From Sonos, to Apple, the best smart speakers are one of the hottest trends you can find in the market today, but how to separate the good from the bad? We have done it for you. No matter what your tastes or needs, these are the best smart speakers that exist.
|Brand / Product||Category|
|Sonos one||Our favorite|
|Amazon Echo Dot (third generation)||The best economic horn|
|Google Home Mini||The best speaker with Google Assistant|
|Apple HomePod||The best for Apple fans|
|Sonos Beam||The best speaker for TV|
|JBL Link 20||The best speaker for the bathroom|
Why should you buy it? Sounds great, offers you a voice assistant option, works with all Sonos devices and offers more streaming services than any other smart speaker.
Who is it for? For all.
Why do we choose the Sonos One?
You can buy many smart speakers with Amazon Alexa. There is also a very good selection of those who have Google Assistant. But if you want a horn that allows you to choose between these two options, it is much harder to find. Fortunately, Sonos One does exactly that, which makes it not only one of the smart speakers with the best sound you can buy, but also one of the most flexible. You cannot run Alexa and Google Assistant simultaneously, but switching between them is very easy.
The speaker's far-field microphone set listens effortlessly to voice commands from the other side of the room, even when playing music. If you have doubts about privacy, Sonos states that the silencing of the microphones is done through the hardware, which guarantees that when the microphone indicator light is off, the speaker is definitely not listening.
With AirPlay 2, you can stream any audio from an Apple device directly to the speaker or to any other Sonos speaker in your home.
There are some minor inconveniences: without Bluetooth it means that Android devices must use the Sonos application, and you cannot remove the Sonos One from your home Wi-Fi network and continue using it as a wireless speaker. Unlike the previous Sonos Play: 1, on which the Sonos One is based, there is no mounting hole for the speaker.
But our favorite aspect of the Sonos One is simply the fact that it is a Sonos speaker. Sonos' wireless music system for the entire home remains the one we have tried. It has support for almost all major music transmission services, and everything is controlled from an application on your phone, tablet or PC. The application is not only full of excellent features, such as the compatibility of the Apple Music playlist and the ability to group several speakers, but these features are also remarkably easy to use.
Thanks to Sonos' association with Ikea, there is also a growing ecosystem of great third-party devices that can be used to control the Sonos One and any other Sonos speakers in your home.
Amazon Echo Dot
The best economic horn
Why should you buy it?It's affordable, control your smart home, and can route the sound so you can hear it through other larger or more powerful speakers.
Who is it for? For those who always need Alexa
Why do we choose the Amazon Echo Dot? With the exception of Google Assistant, for a large number of people Alexa is the first intelligent assistant that comes to mind, and Amazon's Echo has followed suit, becoming the company's line of intelligent speakers. In general, the Echo series, which includes Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Spot, Echo Plus and Echo Show (not to mention the auxiliary elements such as the Echo Buttons and Echo Connect), prioritizes intelligent control over audio quality, but the Dot has a unique design that has proven to be a solution to that problem.
With a price of only $ 50 dollars, the new Echo Dot offers all the Alexa-based features that you will get from the full-size version, and adds a welcome touch: an auxiliary output port that allows you to route audio playback through another larger speaker, provided that speaker has an auxiliary input.
Like the Echo, the Dot microphone recognizes your voice individually, so that everyone can quickly get the information they need, and offers full control over all of your Alexa-compatible smart devices. In addition, of course, he can tell you jokes and help with homework.
Google Home Mini
The best speaker with Google Assistant
Why should you buy it? Because it is cheap and surprisingly powerful.
Who is it for?For those who need a Google Assistant voice control center that is powerful and affordable.
Why do we choose Google Home Mini?When Amazon introduced the Echo Dot, Google designed a horn that is basically similar, except that it sounds better. The Home Mini does not have an auxiliary output port to send your songs to a larger speaker, but it is still an excellent option, especially if you are in the Google ecosystem. Compared to the Dot, the Google Mini is a bit more meaningful and has a much louder sound overall.
