Smart speakers have gained popularity in the last few years. But when it comes to choosing the bestThe main differences for you will fall in price, size and sound quality. Most smart speakers can be easily paired with other speakers with better audio equipment, so it’s usually best to choose a smaller speaker with the same smartphones at a lower price.
Almost all of your smart device options include multi-room audio, and you can turn on lights, play music, ask questions, set reminders, and more with a simple voice command. allows. If this sounds appealing to you, it’s time to surrender to the growing hype of this evolving device category and get a smart speaker.
Whether you’re an Amazon assistant, an Apple obsessive, or a Google standout, it’s easy to choose a dynamic if you’re close to a particular brand.paved the way for the original Echo and other intelligent speakers . Here it is .
For those who are platform-agnostic, the choice may seem intimidating at first. Fortunately, we are testing voice control devices in the smart speaker market after they first take the stage. We’ve covered all the important features of a smart device, from the inclusion of a smart display to the ease of installation of multiple speakers. Here are our thoughts.
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It is difficult to decide which smart speaker is in the center of your smart home and which assistant you want to accompany. Both Alexa and Google Assistant work with many devices. Both help you organize and manage them easily with good sound performance. While Google Assistant is a little smarter, Alexa works with more smart home devices and makes installation easier with voice commands.
Finally, thanks to Alexa and the $ 100 fourth-generation Amazon Echo, we will give Amazon the advantage of a smart home in the best smart speaker category.
The latest Echo combines conventional Alexa smart devices with excellent-sounding speakers, and has a smart home Zigbee hub to be able to sync your little sensors with it instead of getting more gear. The device is also useful when you’re away, as Alexa can send a warning if your smart speaker detects a broken glass or smoke alarm.
Read our Amazon Echo (4th generation) review.
James Martin / CNET
Google has done a commendable job of reaching Amazon in a smart dynamic race. At this point, choosing between the two companies’ lowest-priced smart speaker devices results in hair-splitting.
Google Assistant now has almost the same capabilities as Alexa, and if Google Assistant is your choice, the $ 50 Google Nest Mini is a solid alternative to the Amazon Echo Dot. Plus, Google Assistant is a slightly smarter voice assistant than Alexa. If you can’t remember the exact name of your smart home device, it responds more quickly to voice commands, and Google’s grouped commands, called routines, work with more types of smart devices than Amazon’s similar apps.
Google Assistant can recognize multiple voices, so if each of you asks about your calendars, it will give you and your spouse different answers, although Alexa can do so now. If Alexa is the voice assistant of your choice, you should go with the latest Echo Dot. It is affordable and offers all the Alexa skills you need and smart home integrations.
Overall, Google still has an advantage, and the Google Nest Mini is a great cheap way to use these smart tools.
Read our Google Nest Mini review.
Apple’s small, smart speaker that activates Siri, Google’s $ 100 price tag like Nest Audio and Amazon Echo, and others that come in small packages like Nest Mini and Echo Dot close a strange gap between it and its competitors.
Features like intercom, audio transmission and stereo pairing make this small smart speaker quite practical. It looks good and sounds very nice. When it comes to smart home, Siri and the HomePod Mini are limited to devices that work with Apple’s smart home platform HomeKit.
If you love Apple and Siri is the smart assistant you choose, and HomeKit is the smart home service you prefer, you’ll love Apple’s latest smart speaker. For those who already use the iPhone, Apple TV or the original HomePod Mini, it makes sense to add it to this smart dynamic collection.
Read our Apple HomePod Mini review.
Sarah Tew / CNET
The $ 220 Sonos One allows you to combine two units to play stereo sound or multi-room sound, but even one speaker sounds awesome when playing different music genres, and is significantly cheaper than other smart speakers with high-quality sound quality, such as Google Home. Max.
Even better, Sonos One has both Alexa and Google Assistant installed – choose which one you want to use for your voice commands during installation. In addition, Sonos has Apple’s AirPlay 2, which you can control with any device that activates Siri, including the iPhone.
