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The 7 Best Smart Speakers - Fall 2022 Reviews

Updated
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 95 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. This large wired speaker is designed for use at home. It offers fantastic voice assistant support with Alexa built-in and does an excellent job of hearing you when you're far from the speaker or in noisier rooms. It has a slightly boomy, but otherwise balanced sound profile suitable for listening to a wide variety of audio content from music to videos and podcasts. It gets loud enough to fill a large crowded room with sound, and if you're a fan of bass-heavy music, you'll be pleased to know you can feel the deep thump and rumble in low-bass, making it the best-sounding smart speaker we've tested. That said, there's some compression that degrades the quality of your audio when you blast your favorite songs at max volume. Its HEOS app also features bass and treble adjustments you can use to tweak its sound to your liking when you want more control over its sound.

    If you already own a compatible Denon soundbar, you can even connect the speaker to it when you want to upgrade your home theater setup. However, it has fairly high latency via Bluetooth, which can cause syncing issues when using the speaker to watch videos and movies. On the other hand, it supports Apple AirPlay and has low latency over this connection, so you can use it instead if you own an iOS device. Some apps compensate for latency differently, and your experience may vary.

    See our review

  2. Best Mid-Range Smart Speaker

    Not ready to splurge on the Denon Home 350 and are looking for something more versatile? The Sonos Move will get you a great bang for your buck. This well-built portable smart speaker comes with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in and has little trouble understanding your commands when you're far from the speaker or in noisier rooms. You can activate your assistant using your voice and can mute the speaker's mic when you no longer want it listening to you for more privacy. With its room correction feature enabled, it has a well-balanced sound profile, with a balanced mid-range that ensures vocals and lead instruments sound clear and present in the mix. Unfortunately, this room correction feature is currently only available with iOS devices. Its Sonos S2 companion app is also fantastic and comes with bass and treble adjustments to tweak its sound profile to your liking.

    That said, while the speaker is portable, it isn't small enough to easily transport with you on the go and won't easily fit in your backpack. If you're looking for something smaller to bring along with you when you're out and about, consider the Bose Portable Smart Speaker. It offers fantastic voice assistant support with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in, but it's smaller, lighter, and has a lantern-like built-in handle. Thanks to its 360-degree design, it also offers a wider and more spacious-sounding soundstage. That said, its battery life is fairly short, lasting around five hours from a single charge, half of the Move's 10 hours of playtime.

    See our review

  3. Best Lower Mid-Range Smart Speaker

    If you're looking for a smart speaker you can keep at home, check out the Amazon Echo Studio. While it isn't as portable and as well-built as the Sonos Move, this wired smart speaker offers excellent voice assistant support with Alexa built-in. It also has a Zigbee hub built-in to connect it to smart home devices around your home, like thermostats and light bulbs. It's even advertised to support both Dolby Atmos and Sony's 360 Reality Audio Content. While it doesn't produce a bass that's quite as deep as that of the Sonos, it still has a balanced overall sound profile suitable for listening to a wide variety of audio content, from music to audiobooks and podcasts, with its default settings enabled. There are bass and treble adjustments in its Amazon Alexa companion app to customize its sound to your liking. It also gets about as loud as the Sonos, with significantly less compression present at max volume, so your favorite songs sound clean and clear when you blast them and max out the speaker's volume.

    That said, if you're mainly looking for another portable smart speaker, the Sonos Roam is a small, well-built portable speaker with both Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. It doesn't get as loud as the Echo Studio or the Move, and it doesn't produce as deep a bass. Its battery life also doesn't last longer than that of the Bose Portable Smart Speaker. That said, it's much smaller, making it more portable.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget Alexa Speaker

    The best sounding smart speaker we've tested with Alexa built-in that's budget-friendly is the Amazon Echo Gen 4. It does an excellent job understanding your commands in noisy spaces and from far away. There's a mic mute button to use when you don't want the assistant listening in. You can also use its Amazon Alexa app to pair multiple compatible speakers together when you want to listen to different audio content in rooms across your home at the same time. It's even advertised to have a Zigbee hub built-in, which you can use to control smart home devices like thermostats and lightbulbs via Alexa.

