When shopping for a trendy smart speaker
, most people tend to focus on options from only two companies. Amazon and Google's Western market duopoly is confirmed by the latest quarterly sales report
, in which the two's strongest rivals hail from China, selling their voice-controlled devices almost exclusively around those parts.
But there are actually many top brands that offer robust alternatives for members of the hot-selling Amazon Echo and Google Home families in the US, some of which are occasionally available at incredibly competitive prices. The portable Harman Kardon Allure, for instance, can be purchased for a measly $64.95 right now from Dell, compared to a $199.95 list price that is currently reduced to $99.95 on the manufacturer's own official website.
Interestingly, this specific Allure model, originally released in early 2018
, doesn't have a direct equivalent in Amazon or Google's camps. The search giant has yet to roll out a smart speaker you can carry around on your travels, while the Tap
has been discontinued and is no longer up for grabs in either new or certified refurbished condition.
Of course, at $64.95, the Harman Kardon Allure Portable is cheaper than both the second-gen Amazon Echo and "regular" Google Home (at least at their typical prices), offering pretty great features all in all. We're talking the full range of Alexa skills the Echo lineup can tap into, as well as two microphones equipped with noise cancellation technology, powerful 360-degree sound (at least by sub-$100 smart speaker standards), and decent 10-hour battery life.
Although Dell has sold this bad boy at only 5 bucks more a while back
, you may want to hurry and pull the trigger today as the latest deal could well be part of a clearance sale meant to rid the company of lingering inventory.