When comparing Cree Connected vs Ion Audio Sound Shine, the Slant community recommends Ion Audio Sound Shine for most people. In the question“What are the best smart bulbs?” Ion Audio Sound Shine is ranked 3rd while Cree Connected is ranked 13th. The most important reason people chose Ion Audio Sound Shine is:
Ion is traditionally an audio company, so it isn't really surprising that they managed to create a product that offers good audio quality. These won't provide the same boom as dedicated speakers, but they'll do the job for most tasks. It should also be noted that these don't need a wall plug - all the power they require can be taken from any regular light socket.
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At just $15, this is one of the most inexpensive smart bulbs available. It's great not only as a first step into smart bulbs, but also as an inexpensive addition into a Philips Hue or other compatible bulb system.
Pro Many options for automation
Robots is an easy to use automation tool that lets you take control and create your own recipes for your bulbs to follow (flash blue when you receive a text, flash red when the door opens, etc). Shortcuts are also supported - you can setup a cluster of lights to all enter a pre-determined mode with the touch of a single button. Also supported is scheduled lighting - you can have the lights dim near bedtime, and start to illuminate in the morning to help ease the sleep process.
Pro Compatible with many ecosystems
At launch it was only compatible with Wink, but since then has added Staples Connect, SmartThings, and Philips Hue Bridge support. This allows for a wide range of hardware (at varying prices), as well as your choice of ecosystem.
Pro Rich, stereo audio
Ion is traditionally an audio company, so it isn't really surprising that they managed to create a product that offers good audio quality. These won't provide the same boom as dedicated speakers, but they'll do the job for most tasks.
It should also be noted that these don't need a wall plug - all the power they require can be taken from any regular light socket.
Pro Easy to use app
The app is very basic - you can control the brightness for the bulbs or turn them on and off.
Pro Simple setup
There's no hub required, and the bulbs pair easily directly to your phone. The process isn't any harder than pairing a bluetooth speaker.
Con Below average color rendering
The colors that the Cree connected provides are just below average for smart bulbs. At 80% of the spectrum, they fall behind the GE Link (90%), Belkin WeMo (88%), and Osram (81%) but a hair ahead of the Philips Hue (79%).
Con Hub required
You will need a hub, but at least you can pick your choice of hardware from cheap solutions ($30) that just control the lights to $50+ systems that can be the brains for your whole connected house.
Con Poor lightswitch dimming
As with all smart bulbs with in-app dimming, dimming from a lightswitch provides less than optimal results. The two dimming systems both try to take control, which results in flickering and some buzzing.
Con Limited to 2 speakers
While you can have virtually endless numbers of Ion Shines hooked up at once, only 2 can play audio at once. It would be really handy if you could connect more up, as their sound would compound making it seem louder and richer.
Con No automation
Con White light only
While the lights are dimmable from your smartphone, most smart bulbs offer a RGB LED which lets you illuminate your room/house with different colors and shades of white. These lights only have 1 shade of white, and can be dimmed.