The 6 Best Smart Speakers - Black Friday 2021 Reviews

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Best Smart Speakers
80 Speakers Tested
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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, timers, and can also ask them questions that cross your mind. That said, since they're most often designed for home use, many of them 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 75 speakers, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best smart 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: Sonos Move

    7.0
    Music
    6.5
    Videos/Movies
    8.2
    Podcasts
    8.6
    Voice Assistant
    7.7
    Outdoors
    Bluetooth
    Yes
    Wi-Fi
    Yes
    Speakerphone
    No
    Voice Assistant
    Yes
    Battery Powered
    Yes

    The Sonos Move is the best smart speaker that we've tested. This well-built, portable speaker offers fantastic voice assistant support with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. You can activate your assistant with your voice, and it has little trouble understanding your commands from far away and in noisier environments. You can even mute its mic when you no longer want it to hear you.

    It has a fairly neutral sound profile suitable for listening to a wide variety of audio content, and its balanced mid-range ensures voices and lead instruments reproduce accurately and with detail. There are bass and treble adjustments in is Sonos S2 app, which you can use to tweak its sound to your liking. You can also pair this speaker to other compatible speakers when you want to play different audio in different rooms across your home at once.

    Unfortunately, while it can get pretty loud, there's a lot of compression present in the bass range at max volume, which can affect the clarity of your audio during louder listening sessions. Also, while it supports Apple AirPlay, it doesn't have Chromecast built-in, which may disappoint some users. That said, if you're looking for a smart speaker to add to your home, this versatile Google Assistant and Alexa-enabled smart speaker is a solid choice.

    See our review

  2. Best Portable Smart Speaker: Bose Portable Smart Speaker

    6.9
    Music
    6.8
    Videos/Movies
    8.0
    Podcasts
    9.0
    Voice Assistant
    6.8
    Outdoors
    Bluetooth
    Yes
    Wi-Fi
    Yes
    Speakerphone
    No
    Voice Assistant
    Yes
    Battery Powered
    Yes

    The best portable smart speaker that we've tested is the Bose Portable Smart Speaker. It's battery-powered, well-built, and comes with a built-in carrying handle to help transport it. It has Alexa and Google Assistant built-in and can easily understand you from far away and in noisy settings. You can also mute its mic when you no longer want it to hear you.

    Out-of-the-box, it has a slightly boomy sound profile overall, with a balanced mid-range, so voices and lead instruments sound clear and present in the mix. You can customize its sound to your liking using the bass and treble adjustments in its companion app. This 360-degree speaker also has outstanding directivity, so your audio sounds clear from all angles.

    Unfortunately, it only lasts a little over five hours from a single charge, which isn't convenient for long listening sessions, though this can vary depending on your usage. You can also only pair it to one device at a time, so you can't easily switch between audio sources. However, if you're looking for a smart speaker you can carry around with you when you're on the go, it's worth considering.

    See our review

  3. Best Smart Home Speaker: Bose Home Speaker 500

    7.3
    Music
    7.1
    Videos/Movies
    6.6
    Podcasts
    9.1
    Voice Assistant
    5.6
    Outdoors
    Bluetooth
    Yes
    Wi-Fi
    Yes
    Speakerphone
    No
    Voice Assistant
    Yes
    Battery Powered
    No

    The best smart home speaker that we've tested is the Bose Home Speaker 500. It comes with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in and does an excellent job understanding your commands from far away and in noisier settings. You can activate your assistant with your voice and can mute your mic when you no longer want it to listen to you.

    It has a fairly neutral sound profile out-of-the-box with a balanced mid-range, so voices and lead instruments are clearly and accurately reproduced in the mix, though they can sound a bit dark at times. However, it lacks some low-bass, so you can't feel the deep thump and rumble in bass-heavy music like EDM. Fortunately, it comes with bass and treble adjustments to tweak its sound. Also, using Alexa only, you can make commands to Bose smart products, Amazon Echo products, and your contacts list.

    Unfortunately, while it can get quite loud, there's some compression present at max volume, so your audio doesn't sound as clean at louder volume levels. It also isn't very portable since it needs to remain connected to a power source to work. That said, if you're looking for a smart home speaker that offers outstanding voice assistant support, it's a great addition to your home.

    See our review

  4. Best Smart Speaker For Alexa: Amazon Echo Gen 4

    6.8
    Music
    6.1
    Videos/Movies
    6.3
    Podcasts
    8.8
    Voice Assistant
    5.2
    Outdoors
    Bluetooth
    Yes
    Wi-Fi
    Yes
    Speakerphone
    Yes
    Voice Assistant
    Yes
    Battery Powered
    No

    The Amazon Echo Gen 4 is the best smart speaker for Alexa that we've tested. This small spherical speaker comes with Alexa built-in, which you can activate using your voice. It offers fantastic voice assistant support and is excellent at understanding your commands from far away and in noisy environments. You can even mute its mic when you no longer want it to listen to you.

