My experience of using the Station Mini smart column

Two months ago I bought a station Mini.
Why did I do it? Well, firstly, because of music. Secondly, because of the voice assistant. And thirdly, in the future I plan to use the station for a smart home.
Although, to be honest, the first two reasons are already enough for a purchase.

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But first things first. First characteristics:

  • Frequency response 20 Hz – 20 kHz
    Support for streaming audio services is
    Total power 3 W
    Full range speakers 1 pc., 38 mm
    Signal-to-noise ratio 95 dB
    Software
    Built-in voice assistant Alice
    Connection
    There is an audio output
    Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 b/g, 2.4 GHz
    Bluetooth 4.2
    Mains powered
    Number of microphones 4
    Housing material plastic, fabric
    Dimensions (WxHxD) 90x45x90 mm
    Weight 0.3 kg
    Service life 2 years.
    Warranty period 1 year.
    Country of origin China
  • The station arrives on the shelves of stores in a small but bright colored box:

    The box is quite informative:

    I open the box:

    The package consists of the speaker itself, a Type-C cord, a power supply and a bunch of stickers and insctions:

    An interesting feature is that even on the power supply all the text is in English:

    USB Type-C cable:

    To be honest, the quality of the cord included is disgusting. It can and will fit to power the speaker, but if you use it, for example, to recharge the phone, then this phone will charge twice as long as usual. This suggests that saved on the cord, and used a wire of the minimum allowable section. To be honest, the PSU does not shine with characteristics. It is enough to power the column. But then again, it will not charge something more powerful normally.
    In general, here, to be honest, there is a sediment.
    Now about the column itself.
    Out of the box, it has a hint sticker:

    On top there is a light indicator, control sensors and as many as 4 microphones! (to hear you better, granddaughter!)

    There is a silicone pad on the bottom, with information about the product:

    On the front side (as if on the front) there is abber patch with the letter Y. It does not give any benefit. exclusively decorative element:

    Along the perimeter, all sides of the column are lined with fabric. There is a strip of plastic on the back, on which there is a physical mute button for microphones, a Type-C port and a 3.5mm port for connecting any speakers via AUX (the station can be a sound source)

    In general, neither the appearance nor the assembly raises any complaints. Everything is done well enough.
    As for the sound, it is generally very good (given the size of the speaker).

    Yes, for audiophiles and music lovers, this speaker will sound bad. Without sibilants and other sibiboles in distant octaves and without cymbals with sand. But, for example, to sound a room, the power and volume of the speaker is enough. And the sound quality of the speaker is good. There are both high and medium frequencies. And even the basses that come from nowhere in such a little one.

    For example, I have a speaker in my bedroom. And if I turn it on at about 70% of the entire volume, then it is already heard throughout the entire apartment.

    Now I’ll tell you about the main chip, for which they buy a column. This is Alice’s voice assistant.

    When you turn on the column for the first time, you need to install the application on your smartphone and link the column to your account, then connect the column to your home Wi-Fi network.

    Then you can get some training.

    From the tutorial, we learn that the volume of the speaker can be controlled simply by placing the hand on top and then raising and lowering it, we will see that the volume is adjusted. By the way, this feature is really handy. And it works well enough. You need to make it louder, put your palm over the speaker, raised your hand up and the volume became louder. Or put his hand down and the volume turned down. If you need to quickly turn off the sound, just cover the speaker with your palm, and the speaker goes silent. You can also say “Alice stop” or “Alice is enough.” By the way, even at maximum volume, Alice normally hears commands and responds to them.
    Actually, what can Alice do?
    In fact, this is the same voice assistant that can be installed on any smartphone. But in the column it has a little more than some functions (and some less)

    When buying a station, you are given 3 months of free Plus. This means that we can listen to music without restrictions, watch movies, and we can do something else, but only these two services are relevant to me.
    How do I personally use the column?
    Well, first of all, I added my voice as the main owner’s voice. This is done by the command “Alice, my name is username”
    After that, Alice goes into learning mode. Asks to say a few commands, etc. to accurately record your voice. Then, for example, in music, based on your preferences, it will put tracks and selections that are correctly selected to my taste. Make playlists. And when searching, also take into account my past requests. (yes, yes, that’s where everyone tensed up. big brother is watching us)
    But I personally don’t give a damn about it. Considering how much everything around us is watching. We are so, as in the palm of your hand. So let me at least do something for my benefit.
    Alice also knows a lot of commands. For example, I can ask her about the weather for tomorrow, ask the dollar exchange rate, ask the meaning of a particular word.
    Alice has voice games like “city” and “word”
    Alice can say “Alice, turn on our radio” and she turns it on.
    I find it very convenient. There is a small column on the computer table. You tell her what to turn on, she turns on. You ask to turn on a certain radio, she turns it on. You ask to include a certain track or artist, it also includes. And it’s really cool. e, this all works in the Plus version and you have to pay for it. But even I, an old pirate, have already purchased a subscription for a year. Because the price is not very high, but the convenience is worth it.
    Based on a couple of months of use, I am completely satisfied with the purchase.
    Alice is always on and stands on the table. She turns on music for me, she answers my questions, she tells fairy tales to my children (yes, she can do that too), she can set an alarm or a timer, she can make a reminder note. In general, a lot of things can. Therefore, I can safely recommend it for purchase.

    You can buy station mini in Market partner stores

    There are also other speakers with the voice assistant Alice:

    Also in M-Video you can buy Smart speakers Irbis Smart home assistant with Alice (white color option)

    If you want a non-mini version, then there is an option to buy a station

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