Add it, and it’s a great-sounding, affordable smart speaker that can adapt to smart center homes centered around Sonos One, Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri. This is a difficult pitch to beat.
Read our Sonos One review.
Other smart dynamic options
These smart speakers are our favorites, but if you’re looking for something special in sound performance, you still have many other options. Read our distributionif you want to learn the pros and cons of each and decide on a smart home device on the platform.
Note that neither the original Amazon Echo noras seen above, because with smaller (Dot and Mini) versions you can get the same features at a lower price. If you want a smart speaker that distinguishes between affordable price and high quality sound, both are still a solid choice.
If you always like the idea of helping the listener, but want something more visual, check us out. Smart displays basically combine a smart dynamic touch screen with which you can watch videos on YouTube, make video calls, browse photos and manage your work. gadgets with one touch. Both Amazon and Google have several options in this rapidly evolving smart display category of smart home technology.
Identify the platform or features you want and be able to narrow down your options quickly and find the best smart speaker for yourself and your family.
Frequently asked questions about the best intelligent speaker
Are there stereo smart speakers?
Almost any Amazon Echo smart speaker can be paired stereo with another Echo speaker. The list is long enough, so take a look at Amazon’s stereo device compatibility page. You can find a list of which speakers can be paired with each other for stereo sound.
All of Google’s smart speakers can be paired in stereo as long as they are the same models. Google’s Nest Audio speaker is the best choice for stereo pairing, and the dual package of these speakers often provides a $ 99 discount for MSRP for one speaker. You can install speakers in your Google Home application and tell Google which speaker is right and which is left. Bass and volume settings can also be adjusted from the Home app.
Apple’s HomePod Mini (the only smart speaker currently produced by Apple) can be paired with another HomePod Mini for left and right channel stereo listening. You can also connect your HomePod Mini to Apple TV for surround sound theater. These little speakers won’t clutter you up, but they’re a nice addition.
While theatrical surround sound is your biggest smart speaker priority for your TV, Sonos, in our opinion, offers the best sound quality. Two Sonos speakers (same model) can be paired in stereo.
If you are interested in connecting your speakers to a larger system, the following smart speakers are equipped with an auxiliary slot:
Who is the smartest voice assistant?
Today, the race is very close between Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa. It’s on Apple’s Siri board, but it’s firmly in third place when it comes to real reliability, knowledge, and understanding of human requirements.
In general, we prefer Google Assistant for its superior rhythm, natural tone, and ability to understand (and answer) questions and follow queries consistently. Based on other advantages such as dynamic style, compatibility with devices and other popular smart home products, it is close enough that you can safely invest in Google Assistant or Alexa.
Alexa is almost good, so no matter which assistant you choose, you can’t go wrong. You will learn its strangeness and how to interact with your assistant to get the best answers and useful information.
To have fun, let’s take a closer look at the “personality” of each assistant here.
Which smart speaker is higher?
While Apple, Amazon and Google are testing smart speakers, we think the Amazon Echo (4th generation) has the most to offer when it comes to large volumes. Nest Audio is also behind with a strong sound.
However, the Sonos One (2nd generation) is our current choice for the best sound quality, especially if you plan to use your speakers as a stereo pair or as a theater system for watching TV.
Read our Amazon Echo (4th generation) and Nest Audio reviews to learn more about the sound quality of these two advanced models.
Which smart speaker is better for free music?
Amazon smart speakers come with the ability to play music from free or paid subscription levels on Pandora, Spotify and other popular music streaming platforms. Additionally, if you have an Amazon Prime account, you can play music from the large Prime Music catalog.
Google’s smart speakers have similar music streaming options, but while Amazon requires a paid Prime subscription to listen without ads through Prime Music, Google includes a free YouTube Music Premium – for $ 10 a month, which offers a wide range without ads. music options.