Best Smart Speaker

Speakers have come along way and in a relatively short amount of time. But now we have smart speakers, which have taken the world by storm. But which is the best smart speaker? Find out everything you need to know and more!

Best Smart Speaker

Best Smart Speaker

Sonos Move

It’s portable and can play music for upto 10-hours; it’s what we’ve dreamed of for years!

Sonos Move 2
amazon.com Amazon.com $397.00
7 new from $397.00
2 used from $351.12
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Last Amazon price update was: November 30, 2020 12:07 am

Runner-Up

Bose Home 500

Not only do you get full 360° sound, but your also get a digital display to let you know what’s playing.

Bose Home 500

No Voice Assistant

Sonos One SL

If you don’t like being listened to then this is a great speaker for you, it has no microphones.

Sonos One SL

The Buyers Guide To The Best Smart Speaker

The key to finding the perfect smart speaker is knowing precisely what you require of it; this means looking through all the features they have to offer. By doing this, you can work out which is the best smart speaker for you:

Price

Before you do anything, you need to have a budget set; the best smart speakers can rise in price very quickly. By setting a budget, you can ensure you won't break the bank.

Portable

For some people, it can make or break the smart speaker. If you like to listen to music on the go, then this is something that you really have to be looking out for.

Display

This is more down to personal preference, but if you like listening to random mixes, it's nice to know what songs you're listening to.

Voice Control

There's nothing better than being able to pick a song without using your hands if you feel the same look for a speaker that supports Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri. This enables you to create voice commands.

Connection

This is an essential factor; the wrong connection, it can ruin your experience. Think about your preferred method, for example, do you like Aux, Bluetooth, or WiFi?

Battery Life

It only applies for portable smart speakers, so if you're going for a wired option, you can skip this section. Some portable smart speakers have a dreadful battery life.

Sound Quality

This is the most important factor by far; the problem is, it's pretty hard to judge the audio quality from an article or a video so go to a store.

App

The key to any good smart speaker is the App, it helps you to control and configure your speaker remotely. The problem is some apps can more hassle than they are worth, try to find a nicely laid out app.

The Best Smart Speakers

Now you know what you’re looking for; its time to check out some of the best smart speakers the market has to offer. Below you’ll find a great selection of speakers; I guarantee you’ll find your next speaker below:

#1 – Sonos Move

BEST SMART SPEAKER

Sonos Move review picture
amazon.com Amazon.com $397.00
7 new from $397.00
2 used from $351.12
Buy Now
Last Amazon price update was: November 30, 2020 12:07 am

It’s one of the most eagerly awaited smart speakers on the market; it’s Sonos’s first portable speaker. 

The battery-powered speaker offers fantastic audio quality that can be carried anywhere. 

It comes with Amazon built-in to the speaker and can work with a WiFi connection.

It’s also compatible with a Bluetooth connection and Apple AirPlay 2, giving you more options than any previous Sonos speaker. 

The whole thing was straightforward to set up; it only takes a couple of minutes to get everything up and running. 

The smart speaker can play music continuously for up to 10 hours before it needs to be recharged. 

To charge the speaker, you can use the base provided or the USB cable. If you get caught out in the rain with your smart speaker, there’s no need to worry the speaker is water-resistant with an IP56 rating.

Key Features

  • Battery Lasts 10-hours
  • AirPlay 2 compatible
  • Dimensions: 9.4" x 6.2" x 5"
  • Bluetooth and WiFi
  • Built-in Alexa and Google Assistant
  • IP56 weather rating

What Other People Say

It had everything they need and so much more. The smart speaker was portable, which something all Sonos fans had been waiting a very long time for. They also loved that the smart speaker was water-resistant; it meant they didn’t have to worry when they got stuck out in bad weather.

Another customer was a “veteran” when it came to being a Sonos owner. The Move added everything they needed; water-resistants and portability. It had an awe-inspiring audio quality and could support both WiFi and Bluetooth playback.