    It's advertised to have a Zigbee hub built-in, meaning you can connect it to smart home devices like lightbulbs or thermostats. You can also use its app to pair it to other compatible speakers to create a stereo pair or to play different audio in different rooms of your home at once. It has a slightly boomy sound profile out-of-the-box, with a balanced mid-range making it suitable for listening to vocal-centric audio content like podcasts. Its companion app also features bass and treble adjustments to customize its sound.

    Unfortunately, it isn't very portable due to its wired design and needs to stay wired to a power outlet for it to work. It also doesn't get very loud, and there's a lot of compression present at max volume, so your audio doesn't sound as clean at louder volumes. That said, if you're looking for an Alexa-enabled speaker that offers superb voice assistant support, it's a solid choice.

    See our review

  5. Best Smart Speaker For Google Assistant: Google Nest Audio

    6.2
    Music
    5.6
    Videos/Movies
    6.2
    Podcasts
    8.3
    Voice Assistant
    4.9
    Outdoors
    Bluetooth
    Yes
    Wi-Fi
    Yes
    Speakerphone
    Yes
    Voice Assistant
    Yes
    Battery Powered
    No

    The best smart speaker for Google Assistant that we've tested is the Google Nest Audio. This small speaker has Google Assistant built-in. You can activate it with your voice, and it can understand your commands from far and in noisier settings. There's even a mute mic button you can use when you don't want your assistant to hear you anymore.

    Out-of-the-box, it has a balanced mid-range, so voices and lead instruments sound present in the mix, though they can also sound a bit dull and veiled. That said, it lacks low bass, so you can't feel the thump and rumble in bass-heavy music like EDM or hip-hop. Fortunately, its companion app features bass and treble adjustments you can use to tweak its sound to your liking. You can also use the app to pair it to multiple other Google speakers when you want to play your audio across your home.

    Unfortunately, it doesn't get very loud, and it isn't very portable since it needs to stay plugged into an outlet to work. Also, while it has Chromecast built-in, it has high latency over this connection, which can cause syncing issues when using the speaker to watch videos and movies. That said, some apps compensate for latency differently, and your experience may differ. If you're looking to add a speaker to your home that offers support via Google Assistant, it's still a great choice.

    See our review

  6. Best Smart Speaker For Siri: Apple HomePod mini

    6.4
    Music
    5.6
    Videos/Movies
    6.4
    Podcasts
    7.6
    Voice Assistant
    4.4
    Outdoors
    Bluetooth
    No
    Wi-Fi
    Yes
    Speakerphone
    Yes
    Voice Assistant
    Yes
    Battery Powered
    No

    The Apple HomePod Mini is the best smart speaker for Siri that we've tested. It's currently Apple's only speaker on the market since the original Apple HomePod was discontinued. This small speaker comes with Siri built-in, which you can activate using your voice. It can easily understand your commands from far away, though it may not perform as well in noisier settings.

    It has a balanced mid-range, so voices and lead instruments sound clear and present in the mix, though they can sound a bit dark at times. That said, like most small speakers, it struggles to reproduce low-bass, so you can't feel the thump and rumble in bass-heavy music. Fortunately, you can adjust its sound to your liking thanks to the bass and treble adjustments featured in its companion app.

    Unfortunately, this speaker isn't Bluetooth compatible and requires a Wi-Fi connection to work. It also isn't very portable due to its wired design, and there isn't a mute mic button to control when your assistant is listening to you. If you're looking for a portable Bluetooth speaker, it's worth looking into speakers from other brands that are compatible with Siri through your smartphone, like the Bose SoundLink Flex. That said, if you're looking to add a Siri-enabled smart speaker to your Apple ecosystem at home, it's still a good choice.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Amazon Echo Studio: The Amazon Echo Studio is an Alexa-enabled smart speaker with a Zigbee hub built-in. Unfortunately, the voice assistant struggles to understand your commands in noisy environments. See our review
  • Sonos One Gen 2: The Sonos One Gen 2 is a smart speaker that comes with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. It does an excellent job of understanding your commands from far away. That said, it struggles to register commands in noisier settings. See our review
  • Sonos Roam: The Sonos is a well-built portable Bluetooth speaker that offers fantastic voice assistant support. This small speaker comes with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. Its soundstage doesn't sound as wide and as natural as that of the Bose Portable Smart Speaker. 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. That said, it isn't Wi-Fi compatible, so while Alexa is built into this speaker, it relies on your paired smartphone to work. See our review
  • Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST : The Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST is a portable Bluetooth speaker that offers outstanding voice assistant support with Alexa built-in. Unfortunately, it's currently difficult to find in stock. We'll update the article if it gets discontinued. See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best 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.

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