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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 2554 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 500 ContributorTop 500 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: 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: 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

    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

    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: 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: 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

  • 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

    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: 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: 3 out of 5 stars

    Watts Waster

    Posted
    Scott222
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I purchased my "Insignia Smart Speaker NS-CSPGASP-G " on November 9th, 2018, from Best Buy, through Google Express. Pros. *****1. It sounds better than "Google Home Mini" for Music with significant bass content. *****2. It displays the Time, however I do wish it had a larger display of the time. Cons. *****1. It sounds Worse than "Google Home Mini" for "Voice content". i.e . . .More Muffled and less crisp sounding than the "Google Home Mini". *****2. It seems to use about 7 times more power at idle than the "Google Home Mini" according to the Kill-A-Watt meter at "Idle Conditions". In my opinion it is an excessive "Energy Vampire". Due to limitations of the "Kill A Watt" meter, I had to estimate Watts based on Volt-Amp measurements and assuming similar "Power Factors". . .See below. ***** *Average Wattage measured by "Kill A Watt" meter, by mjw A. Insignia Smart Speaker NS-CSPGASP-G IDLE 3 Watts 7 VA * A. "Google Home Mini" ............................... IDLE 0 Watts 1 VA * ******************************** B. Insignia Smart Speaker NS-CSPGASP-G Relaxing Music at 80%Volume 3 Watts 7 VA * B. "Google Home Mini" Rock Music at 80%Volume ........................................ 1 Watts 1 VA * *****3 The Volume control is tedious to use compared to the "Google Home Mini". . . Volume Changing, which changes in 1% increments. It seems it would be better in 5% increments. *****4. It sounds about 20% less Volume to me, than the "Google Home Mini" based on my usage for similar situations. It seems about 80% as loud as the "Google Home Mini" even though it uses much more power consumption. *****5. Too sensitive to Temperature. . .i.e. . .According to the Insignia Smart Speaker NS-CSPGASP-G "User Guide" . . . "18 The equipment shall be used at a maximum of 95° F (35° C) ambient temperature."

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Terrible setup, surprisingly good device

    Posted
    MarkD
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I would have given this a 4 or 5 star rating. However, the setup was a nightmare. And I am a highly proficient professional in the technology field. Apparently, as of when I got the device, there must be some bad bug involving WiFi. The range (initially) was terrible. The device refused the Google Home normal set up procedures. Finally, after 4 hours of wasted time, I solved the problem. To help others out of this pain do the following: 1. If the speaker says "LOAD" that means it is downloading a firmware update. Nothing in the instructions mentions that. It takes a while for this to occur (like 15 to 20 MINUTES). So let it happen. The device may restart several times and say LOAD again. Let this happen. Do not touch anything. Let it totally finish. 2. If you can't get it to work, do a Factory Data Reset (this works with all Google Home devices, including third party devices, like Insignia): * Press and hold the microphone mute on the back of Insignia device for about 15 seconds. * You'll hear your Google Assistant confirm that it's resetting Google Home. * Now, open Google Home on your mobile device and start the Add Device procedure all over again. Note: you may have to remove an earlier listing of the device in Google Home. Once I did all this, it worked. So far, I have been very satisfied. The build of the device is solid. The audio is surprisingly good, with solid clarity through lows, mids and highs. Would I recommend it? Given how awful the setup turned out to be, you may want to avoid it unless you are very tech savvy or have someone who is..... If you fall into this category, "yes" I would recommend it. If "no" you have been forewarned...

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    An Improved version of the Google Home!

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

    Something that I always though was missing on the Google Home Speaker, was a display that can show some additional info, like the time or temperature. And now with the Insignia Speaker with the integrated Google assistant I have it. And not only that, I can connect it to my Cell phone as a regular Bluetooth speaker, which I have found very handy, that is another feature that the google home doesn’t have. The Clock display can be changed its brightness level and Also setting an alarm is easy and you can use hand motions above the speaker to access some functions. It does everything the google home does, the sound quality is great, and in stereo! It comes with an AC adapter and it also has a usb port to charge a device, pretty clever idea, if you have your cell on the nightstand and want to keep it charged. This is not portable model so it needs to be plugged in to the AC Outlet to work, however for $50 more you can buy the Portable model. It includes Chromecast audio capability built in. Another nice feature, from my point of view, is the Black color, my old google home speaker was easily stained or got dirty because of its beige color. The Initial setup was super easy. I used a Samsung Cell first, and after that I also tried with a Iphone 7. As quick and smoth as the Google Home setup. And as other Bluetooth Speaker, be aware that the Bluetooth sync is done separately. If you move your hand over the top of the device, if an alarm is active, it will be snoozed, or if music is playing the volume is temporarily dropped off, so you can use the microphone more clearly for voice command functions. If you ask it to turn volume up/down it will show on the display the percentage of volume you are. You can ask it to increase/decrease volume by just saying “volume 70%”. Same if you ask about Temperature. I haven’t had any issues neither with the sound quality, or volume stability, or connecting the smart devices I had connected to my old Google home. The display is easily visible from 15 feet. The size and shape is close the my old Google Home, the top section of the Insignia has a sloped top that has lights that blink and flash when the Google Assistant is activated, but below these lights, you will find 3 non visible touch buttons that allow you to adjust the speaker’s volume, display brightness, launch Assistant, and more. There is a microphone mute button at the back to stop the speaker from listening to you. I would say that this is an improved Google home in many ways. I am really happy with this product!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Tough competitor for Google Home

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

    I have to admit that I am really impressed with this smart bluetooth speaker. Like I mentioned above, it has given a tough competition to google home. First, because of it's relatively low price and second because of it's little time plus "temperature" display, which google home lacks. I wrote temperature in quotation marks for a reason which I will explain later. This Insignia bluetooth speaker lacks the ability to make calls which google home is capable of, hence I took 1 star off. Other than that, it is a very good gadget. Set-up was breeze. As some people have complained about the clock being stuck at Eastern Time zone, I never had this issue. Looks like Insignia has fixed this issue now and it is no more there. When you ask about the temperature, it will speak as well as display the current temperature but that stays on the display for about 5 seconds and disappears which was the reason I quotation marked it above but I'm not as concerned about it as some other reviewers are here. It's not a big of deal for me. You can control the volume by your voice which is kinda cool as well. The only thing that bothers me is sometime if the volume is a bit high, you have to yell at it to listen to you. I'm not sure if all devices are like this or I just got a lemon. But all in all, I'm pretty satisfied with it and would definitely recommend it.

    I would recommend this to a friend