    Out-of-the-box, its sound profile is slightly boomy and has a balanced mid-range that ensures vocals and lead instruments sound clear and present in the mix, making it suitable for listening to vocal-centric content like audiobooks and podcasts. It doesn't get as loud as the Amazon Echo Studio, and there's more compression present at max volume that degrades the quality of your audio when you max out the volume. That said, it does a better job than the Echo Studio at registering your commands in noisier rooms.

    See our review

  5. Best Budget Google Assistant Speaker

    If you prefer using Google Assistant, check out the Google Nest Audio. Google Assistant is built into this speaker, can be activated using your voice, and can easily hear you when you're far from the speaker or are in a noisy room. It also comes with a mute microphone button, handy when you no longer want it to hear you. It has a balanced mid-range out-of-the-box, so voices and lead instruments are clearly reproduced in the mix, though they can sound a bit dark. However, like most speakers its size, it struggles to reproduce a thumpy low-bass. Fortunately, there are bass and treble adjustments in its Google Home app to tweak its sound.

    You can also use the app to pair the speaker to other compatible Google speakers when you want to play different audio in different rooms across your home at the same time. Unfortunately, it has high Bluetooth and Chromecast latency that causes syncing issues when using the speaker to watch movies and videos, though some apps compensate for latency differently, and your experience may vary. 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're looking for a budget-friendly smart speaker to integrate into your Apple Ecosystem, the Apple HomePod mini is Apple's only speaker currently on the market since the Apple HomePod was discontinued. Siri can be voice-activated and has little trouble registering your commands from far, though it doesn't perform as well in noisier settings. Thanks to its 360-degree design, its soundstage is perceived as wide and spacious-sounding. It also has a balanced mid-range out-of-the-box, ensuring vocals and lead instruments reproduce clearly and with detail in the mix, and it comes with bass and treble adjustments in its companion app, which you can use to tweak its sound to your liking. Like most speakers its size, though, it lacks thump and rumble in the low-bass range that's typically present in bass-heavy music like EDM or hip-hop.

    Unfortunately, since it needs to remain plugged into an outlet to work, it isn't very portable. It isn't Bluetooth-compatible either and needs to be connected to Wi-Fi to work. If you're looking for a portable Bluetooth speaker that supports Siri, it's worth looking at speakers from other brands that are compatible with Siri through your smartphone, like the Bose SoundLink Flex.

    See our review

  7. Best Cheap Smart Speaker

    On a tight budget? The Amazon Echo Dot Gen 4 offers good value for your money if you aren't too picky about sound quality and mainly just want an affordable way to "smartify" your home. Since this wired home speaker is smaller than the Amazon Echo Gen 4, it doesn't produce as deep a bass, and doesn't get quite as loud. That said, it has a touch less compression at max volume, so your audio sounds cleaner and clearer when you max out its volume. It offers outstanding support with Alexa built-in and has little trouble registering your commands when you're far away or in noisier rooms. There's a mic mute button too you can use when you want more privacy.

    It has a balanced sound profile overall, suitable for listening to a wide variety of audio content, from your favorite songs to audiobooks and podcasts. If you like having more control over your speaker's sound, there are also bass and treble adjustments in its Amazon Alexa app to tweak its sound to your liking. However, if you're looking to convert your home into a smart home but prefer Google Assistant, the Google Nest Mini is even more affordable. While it has a bit more trouble registering your commands in noisier rooms, it still offers excellent Google Assistant support overall. It supports Google Chromecast and has a balanced sound profile. You can tweak its sound to your liking thanks to the bass and treble adjustments in its Google Home app.

    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 Roam, 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 shorter battery life. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. 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'.

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

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

  4. Feb 16, 2022: Verified picks for availability and updated text for accuracy.

  5. Jan 26, 2022: Checked picks for product availability and accuracy. There were no changes in our recommendations.

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.

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