What you need to know
- ecobee is rolling out a new software update for the ecobee SmartThermostat.
- New update enables on-device Siri voice control and AirPlay 2 audio streaming.
- Siri integration routes voice requests privately through a user's HomePod mini on the same network.
ecobee has announced the release of a new firmware update that brings on-device Siri voice controls to the ecobee SmartThermostat. With Siri integration, users can control smart home accessories, ask for weather updates, and send Intercom messages through our pick for the best HomeKit thermostat simply by saying Hey Siri.
Once updated, users can enable Siri for the ecobee SmartThermostat by tapping on a banner that appears in the Home app. While not explicitly mentioned by ecobee, users can also enable AirPlay 2 for the thermostat after updating. The feature — which Apple lists as a Beta, allows for wireless music streaming directly to the thermostat's internal speaker just like other AirPlay 2 speakers.
While Siri listens and responds to voice commands through the ecobee SmartThermostat, a HomePod mini is required to make the magic happen. Siri requests travel behind the scenes to a HomePod mini on the same network, maintaining the privacy benefits of Apple's voice assistant.
Along with Siri, the ecobee SmartThermostat also features direct integration with Amazon's Alexa. However, users can only have one voice assistant active at a time, but ecobee makes it easy to switch between the two over in the ecobee app.
During testing over the past week, we were pleasantly surprised by the thermostat's quick response times and the quality of the onboard speaker. Siri responses sound pretty much the same as what you get with the HomePod mini, and we have yet to come across any requests that the thermostat couldn't handle.
According to ecobee, the latest update is beginning to roll out now and will be available for all ecobee SmartThermostats over the next few weeks. The ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control is available now at ecobee.com and through various retailers for $249.99.
The ecobee SmartThermostat not only provides convenient controls for your home's heating and air, but the latest update adds Siri and AirPlay 2, making it the best HomeKit thermostat around.
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