Final Verdict

The Sonos Move really packs a punch, and it looks fantastic. As always, the audio quality is excellent and provided rich, and multi-layered sound. And to make things better, the speaker could continuously play music for 10-hours, just not on full volume.

When the battery starts to run low, you can charge it with the ring base. It was easy to add the smart speaker to your existing units, which is great if you’re going for a multi-room effect. Overall it’s a great speaker; the price might put you off a little, but don’t let it; this a truly exceptional smart speaker.

What We Liked

  • Easy to connect
  • Built-in voice assistants
  • Portable

What We Didn’t Like

  • Very heavy

#2 – Bose Home 500

BEST BUDGET OPTION

Bose Home Speaker 500

The Bose Home 500 is available in two colors, Black or Silver; this gives you a couple of options if matching it to the decor is your thing. 

It also comes with built-in voice assistants, which provides you with two more options; Alexa or Google Assistant.

The best part of the voice assistant is the excellent voice pickup; this is down to the array of eight noise rejecting microphone. 

The speaker allows you to connect to your your smartphone in a few ways, which includes Bluetooth, WiFi, AirPlay, and an Aux cable.

If you already own a Bose speaker, then this might be an excellent option for you; it can be paired with other Bose speakers for a multi-room experience. 

You can control the smart speaker in three ways: voice control, touch buttons, and the free to download music app.

Key Features

  • Built-in Alexa
  • Two-color options
  • Three ways of control
  • Color LCD screen
  • Dimensions: 8" x 6.7" x 4.3"
  • Connections: Bluetooth, WiFi, AirPlay, and Aux

What Other People Say

One customer couldn’t wait to purchase the Bose 500 unit; they brought it on the day it released. They were very impressed with the sound quality and how easy it was to set up. They’ve had a couple of issues with Alexa, but overall they would highly recommend the smart speaker.

Another person mentioned this smart speaker had the best audio quality out of all their smart speakers, but it was a little bit pricey. On the other hand, the LCD display definitely made up for the steeper price. They also mentioned how easy it was to set everything up.

Final Verdict

This a significant improvement of the bose 300 series; it was easy to use and setup. And what made it even better was the fantastic sound quality; you could pump up the volume without distorting the sound. It was also lovely to have an option over the voice assistant.

Another welcome addition was the LCD color screen; it allowed you to see what was playing and what was coming up next. And finally, being the ability to connect to different music providers such as Spotify and Apple Music is a definite bonus.

What We Liked

  • Very easy to control
  • Voice Assistant worked well
  • Fantastic quality

What We Didn’t Like

  • No backlit controls
  • Poor App

#3 – Sonos One SL Multipack

BEST INTEGRATION

Sonos One SL Pair

This Sonos One SL kit comes in a pack of two, three, or four speakers. Each smart speaker provides a brilliant room-filling sound that anyone can enjoy. 

The speakers can be controlled from anywhere using the Sonos App, Apple AirPlay 2, or you can control it locally using the touch buttons at the top.

This enables you to have quick and easy access to music streaming services like Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, and much more.

The compact design of the Sonos One SL smart speakers allows you to place them anywhere throughout the house without them taking up too much room. 

The Sonos One SL smart speakers also come with humidity resistance, which means you can put them in the bathroom without the fear of them breaking.

If you already own some Sonos speakers, this is a great option; you can pair them to provide you with stunning multi-room sound.

Or you have the opportunity to build your own system; this could be to make a home surround sound set up for films. Or just a badass music system.

Key Features

  • Humidity resistant
  • WiFi
  • Works with AirPlay 2
  • Dimensions: 6.4" 4.7" x 4.7"
  • Touch controls
  • Multi-room speakers

What Other People Say

This was their first introduction to Sonos; they were so impressed with the smart speakers they ended up buying two more speakers on the Black Friday sale. They really loved the quality of the sound and how responsive the bass was. Their wife was a little resistant to buy the smart speaker but has since come around.

