Top 3 Smart Home Speakers

Best All Around Smart Speaker

Apple HomePod

Rating:

5

Cost:

Why we picked it:

  • Compact speaker that includes six microphones, an internal bass-EQ microphone and a top of the line woofer for uniform sound and bass
  • Includes noise cancellation to speak to Siri with ease – even in a noisy room
  • Automatically analyzes the room during set-up to analyze the walls and play rich, wide-ranged sound

Best Voice-Activated Smart Speaker

Amazon Echo (2nd Generation)

Rating:

4.5

Cost:

$99.99

Why we picked it:

  • Includes hands-free calling without using your cellphone
  • Serves as a smart hub to connect to other smart home devices with ease
  • Use the speaker as a home intercom to chat with family in other rooms using built-in microphones

Best Sounding Smart Speaker

Google Home Max

Rating:

5

Cost:

Why we picked it:

  • Compatible with both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to connect the speaker the way you choose
  • Wireless connectivity to other speakers for a true home sound system
  • Includes two woofers and customized tweeters to give a rich, balanced sound range

Factors to consider when buying a smart speaker

Sound quality

Sound quality is key. It determines how well voice assistants hear and respond to your commands, and how well music plays throughout your home. For the best smart speaker sound quality, look for one that has multiple tweeters and woofers to handle the range of high to low frequency. Tweeters support high frequency, while woofers support the base. But, it all comes down to the sound you prefer. If you’re into the music’s bass, you’ll want to look into speakers with multiple woofers like the Google Home Max with two 4.5-inch woofers. Or for a sweet spot, consider the Sonos One with one mid-woofer and one tweeter to catch high to low frequencies evenly for a balanced sound.

Connectivity

Smart speakers are designed to be connected for a smart home sound system. When buying a smart speaker, check for compatibility to other smart speakers and devices. Over time, you’ll be able to connect other speakers throughout rooms in the house and power them all using voice assistants. The Amazon Echo is the best-valued smart speaker because it gives the ability to add more Echo smart speakers and smart technology.

Usability

It’s important to know what you’ll be using your smart speaker for most. Will you host parties where the sound is the star of the evening? Or will you use the smart speaker to conveniently take phone calls while cooking? Depending on your daily use, some features will matter more than others. For example, if you’re using your smart speaker for voice commands and to play tunes every once in a while, the Amazon Echo may be a more affordable option that’s easily expandable to create a home sound system later.


The best smart home speaker features to look for

Smart speakers aim to provide convenience and control while having fun with smart technology. There are a few smart speaker features to consider for maximum ease and efficiency.


Top 10 Smart Speakers

Apple HomePod

Best All Around Smart Speaker

1. Apple HomePod

Rating:

5

Cost:

Description:

The Apple HomePod smart speaker allows Siri voice commands through the speaker. You’ll even have the power to tell Siri which music you love to better generate song suggestions hands-free. The smart home speaker includes AirPlay to listen to books, podcasts or songs through the speaker with ease.

Key Features

  • Pair multiple Apple HomePods for a home sound system that communicates using Apple’s streaming protocol AirPlay
  • Control the music, volume, and more using Siri voice commands
  • Make crystal clear phone calls using the smart speaker
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Amazon Echo (2nd Generation)

Best Voice-Activated Smart Speaker

2. Amazon Echo (2nd Generation)

Rating:

4.5

Cost:

$99.99

Description:

The Amazon Echo includes voice recognition to play music and make phone calls on your command. Amazon Alexa gives the power to play songs on your favorite streaming services throughout your home or select rooms. This smart home speaker connects to other Echos and Echo Dots.

Key Features

  • Uses Amazon Alexa to voice control your music and over 50,000 voice commands to check the weather, play music or make calls
  • Includes seven microphones and a 2.5-inch woofer for 360-degree sound throughout the room
  • Connects to other smart home technology to control your home using the smart speaker’s voice commands
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Google Home Max

Best Sounding Smart Speaker

3. Google Home Max

Rating:

5

Cost:

Description:

The Google Home Max has the ability to control your other smart home devices, respond to voice commands and streaming services. This smart home speaker also connects to Chromecast Audio to pair other speakers for balanced sound throughout your home.

Key Features

  • Includes a 4.5-inch woofer for crystal clear sound with well-balanced bass
  • Uses Smart Sound to automatically adjust the sound to match the room for a clear, equal sound
  • Ability to play music the way you want with multiple connection options – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or an auxiliary cable
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Sonos One

4. Sonos One

Rating:

4

Cost:

Description:

This compact, clear sounding speaker includes two Class-D amplifiers and a mid-woofer for stereo sound. The Sonos One can be controlled using a number of streaming service mobile apps, the Sonos app or Apple AirPlay for your convenience. It also includes Amazon Alexa for hands-free voice commands from the small, but mighty, smart speaker.

Key Features

  • Built-in Amazon Alexa for an all-in-one smart home speaker with a voice assistant
  • Wirelessly connects to other Sonos speakers throughout the home for a true home sound system that can be controlled using the Sonos mobile app
  • Moisture-resistant designed smart home speaker that can produce clear sound even outdoors in humid areas
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Amazon Echo Dot

5. Amazon Echo Dot

Rating:

4.5

Cost:

$49.99

Description:

This smart home speaker is the best value for smart tech features. Connect two Echo Dot speakers together for true, surround stereo sound throughout the home. This small, but mighty speaker allows free calling, music streaming and voice commands.

