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Adoption of voice-activated speakers is now outpacing that of smartphones in the US, study says

  • Around 39 million U.S. adults now own a smart speaker, according to the Smart Audio Report.
  • People are also replacing the time spent with other devices to use smart speakers.
An attendee operates the new Amazon Echo device.
Daniel Berman | Bloomberg | Getty Images
An attendee operates the new Amazon Echo device.

One in six adults in the United States own voice-activated smart speakers, according to research.

The Smart Audio Report, which is based on data from NPR and Edison Research, said Monday that around 39 million U.S. adults own a smart speaker, and that the adoption rate of such speakers over the last three years is now outpacing that of smartphones and tablets.

According to the study, which surveyed 1,816 Americans aged 18 and above, 11 percent own an Amazon Alexa device while 4 percent have a Google Home device.

People are also replacing the time spent with other devices to use smart speakers. The report showed that just over a third of Americans are ditching their smartphones to spend time with the speakers, while 30 percent are using the devices instead of watching television.

Credit: The Smart Audio Report, Fall-Winter 2017

Meanwhile, two thirds of U.S. voice-activated speaker owners said they are using them to entertain friends and family, with 60 percent using the devices to play music for guests, 30 percent asking it answer a general question and 28 percent asking it for weather updates.

Additionally, 31 percent of smart speaker owners are asking their virtual assistants to control other devices in the home, with 61 percent controlling devices in the living room and 38 percent controlling devices in the kitchen.