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The 7 Best Smart Speakers - Winter 2023 Reviews

Best Smart Speakers

A smart speaker that offers reliable voice assistant support can make a great and helpful addition to any home. Smart speakers are normally Wi-Fi-enabled speakers with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri built-in. These handy speakers can be controlled from a distance using your voice, and you can also use some to control your other smart home devices like thermostats and lightbulbs. You can use them to answer and decline phone calls, set alarms or timers, and ask them questions that cross your mind. However, since they're most often designed for home use, many tend not to be very portable and require a power outlet to work. That said, there still are many portable options available on the market.

We've tested over 105 speakers, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best voice-enabled speakers. If you're looking for more options, check out our recommendations for the best home speakers, the best Alexa speakers, and the best Bluetooth speakers.

  1. Best Smart Speaker

    The best smart speaker we've tested is the Denon Home 350. It's a premium setup designed for home use, with built-in Alexa, meaning you can control its features with your voice. Its voice assistant functionalities work well, as the speaker can hear your commands clearly whether you're on the other side of the room or amidst a noisy party. Using the Heos app, you get access to some extra features, so you can pair two speakers together for a stereo pair or connect the speaker to a compatible Denon soundbar for a more immersive home theater setup. The bass and treble adjustments make it possible to switch up its sound more to your liking, which is nice.

    That said, this speaker performs well right out of the box. Instruments in your favorite music are clear and present in the mix, and you don't have any trouble following dialogue in podcasts and audiobooks. Its bass brings out the thump and rumble in bass-heavy genres like EDM and hip-hop, making it the best-sounding smart speaker we've tested. Overall, this speaker is a versatile addition to your living room setup—but since it's meant for use while plugged into an outlet, you can't bring it outdoors.

    See our review

  2. Best Mid-Range Smart Speaker

    If you want a portable speaker at a more affordable price, consider the Sonos Move. It's another premium offering with both Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. Like the Denon Home 350, the speaker has no trouble picking up your commands and understands you in noisy environments as well as if you're further away from the device. Since it's battery-operated, you can bring it on the go. The IP56 rating for dust and water resistance means it's certified for protection against direct contact with water for up to three minutes, so you're safe to use it poolside or at the beach.

    This speaker is a solid pick for listening to everything from music to podcasts to audiobooks, with a clear and detailed reproduction of voices and instruments in the mix. It's customizable, and you can use the Sonos S2 app to adjust its bass and treble. It doesn't bring as much low-bass as the Denon, so you don't get the deep rumble in bass-heavy genres like EDM and hip-hop. If you mostly listen to vocal-centric content like podcasts, which doesn't have a lot of bass mixed in, it's not a huge deal, but music lovers will notice a clear difference in the bass. You can also check out the Bose Home Speaker 500 if you want a similarly-priced smart speaker with better sound quality, but it's a wired speaker, so it can't move with you from room to room like the Sonos.

    See our review

  3. Best Lower Mid-Range Smart Speaker

    The Amazon Echo Studio is a more affordable alternative to the Sonos Move with many smart speaker functionalities. It has built-in support for Alexa, with a great performance that ensures the speaker can hear your commands clearly and respond accordingly. It has a Zigbee hub built-in, so you can connect other compatible smart home devices like light bulbs or thermostats to the speaker and control them using Alexa. Designed for home use, it's a premium-looking offering with a sleek design that fits easily into your existing decor.

    Whether you're listening to the classics or the latest pop hits, you enjoy clear reproduction of voices and instruments thanks to the speaker's balanced frequency response. If you want a different sound, you can switch it up using its bass and treble adjustments in the Amazon Alexa app. However, there's a little less bass mixed in than the Sonos, so you don't hear as much rumble in bass-centric tunes. Also, it's not quite as versatile as the Sonos since its wired-only design is meant to be used in the home and not outdoors. That said, if you want a great home speaker at a more budget-friendly price, it's a solid option.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget Alexa Speaker

    If you're on an even tighter budget, check out the Amazon Echo Gen 4, another excellent smart speaker at a more affordable price than the Amazon Echo Studio. Its built-in Alexa does an excellent job understanding your commands, so you have no trouble controlling it from the comfort of your couch using only your voice. Like the Studio, it has a built-in Zigbee hub, meaning you can control other smart home devices from the speaker. Its unique spherical design brings a stylish look to your home, with a ring of light underneath that flashes when you command it.

    That said, for the price difference, the Echo Gen 4 doesn't perform quite as well as the Studio. Its default frequency response is fair, with a clear reproduction of voices and lead instruments, but there's a little extra boominess in the bass that isn't ideal for everyone. You can still customize its sound with the Amazon Alexa app, which is nice. However, it still doesn't get as loud as the Studio, so it's best suited for listening in smaller-sized rooms.

