Updated on January 18th, 2019
Smart speakers, virtual assistants or smart home speakers, whatever name you decide to call them, they’re pretty cool, unbelievably handy and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Like a genie on your countertop, smart speakers let you speak a command and have your wish come true. You can turn on the lights, play music, set a reminder or ask a question. If that sounds appealing to you, it might be time to give in to the growing hype of this burgeoning category and buy a smart speaker.
There’s a good chance that your first smart home device will be a smart speaker. For one, it works just fine as a way to play music from your smartphone or the cloud. But if you start talking to it, the speaker will respond to your commands. It can do things like look up the weather and sports scores, turn on your coffee maker, read you a book or even change the channel on your TV.
Besides talking to an ever-increasing amount of IoT devices, smart speakers also have within their capabilities to manage your schedule, record your shopping list and even learn more and more about your preferences over time.
The only thing they can’t do, it seems, is help you decide which one is right for you to buy. So, we will help you out with our list of best smart speakers for your home. Pick your own from the list.
This Amazon Echo has a sleek design and better sound quality than its predecessor. The device’s Dolby-tuned pair of audio drivers delivers a more robust bass, while seven built-in microphones ensure that Alexa will hear you better than ever.
The available finishes for the speaker include great-looking fabric and wood choices, which enable it to seamlessly blend into the decor of any room. Amazon even offers a $50 discount if you purchase a pack of three speakers.
Review : Gregory
My mother is 84 years old and she struggles talking on a cell phone, and I struggle to hear her. She kept bumping the cell phone up against her chin, and when I talked to her I hear numerous beeps when we are talking like someone was dialing out.
She is having trouble holding the cell phone up to her head. I talked my mom in to getting an Amazon Echo as a gift from me. My sister helped to set it up since I am in another state.
When you make a call with the Echo, it uses the phone number associated with the cell phone that is on your Amazon account. Read More Here…
Take your listening experience to the next level with the JBL Pulse 3, the portable, waterproof Bluetooth speaker that combines 360° sound with 360° lightshow. Bring your music to life with glowing LEDs wherever you are.
With a built–in rechargeable battery that delivers up to 12 hours of playtime and an IPX7 waterproof housing, Pulse 3 is perfect for worry–free listening by the beach or pool or even in it.
Wirelessly Connect up to 2 smartphones or tablets and take turns playing music with exceptional 360° sound.The built–in rechargeable Li–ion battery provides up to 12 hours of playtime with music and light show.
JBL Pulse 3’s customizable 360° lightshow sets the atmosphere by bringing your favorite songs to life.Amplify your listening experuebce abd build your own party by wirelessly connecting more than 100 JBL Connect+ enabled speakers.
Review : Shane
Works great, sounds amazing, the ability to change the color modes and pair it with other JBL speakers is fantastic and fun.
However, it came out of box with a cluster of the LEDs not working correctly. Notice the white splotch in the blue portion of the picture? It’s even more noticeable in person.
I already ordered a new one and will return this one once it arrives, but I’m sad that extra hoops had to be jumped through. Hopefully this is a rare occurrence and doesn’t happen to anyone else. Read More Here…
A passionate group of music lovers that has been designing and developing speakers for over 15 years. With FABRIQ, we fused great sound with technology to deliver the best value speaker on the market.
Connect multiple FABRIQ speakers for the ultimate sound experience. Wifi connection allows you to listen directly from your favourite music platforms so the streaming never stops. Control them all from the FABRIQ app, available through the AppStore and Google Play.
precision active driver along with 5W of power provide crisp clear sound at any volume. With a number of patterns to choose from, FABRIQ is designed to match your mood, your music, your moment. Dual Wifi and Bluetooth functionality along with a built in battery means it goes where you go.
Review : Amazon Customer
This is an odd little thing. It filled a niche I didn’t know there was. Considering its size it has amazing sound. It has decent battery life. It fits right in to the Amazon control/entertainment environment. It is not voice activated.
You have to push a button. That may be a good thing, just depends. I would warn it is a little slower than the Echo so it doesn’t always react to the button.
Until I figured out not to hold the button down I spent a lot of time yelling “stop I swear I did not say that….” So remember momentary contact or it just ignores you.
