Best smart speakers for families?


As a family, we’d been happily using the HK Invokes that I’d had shipped over to the UK for the last few years. The kids enjoyed talking to Cortana, and I enjoyed the Spotify Connect feature built in. It meant that I could go into my “office” in my son’s room and play music on his Invoke, or any of us could all play music on the Kitchen one.

Obviously, as an alumus of Lumia, Band, etc… I didn’t go into this with any great expectations of longevity, but I figured that when Cortana got nerfed, I’d still have a decent speaker with Spotify Connect on it. But, no, the last firmware update nerfed that too.

I did buy a few Echo Flexes a few months ago, figured that I could hook them up to the Invokes using Bluetooth, and then start using Alexa and be able to use that as a Spotify Connect target.

However… firstly, the Bluetooth connection is flakey as hell. I find myself having to disconnect and reconnect a device multiple times a week, as the connection degrades (even though there is clear line of sight between the devices).

Then there’s Spotify Connect; you can only use an Echo Flex as a Spotify Connect target if you are logged in to that Echo Flex, which seems to completely miss the point of Spotify Connect!. And so far, despite my best efforts, I haven’t been able to have more than one account on a device. So now, only one person can use a device.

On top of that, there’s the apparent lack of family account functionality. I’ve gone to the Amazon Household page, and added my kids to that, but that doesn’t appear to give them an Amazon account (I think it’s there to give them a profile on Fire devices). I’ve signed my son up for an Amazon account, but there is no way for me to link to that account and manage it, unlike Microsoft’s family features.

So, given all that, is there a better smart speaker ecosystem available with multiple accounts per device?

Alternatively, do speakers like the Sonos ones have Alexa integration but are also independent Spotify Connect devices?

All help gladly accepted!

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