Smart speakers are some of the most amazing devices that you can integrate into your home. Whether you have a smart home system or just a regular one a smart speaker is sure to come in handy. A smart speaker is not just a speaker, it’s a bridge between us and the technology developed AI that companies like good and amazon have integrated onto them. For example when using the Google Home smart speaker you can do everything from asking random questions from its assistant to make it operate the countless smart devices that are linked to it. The best thing about smart speakers is that it is not limited to a single brand, there are many different companies out there competing together meaning the market is always volatile. For example, the Sonos One smart speakers are some of the best sounding smart speaker out there and it is one of the best smart speaker for music. In this article we will be looking at the top models in the industry and the reasons to pick each one over the other.
How to pick the best smart speaker
In this section we will aid you in the quest to pick the best smart speaker for you. Read through our guidelines and use it to pick out what is best for you from our list of the top choices for 2021.
The holy trinity
Size, price and sound quality; This is the holy trinity of speakers and it applies to smart speakers as well. Generally, the quality and price go hand in hand. As a rule of thumb there are three levels of quality when it comes to smart speakers. The lowest tier of speakers range from 50 USD to 70 USD, the middle tier comes in at 70 USD to 150 USD and finally the premium tier of smart speakers starts at around 200USD. It is upto you to decide which tier you want depending on your own requirements.
For example: if you need the smart speaker to give out notifications and alarms then a premium speaker might not be necessary. You are better off with a lower tier smart speaker. But let us say you want it for your home cinema, then it might be better to go with a premium speaker that gives out rich balanced audio.
Size totally depends on how portab;e you want your speaker to be. Lower the size, easier it is to move around. Normally higher powered smart speakers with a lot of features are much bigger in size when compared to the cheaper smart speakers.
How well does the smart speaker integrate with other smart and general hardware in your household. It really won’t be a smart speaker if all it can do is play music off an app. You have to pick a model that works well with other hardware in your ecosystem.
The support AI
A big decisive factor when it comes to smart speakers. Most of our best sounding smart speaker comes with singular AI support; either Alexa or Google. Therefore it is important that you pick something that you can work with. If you have a lot of Alexa supported devices in your household then it is best to go with a smart speaker that supports Alexa instead of Google AI.
Having the proper AI on your smart speaker will allow you to have seamless integration with the other hardware in your household. So choose an AI assistant wisely.
Our tip is to not pick the AI support off the smart speaker. But pick the smart speaker by considering the AI. If you have a lot of Apple products, Google products or Amazon hardware, pick the AI that supports the largest portion of them.
Google Nest Audio
Google Nest Audio Is the newest range of smart speakers by Google. As you know this device comes with Google’s proprietary AI assistant integrated to it. This means that you would have no issues with the smart speaker not recognising your commands or not catching them as you say it. Google AI is really good at learning the user’s voice and adapting to it in order to learn the accent which is being spoken.
The Google home smart speaker is one of the best additions for your smart home. We tested this baby out by asking it to scroll through the depths of youtube; lets face it, youtube is probably going to be your number one streaming platform when it comes to smart speakers. From what we saw, the Google Nest Audio was great and searching and presenting every query and phrase we put out. Ok Google find me videos about Cilantro, and bam; everything from Recipes to the importance of it would be there in front of you.
While this smart speaker is capable of playing every tune from the 70’s to what’s released a day before, it also acts as a great smart hub. It already tunes into some of the most prominent platforms out there such as Nest, Samsung smartthings and Philips.
|Great at catching commands||Does not have zigbee hub|
|Capable of searching youtube with remarkable efficiency||Sounds can get distorted at higher volumes|
|Very subtle design|
|Great for minimalistic lovers|
Overall, the Google Home smart speaker is one of the best smart speakers in the market today. While it is not perfect we believe this unit is the best option for users that want a general smart speaker for home use. If you prefer the Google assistant over Alexa then this might just be your thing. We give this smart speaker a 4 out 5.
4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Bose Home Speaker 500
Are you looking for the best smart speaker for music? Then we have to say you might be really pleased with this one. The Bose Home Speaker 500 is one of the best sounding smart speakers out there. The sleek aluminum smart speaker has the best of both worlds with both Alexa and Google assistant as its integrated Ai.
The best feature about this smart speaker is how good it sounds. The Bose Home Speaker 500 is without doubt the best sounding smart speaker on our list. Infact, it sounds so good that even music professionals compliment its trebles and sound balancing. There is no distortion of audio at higher volumes as well, which means you can blast your favourite songs on max volume with no setbacks.
