would recommend this to a friend