Another customer knew he was on to a winner as soon as he heard the connection chime. They loved how rich and multi-layered the sound was. When some people were complaining about the lack of Alexa, this customer found it a blessing; at least they knew no one was listening to their conversation.

Final Verdict

One of the best things about these smart speakers is how easy they are to set up. It was also quite nice not having to worry about Alexa for once. The audio quality is absolutely amazing, and the speaker is compatible with lots of music Apps, so you never feel lost.

The small size of the smart speaker made it easy to put anywhere you wanted; you never had to worry about the speaker being too big. Considering the speaker is so small, you’d expect the sound to distort under high volume, but it didn’t, and that’s what makes this speaker worth every penny.

What We Liked

  • Easy to connect
  • No Alexa (Could easily be a con too)
  • High audio quality
  • Great design

What We Didn’t Like

  • Doesn't work with iTunes
  • No voice assistant

#4 – Bose Home 300

It’s the older and less expensive brother of the Bose Home 500 speaker. 

The speaker is available in Black or White and comes with Alexa built-in to the speaker; if Alexa isn’t for you, don’t worry; you can also use Google Assistant. 

You can control the speaker in a few ways, including preset controls, voice commands, or the mobile App.

You also have a few ways of connecting your music to the speaker, which includes Bluetooth, WiFi, or Aux cable. 

By connecting your music player to the speaker, you can achieve a room rocking bass with a 360° sound. 

The speaker also features excellent voice pickup from all six of the noise rejecting microphones

The speaker provides mono sound, but this can be turned into stereo when you add multiple bose speakers into the mix. 

You can do this by downloading the Bose Simplesync technology; this allows you to pair the family speakers for synchronized music playback.

Key Features

  • Easy to setup
  • Connections: Bluetooth, WiFi, AirPlay 2, Aux
  • Dimensions: 6.3" x 5.5" x 4"
  • 360° sound
  • Alexa/Google Assistant built-in
  • Preset controls

What Other People Say

The audio quality felt better than any Amazon speaker, but for the price difference, it wasn’t that much better. They also found th setup pretty difficult due to the number of downloads they had to take care of. To help speed this process up, you can connect it to your computer via the micro USB at the bottom of the speaker.

One customer had to get smaller speakers due to moving into a smaller house. After receiving the speaker they were a little worried about the small speaker sounding a little tinny. They’re happy to report this is not the case at all; the speakers sounded brilliant.

Final Verdict

The speaker, in general, is excellent. It provides rich room-filling sounds, which is surprising due to the small size. For me, the setup was very straightforward, but the downloads did take a while. For anyone struggling with the installation, I suggest you download the App first and follow the instructions.

Another tip is to connect the speaker to your computer using the micro USB; it seemed to speed up the process for some users. Overall this speaker has a great design. Considering the speaker is so small, it’s very powerful in audio quality.

What We Liked

  • Compact design
  • Great voice command capabilities
  • Easy to use

What We Didn’t Like

  • People struggle with the setup

#5 – Marshall Acton II

Marshall Acton II
ebay.com Ebay.com $165.00
out of stock
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amazon.com Amazon.com
out of stock
Buy Now
Last Amazon price update was: November 30, 2020 12:07 am

This is the newer and much-improved version of their original Acton smart speaker. 

It comes with Amazon’s Alexa built-in to the system so you can take advantage of the voice commands. 

This allows you to take control of the smart speaker without lifting a finger.

With the voice assistant built-in, you can do more than just play your music; you can also check the news, weather reports, and much more. 

You can connect to the speaker by using a WiFi, Bluetooth, RCA, or 3.5mm Aux connection; the choice is up to you.

The smart speaker will deliver ear busting sound with amazing quality; it’s well balanced and extremely powerful. 

If the audio quality doesn’t match your needs, you can give it a fine-tune. This can be achieved by using the knobs at the top of the speaker.