The smart speaker also has an excellent mic which is something that most smart speakers in the market lack. This mic means that none of your commands will go unheard. Even when you are listening to music, Alex can still pick up your voice commands with surprising accuracy.
|Good sound system||Expensive|
|Great mic and command pick up||Difficult to set up Wifi System|
Four our customary rating we give this smart speaker a 5 out 5. The only real con of the system is its difficulty to set up a WiFi system. The price on the other hand is quite self explanatory; It has a great mic along with superb speakers. There is no way that combination is coming cheap and it makes the Bose Home Speaker 500 one of the best smart speaker for music.
5.0 out of 5.0 stars
Sonos One smart speakers are one of the best smart speakers on the market. The biggest selling point of this speaker is its versatility. The Sonos One smart speaker is truly capable of delivering the best of many worlds. Even though it comes at a premium price tag you will not be disappointed with its features.
The Sonos One smart speakers are loaded with features and new innovative ideas that make your life really easy. From the addition of both Alexa and Google assistants to its Ecosystem. The smart speaker also has its own unique multi-room smarts.
Airplay 2 is also a new feature that comes with the Sonos One smart speakers. Using Airplay 2 Sonos One is capable of creating a multi-room pairing with the Apple Homepod. If you ever feel like you need a more portable version of the Sonos One smart speakers then you can always go with the Sonos Move. The Sonos Move is a bluetooth speaker that was recently featured in our best bluetooth speakers for 2021 article.
|Seamless integration of AI supports|
Overall for its features and performance, we rate this bluetooth speaker 5 out of 5 stars. In terms of all rounders the Sonos Smart speakers really did top our list.
5.0 out of 5.0 stars
Amazon Echo 2020 version
The 2020 version of the Original Amazon Echo is still the go-to choice when it comes to Amazon based products. We found the revamped version of the smart speaker to be a completely new experience rather than it just being an improved product. Design wise the Amazon Echo 2020 looks just as aesthetic. It is probably the most futuristic looking smart speaker on our list. Not only is it great on the outside the Amazon Echo has some great features inside.
The audio system of the Amazon Echo 2020 is vastly improved from its predecessor. The vocals are crispier and the bass is pretty good. There were some imbalances when listening to music at really high volumes. But we didn’t see that as a major con. It is expected of any standalone speaker.
The smart speaker comes with a zigbee smart home hub. If you are not familiar with what the Zigbee smart home hub is; it is a hardware that interconnects all devices on a home automation network. On top of the Zigbee Smart Home hub the smart speaker also has the new AZ1 neural edge processor. This processor is capable of reducing the time it takes for Alexa to respond to your commands. Lightning fast responses with minimal delay. The Amazon Echo 2020 is one of the top choices for buyers this year.
|Decent quality||We felt at certain moments the speaker was not loud enough even at maximum volume|
|Zigbee Smart Hub|
Overall for our customary rating we gave the Amazon Echo 2020 a 4 out 5. The sound quality of the smart speaker is not the best which is expected. It also has a lower maximum volume when compared to some of the models. Of course, one can argue that it is so to prevent the distortion of audio at higher volumes; but this is our two cents.
4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Amazon Echo Studio
Some of you might prefer Alexa over Google Assistant. But then the combination of Alexa and quality audio hardware is quite difficult to come by when it comes to smart speakers. Luckily for you that is where the Amazon Echo Studio comes in. This smart speaker is probably the best sounding smart speaker on the market that is solely built around alexa.
This is one of the most powerful smart speakers you can find on the market. Its power rating stands at 330W. Most users get the Amazon Echo Studio for home cinemas. A neat trick you can do is to get two of these, then sync them together through the Alexa App. This way you can experience the full home cinema experience; trust us when we say that the immersive experience you get is second to none.
The Dolby Atmos immersive sound is truly impressive. In fact, we even recommend you to subscribe to Amazon Music HD.
|Outstanding audio quality||It is quite big in size|
|Powerful speakers||3D audio can get a bit lackluster at certain moments. It is still a great speaker though.|
|Ability to give a full immersive experience|
|Quite easy to set up. You just need the Alexa app to pair everything up.|
For our customer rating we give the Amazon Echo Studio a 5 out 5. If you are looking for the best sounding smart speaker that uses Alexa then you have to look no further. Be Careful when you are moving it about though; it can be deceptively heavy which might cause slippage.
5.0 out of 5.0 stars
Did you make your pick?
This wraps up our list of the best sounding smart speaker for 2021. We tried to go with models to suit a large portion of our reader base. However, we did refrain from adding in really cheap options to our list; the answer for that is quite simple. They do not classify as good enough smart speakers to be called the “ the best “ in the market. Please read through our buying guide at the beginning; this will aid you immensely in picking the best smart speaker for your home. If you liked the read you might also like our latest article on the best Bluetooth speakers for 2021.