Key Features

  • Simply plug the Echo Dot into a power outlet, connect it to Wi-Fi and download the app for quick and easy installation
  • Use Amazon Alexa voice commands to control other smart home devices through the smart home speaker
  • Connects with the 3rd generation Echo Dot for a balanced home sound system throughout the house
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Sony XB10 Portable Wireless Speaker

6. Sony XB10 Portable Wireless Speaker

Rating:

4.5

Cost:

Description:

Sony’s smart speaker is designed to be perfect for the home or on the go with a 16-hour battery, Bluetooth and waterproof design. The speaker has a frequency range from 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz to hear music crystal clear.

Key Features

  • Water-resistant to play music wherever, whenever you choose
  • 16-hour battery life to wirelessly enjoy your music longer
  • Includes EXTRA BASS, a radiator designed to enhance your music’s bass
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RIVA Concert Smart Speaker

7. RIVA Concert Smart Speaker

Rating:

4

Cost:

$199.00

Description:

RIVA’s Concert smart home speaker uses Amazon Alexa for voice commands and hands-free control. This smart speaker automatically creates a home intercom system using the Drop-In functionality to use two-way audio throughout the home with ease.

Key Features

  • Includes a 15-hour backup battery to enjoy music anywhere at home
  • Ability to play music using a network connection, Bluetooth, Spotify Connect, and Apple AirPlay
  • Use the RIVA Voice mobile app’s ‘Push-To-Talk’ feature to control the song and adjust the sound through your smartphone
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JBL Link Wireless Smart Speaker

8. JBL Link Wireless Smart Speaker

Rating:

4

Cost:

$236.29

Description:

JBL’s smart home speaker is designed to provide clear video and sound using built-in microphones and video display. This speaker automatically connects to Google Assistant, Chromecast, and other music streaming services for an easy-to-use, multipurpose speaker with crystal clear sound.

Key Features

  • Designed with 8-inch touchscreen, perfect for video calling
  • Built-in Google Assistant to use voice commands for hands-free smart speaker and home control
  • Includes JBL PrivacySwitch™ to disable the speaker’s camera and microphone
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Harman Kardon Voice-Activated Speaker

9. Harman Kardon Voice-Activated Speaker

Rating:

4.5

Cost:

Description:

The Invoke smart speaker includes Microsoft’s virtual assistant to control your music and home hands-free. Invoke pairs with Spotify, iHeartRadio and TuneIn streaming devices to play your favorite tunes. The smart speaker includes three woofers and tweeters to play every range of frequency your favorite tunes have.

Key Features

  • Includes Microsoft’s voice assistant, Cortana to control the speaker using voice commands
  • Uses for echo cancellation and noise reduction for clear sound in noisy rooms
  • Uses seven microphones for the speaker to hear your voice commands crystal clear
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Ultimate Ears Speaker

10. Ultimate Ears Speaker

Rating:

3.5

Cost:

$169.99

Description:

The MEGABLAST speaker is known as the Ultimate Ears’ loudest and most powerful smart speaker available. Your music can play on Wi-Fi within 330 feet of the speaker, and 150 feet for Bluetooth connectivity. You’ll be able to hear your tunes, Amazon Alexa and more with 360-degree balanced sound and bass.

Key Features

  • Waterproof speaker with 16-hour battery life to play music anywhere outdoors
  • Built-in Amazon Alexa for hands-free voice control of music, news and more
  • 360-degree sound to hear music and news from your favorite streaming services with ease
Learn More

Smart speaker FAQs

What is a smart speaker?

A smart speaker is an all-in-one speaker powered by smart technology and a network connection. Smart speakers have the ability to follow voice commands, stream music and control other smart home devices using an app or built-in voice assistant for convenient control.

How does a smart speaker work?

In short, smart home speakers connect to Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or other wireless connections to work. After connecting to the protocol, you’ll need to download the smart speaker’s mobile app to your smartphone for easy control. Once you’ve completed set-up, the smart speaker will play music and respond to your voice commands using the wireless connection. As you buy more smart speakers, your sound system will work the same way.

How much should I pay for a smart speaker?

Some smart home speakers can be quite pricey – some upwards of $500.00. Most music lovers get  a great sounding smart speaker, for around $100-$150.00. These normally include a voice assistant and other smart features to offer more than convenience than simply great sound and bass. If you’re unsure where to start, consider a more affordable smart speaker that includes upgrade features and the ability to connect with other speakers. Over time, you’ll be able to buy and connect more speakers to create a smart sound system the way you choose.


The benefits of smart speakers

Convenience

Smart speakers allow you to enjoy the convenience and leisure of high-quality sound with a voice assistant to conveniently play music or call friends through the speaker hands-free. They also allow you to easily control your home and music within range using a mobile app.

One speaker, multiple streaming services

With smart speakers, there’s no need to open multiple streaming apps to play your favorite music or podcast. Popular streaming services are compatible with smart speakers to conveniently play your podcast regardless or favorite tune through one speaker.

The kickstart to a smart home

Smart home speakers are the perfect way to jumpstart your smart home without a big investment. With a speaker and voice assistant, you’ll be able to enjoy the luxuries of smart technology at an affordable price before making the decision to buy more smart home products.

Shopping for the best smart speaker is a fun, easy way to dive into today’s technology. Start by browsing Amazon’s best smart speakers for a range of sound and features. Check out our experts’ top picks for music lovers and smart tech geeks alike, too.