If you are curious about the Echo etc. This is a way to dip your toe in it. This thing is still early on so the website is just a shell without any visible support pages. Read More Here…
Stay true to the music with this Hi-Res Audio wireless Bluetooth portable speaker that delivers smart, high fidelity sound and deep, punching bass in any room.
Enjoy one app access to all of your music, high quality, multi-room streaming, plus 12 hours of battery life. Even connect with other speakers for wireless surround sound. Portable speakers have never been like this.
Give the music you love the quality it deserves with High-Resolution Audio support. Like going from standard definition to HD video, High-Resolution Audio tracks are far higher quality than MP3s and even CDs – letting you hear every breath, drumbeat and note.
It’s music just like the artist intended.Enjoy easy, one-touch connectivity and music streaming with NFC. No NFC? No problem. Connect via Bluetooth and you’re ready to go.
The perfect combination of style and portability. Thanks to its compact size, you can pick up and take your sounds exactly where you want them. Party with your friends outdoors or anywhere around the house.
In fact, this speaker looks and sounds great wherever you put it.Want to listen longer without interruption? When fully charged, you can enjoy up to 12 hours of wireless music playtime with the h.ear go.
Review : Amazon Customer
I had high expectations for the srs-hg1 and this little guy didn’t disappoint. It’s touted as the world’s smallest hi-res speaker, and I’ll keep my praise focused on its ability to handle hi-res (in the case of this speaker: a ceiling of 24 bit by 96 kHz) audio files.
I’ve listened to a number of albums recorded at lower quality (the standard 16/44 256k variety) through it, and the speaker still sounds excellent for its size, but the H.ear go really sings when paired with a hi-res capable source. Read More Here…
Echo Dot is a hands-free, voice-controlled device with a small built-in speaker—it can also connect to your speakers or headphones over Bluetooth or through a 3.5 mm audio cable to deliver stereo sound to the speakers you choose. Dot connects to the Alexa Voice Service to play music, make calls, send and receive messages, provide information, news, sports scores, weather, and more—instantly.
Echo Dot can hear you from across the room, even while music is playing. When you want to use Echo Dot, just say the wake word “Alexa” and Dot responds instantly. If you have more than one Echo or Echo Dot, Alexa responds intelligently from the Echo you’re closest to with ESP (Echo Spatial Perception).
Echo Dot provides hands-free voice control for Amazon Music—just ask for your favorite artist or song, or request a specific genre or mood. You can also search for music by lyrics, when a song or album was released, or let Alexa pick the music for you. Set a music alarm to wake up to your favorite song or playlist. Listen to any song with Amazon Music Unlimited.
Use Echo Dot to switch on the lamp before getting out of bed, turn up the thermostat while reading in your favorite chair, or dim the lights from the couch to watch a movie—all without lifting a finger…or even raising your voice. Control multiple devices at scheduled times or with a single voice command, like locking the doors and turning off the lights when you go to bed.
Having worked in the electronics retail industry for years now, I’ve seen scores of Smart devices come and go. Until now, nobody quite got it right. In the Echo Dot, Amazon has created a near perfect blend of hardware and software. I’ve seen plenty of the former, but truly seamless multi platform software has eluded everyone but Amazon.
We’re talking major players like Samsung and Google who have been at it for much longer than Amazon. The main problem is that excellent products like the Samsung Smart Things hub, which do a fantastic job of unifying a slew of different connected devices from different companies (Nest, Honeywell, Phillips, and so on), still lacked the web connectivity and entertainment support I wanted, so I’d still end up needing my tablet or phone. Read More Here…
6. Google Home Mini Smart Speaker
The palm-sized Google Home Mini is the more affordable, less loud variant of the tech giant’s smart speaker. Powered by a single 40-millimeter audio driver, it’ll allow you to seamlessly access the Google Assistant via voice commands or by tapping its fabric-covered surface. It’s available in a trio of finishes — chalk, charcoal, and coral.
Overall, the Google Home Mini is a great option for first-time smart speaker buyers. It’s designed to offer easy Google Assistant access in every room of your home. If you stream music often, consider another model or the larger Google Home Max, as this one is simply too small to deliver a great listening experience.