If you prefer Google Assistant to Alexa, the Home Mini is quite simple, unless you want to pay more money for something with more power and sound quality, such as Google Home. There is an immense number of devices and functions that fit perfectly with the Google Assistant. In addition to serving as a control center for your smart home, it has an individual voice correspondence, and also allows you to make phone calls with just your voice.
The best for the fantastic Apple
Why should you buy it?You are willing to pay for a great sound and you are a fantastic Apple.
Who is it for?Strictly for those with an iPhone and an Apple Music subscription.
Why do we choose the Apple HomePod?We don't want to fool anyone: the HomePod is not a very effective smart speaker. It only works well with iPhones, currently does not offer multiroom audio support, and may even stain your wooden furniture (although some say that Sonos and Echo will too). The HomePod s does one thing very well: play music.
Assuming you are an iPhone user subscribed to Apple Music, HomePod is an excellent option. If you are one of those who moves your speaker to different places, its A8 processing chip constantly scans the environment where the horn is placed to optimize audio quality, and works impressively.
No matter where you put the HomePod, it sounds great, thanks in part to seven tweeters that are surrounding a four-inch controller, each equipped with its own amplifier. The bass is deep, the midrange performance is warm and velvety, and the highs are clearer than we expected when we tested this horn. If you have extra money, you are an Apple user and you prefer Siri as your assistant, this horn is not very intelligent, but it sounds incredible.
The best smart speaker for TV
Why should you buy it? Because you want good sound for your TV with sophisticated voice control, in addition.
Who is it for? For those who have a TV in a small room, such as a bedroom or a kitchen
Why do we choose the Sonos Beam? Even newer televisions tend to have a sound quality that is not good due to their small built-in speakers, which makes sound bars a very attractive option. However, sound bars tend to be large and complicated despite their general simplicity. This is where the Sonos Beam appears: very compact, it can easily fit under smaller TVs on a surface or on a wall using the optional stand. Like all Sonos products, it has excellent sound quality for its size and can become part of an audio system multiroom much bigger. The Sonos application allows you to practically transmit all the music services on the planet and also does an excellent job in managing your private music collection. But the reason we chose it for this summary is because of its chops of smart speakers. With the ability to run Google Assistant or Alexa as your voice assistant, it can serve as a hub for a large number of home automation commands.
What we like most about Beam is that you can understand the commands given to Google Assistant or Alexa and control your TV. These voice commands are so effective that they almost completely eliminate the need for a physical remote control. But don't worry, the Sonos Beam also works very well with traditional infrared remote controls.
JBL Link 20
The best smart speaker for the bathroom
Why should you buy it? Because you want an intelligent speaker that can survive one every accident in the bathtub
Who is it for? For anyone who wants the capabilities of a smart speaker in a portable and waterproof package.
Why do we choose the JBL Link 20? If you want to place a smart speaker in a bathroom, we believe that this should do three things really well. First, you need to survive an involuntary encounter with water. Yes, we know that some smart speakers market themselves as moisture resistant, but that will not help if they fall into a tub full of water (not to mention the risk of electrocution). Second, it needs to be loud, without distortion. After all, you will be bathing, brushing your teeth or cleaning the toilet, all of which can be quite noisy, so overcoming these acoustic impediments is a necessity. Third, you will need a matrix of far-field microphones that is sensitive enough to handle those same obstructions and listen to a shouting voice command. It makes no sense to have a smart speaker that can't understand you when you yell “turn up the volume!” From the shower.
The JBL Link 20 satisfies all these considerations and some other ms. Its IPX7 classification prevents it from occurring when that dive occurs, its volume is impressive because of its small size, and we discovered that it had no problem listening to our commands, even in very noisy environments. With Bluetooth for those times when Wi-Fi connection is not available and a built-in battery, you can use it wherever you want, although voice commands only work through Wi-Fi.
The sound quality is good, although it is not at the level of some of the others on our list. In addition, the JBL Link 20 is only compatible with Google Assistant. But apart from these little buts, we think it's a very good smart horn.
* Article updated by Mara Teresa Lopes on January 2, 2020.