Key Features

  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Mains powered
  • 10.24" x 6.30" x 5.91"
  • Built-in Alexa
  • Physical sound tuning buttons
  • Far-field voice recognition

What Other People Say

The smart speaker had a beautiful design with an amazing sound quality anyone can enjoy. They placed theirs on the kitchen counter; it looked that part and was small enough not to cause an issue. They did mention they had a little trouble setting it up to Alexa; it wouldn’t sign into their account.

Another customer couldn’t help but mention how crisp the audio quality was, and the base that rivaled larger smart speakers. They found Alexa pretty easy to set up, but they had to download both the Alexa and Marshall App. They also loved being able to turn the microphone off when they didn’t want to be listened to.

Final Verdict

It’s a beautiful looking smart speaker, but I wouldn’t expect anything less from Marshall. Considering the smart speaker was so small, I was thrilled with how powerful it was. It was also great to see Alexa included in this edition, and it was even better being able to turn off the microphone so you knew no one was listening.

Another notable feature was being able to manually tune the smart speaker using the knobs at the top. If you’re struggling, you can use the app support to get you through it. If I were to pick one downside, it would be the performance of the bass; I felt it cóuld have been a little better.

What We Liked

  • Great sound
  • Vintage style
  • Alexa built-in

What We Didn’t Like

  • Poor bass

But This Is The Best Smart Speaker

I have to pick the Sonos Move, don’t get me wrong all the smart speakers performed excellently, but the Move blew them out the park. 

The speaker has excellent audio quality, and to make it better, the smart speaker is portable, so you’re not confined to one room anymore.

It was also great to see Alexa and Google assistant working with the device. It gave you access to voice commands and helped you take control of your home devices. 

Sonos Move 2

Overall this is the best smart speaker on the market, but it comes at a hefty price.

If you have any questions about the best smart speakers or you think I’ve missed something out, feel free to comment below, and I’ll get back to you.

And if you didn’t find what you’re looking for in this article, why not check out my round-up of the best WiFi speakers? You’ll find Alexa speakers like the Echo Plus, and the Google speaker, Google Home.

$397.00
in stock
7 new from $397.00
2 used from $351.12
as of November 30, 2020 12:07 am
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Frequently Asked Questions

Choosing the best smart speaker is a lot easier than people think, it’s just a case of working out what you want from it. For example, do you want a voice assistant or not? 

But speakers with Alexa and Google Assistant isn’t the only thing you need to be thinking about, here are four things I’d to consider:

Size – The size is essential for a few reasons, one you want it to be able to fit in your location of choice. The other reason size is so important, is because it has some part to play on how loud the speaker will be. For example, smaller speakers tend to be a lot quieter than the best smart speakers.

Price – Again, this is important for a couple of reasons, to start with you need to make sure it fits into your budget, there’s no need to ruin your bank balance. The other reason is it can play a part in the audio quality of the speaker.

I mean, think about, a cheaper speaker isn’t going to be made with quality parts; in turn, this makes the cheaper speakers have lower sound quality.

Sound Quality – If you’re going to be spending the money on a smart speaker, you want to make sure you get the best possible quality. And to do this, there are a few things you need to check out. This includes the size of the speaker and the number of speakers inside as well as the woofer.

The problem is, this doesn’t always give you the best idea, so for this, you’re the best option is to read professional reviews or go into a shop and test it out.

Connections and Compatibility – You need to make sure you can connect to it in a way that suits you. For example, do you need to connect via WiFi or Bluetooth? Or do you prefer a wired connection? And lastly, will it work in conjunction with your other speakers?

Then you have bonus features to consider, this isn’t a precisely necessary feature, but they definitely make it more appealing. This could include multi-user control or even a multi-room setup. 

And finally, you need to think about which AI you prefer, is it Siri, Cortana, Alexa, or Google Assistant?

Smart speakers have become all the rage since their release, but what exactly do they do? Well, what can’t they do? The best smart speakers allow you to stream music, order a takeaway, show the date and time, the weather forecast.

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