Review : Dell.com
I bought this for my home and use it every day to control my nest thermostat, play music, and play games too (madlibs!) Google home is great for setting timers, alarms, random facts and trivia too. I can’t wait to connect more smart home devices to her!
The Harman Kardon Allure smart speaker delivers an entertaining 360-degree audio experience, courtesy of a 3.5-inch woofer and a trio of 1.5-inch midrange tweeters. In terms of sheer audio output and bass delivery, the Allure is truly in a league of its own among Alexa-powered speakers.
The Harman Kardon Allure has cool multicolor lighting that you can customize via a smartphone app, and if you prefer a more discreet setup, you can also disable it as well.
Review : TK
Got this speaker because I want a better sounding speaker that also has echo like features. Debated between this one and Sonos and decided to purchase the Harman one due to the Harman quality.
This speaker sounds awesome with pretty deep bass, and it supports Spotify as well which is a big plus as well. This is now my go to speaker at home and I love it. Read More Here…
The Ultimate Ears Blast speaker has cool design, Amazon Alexa support, and Bluetooth connectivity. The sound quality of the Blast is great for its form factor, thanks to a duo of active audio drivers and two passive radiators for thumping bass. In case you need an even more powerful audio experience, consider the larger UE Megablast speaker instead.
The UE Blast can deliver up to 12 hours of Bluetooth audio on a battery charge. The UE Blast is IP67 waterproof, so you can fully submerge it underwater. Best of all, it comes with an industry-leading 2-year warranty. There are four colors to choose from — black, white, blue, and merlot.
Review : Shaun H20
I had been looking to get into the speak-your-command speaker game for a while but was unsure of what I would like to go with but ultimately when the opportunity came to get the UE Blast with Alexa I jumped at the chance.
While I had some experience with issuing commands to my Xbox I knew the experience of using Alexa was much better since I had set them up as gifts for relatives in the past. When I received the UE Blast it was nearly fully charged and had minimal packaging.
It was ready to go out of the box but I did have to download and configure the app which was pretty easy. After linking it to my account on Amazon and establishing a bluetooth and wifi connection I was ready to test it out. Read More Here…
The Harman Kardon Invoke is currently the only smart speaker powered by Microsoft’s virtual assistant Cortana. It can answer questions, set reminders, control smart home appliances, and make hands-free Skype calls from a connected Microsoft account. Available in silver or dark gray, the speaker has an all-metal body.
The Invoke smart speaker is a contender for delivering the best sound quality of all speakers in this roundup. Its audio hardware setup includes a total of eight components — three woofers, three tweeters, and two passive radiators. Combined, they deliver a sonic experience that even discerning audiophiles will appreciate.
Review : Nick
It does pretty much everything the Amazon and Google boxes do, and it has a fantastic speaker and polished form factor. Cortana is sort-of a work in progress, as there is a lot of things she can’t tell me, but I’d say Alexa and Siri have the same types of limitations.
The integration with Spotify is super cool, and I can do almost anything with my voice. It integrates pretty good with my calendar, and its voice recognition is very good – even with my kids talking to it. Read More Here…
The Sonos One is the best Amazon Alexa-powered smart speaker you need to know about. Available in black or white, the gadget has an easy setup, six-microphones for seamlessly hearing your voice commands, and handy touch controls.
The audio quality of the Sonos One speaker is superb. With two high-quality audio drivers on board, the speakers sound incredible for their size. You can also easily add the speaker to an existing Sonos setup in your home.
In the future, Sonos will also add Google Assistant compatibility to the One speaker, so if you decide to swap virtual assistants, you won’t need to spend money on new hardware.
Review : Old Man Fran
I am a 70 year old struggling to keep up with technology because, well it’s important. Like many my ability to check out new tech with the systems administrator or a Millennial colleague came to an abrupt end along with my final paycheck.
Since I think it’s important that you know the perspective with which a review is written let me briefly tell you what this Sonos One was meant to replace.
Our basic music needs were being met by a 10 year old Sony “shelf system”; a radio tuned only to the local classical music station with a CD player that no longer worked. We have access to Amazon music and recently bought a little Bluetooth speaker that worked very nicely.
The downside here is that my wife has no notion of how to use the app to make Amazon music work. We have Sirius XM in the car, love the variety and often wished we could get that at home. Read More Here…