    See our review

  5. Best Budget Google Assistant Speaker

    If you're shopping on a budget, the Google Nest Audio is the best Google Assistant speaker in the budget range that we've tested. It's another premium-looking offering with a sleek oval shape, and you can choose from many different color options based on your preferences. You can control Google Assistant using your voice, and thanks to its excellent performance, it doesn't have any trouble understanding your commands. Also, it lets you access the Google Home app, so you can pair speakers together for stereo pairs or activate audio across multiple rooms in your house at the same time.

    The speaker's sound quality isn't quite as impressive as the Amazon Echo Gen 4. Voices and lead instruments are pretty clear, but the lack of treble means that audio takes on a dark and slightly dull sound. It lacks a lot of low-bass, so you don't feel any rumble with bass-centric tunes. There are bass and treble adjustments in the Google Home app to tweak its sound a bit, but it can't make up for the lack of low-bass. Still, this speaker offers outstanding voice assistant support and would make a great addition to your home.

    See our review

  6. Best Budget Siri Speaker

    If you own a lot of Apple products, the Apple HomePod mini is a great alternative with built-in Siri support for easy integration into your existing ecosystem. It's a stylish device available in a wide range of colors, offering a smaller alternative to Apple's recently discontinued Apple HomePod. Overall, its voice assistant performance is impressive, allowing you to control the device with your voice from the comfort of your couch. The speaker hears your commands clearly from far away, and while it doesn't do as well as the Google Nest Audio in noisier environments, it still does a decent job. You can mute the microphone when you don't want it to listen to you.

    The speaker's sound quality makes it suitable for listening to many different types of audio content, from music to podcasts to audiobooks. Dialogue is clearly reproduced, and voices and other instruments are detailed and present in the mix. With its 360-degree design, sound is clear from all angles, meaning you can place it in the middle of your room for a great performance. Unfortunately, you can't customize its sound through the app, and it's only loud enough to fill average-sized rooms with sound. Still, it's a great pick for budget-conscious fans of Apple's Siri.

    See our review

  7. Best Cheap Smart Speaker

    The Amazon Echo Dot Gen 4 is a great option if you're a new user who doesn't want to spend a lot on a smart device. It's an affordable choice that offers the same impressive voice assistant performance as the more premium Amazon Echo Gen 4, with built-in Alexa capabilities to control it with your voice. The device understands your commands with ease, so you can add ingredients to your shopping list, check the weather, and perform other functions entirely hands-free. It looks similar to its larger cousin, with a spherical design available in many colors. Since it's a little smaller, it takes up less room, too.

    Compared to the Echo, this device offers fewer features—you don't have Zigbee hub integration for other smart devices, for example, and given its smaller size, it doesn't get quite as loud. Still, it's more than suitable for a bedroom or average-sized living room, with a solid sound quality that reproduces your favorite tracks with accuracy. Bass and treble adjustments let you control the device's output from the Alexa app. You can still pair it with other compatible speakers to take the party to other rooms in your home. Overall, this speaker is a great value pick.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Sonos One Gen 2: The Sonos One Gen 2 is a smart speaker with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. It does an excellent job of understanding your commands from far away and supports Apple AirPlay. That said, it also doesn't get as loud as the Amazon Echo Studio and doesn't support Bluetooth. It also has to downmix stereo content to mono to play it, which isn't as immersive. See our review
  • Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2: The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Gen 2 is a well-built portable Bluetooth speaker that offers outstanding support via Amazon Alexa. However, unlike the Sonos Move, it isn't Wi-Fi compatible, so while Alexa is built into this speaker, it relies on your paired smartphone to work. It also has a shorter battery life. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Jan 10, 2023: No changes in product picks after verifying their accuracy and availability.

  2. Nov 11, 2022: No changes in product picks after verifying their accuracy and availability.

  3. Sep 13, 2022: Restructured article to better reflect market conditions and user needs. Added the Denon Home 350 as the 'Best Smart Speaker', the Amazon Echo Studio as the best 'Best Lower Mid-Range Smart Speaker', and the Amazon Echo Dot 4 as the 'Best Cheap Smart Speaker'.

  4. Jun 13, 2022: Updated the text and removed the 'Best Smart Home Speaker' category for clarity and consistency.

  5. Apr 14, 2022: Updated text for clarity; no changes to product picks.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best-sounding smart speakers for most people to buy, according to their needs. We factor in the price (cheaper speakers win over pricier ones if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no speakers that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

If you would like to choose for yourself, here's the list of all our reviews for speakers that support voice assistants, sorted by their voice assistant performance. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect speakers. Personal taste, preference, and listening habits will matter more in your selection.