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The 6 Best Smart Speakers - Spring 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, 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 85 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: Sonos Move

    The best smart speaker we've tested is the Sonos Move. This well-built portable smart speaker comes with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in and has little trouble registering 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.

    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. Its Sonos S2 app is also fantastic. It comes with bass and treble adjustments to customize the speaker's sound profile to your liking. You can also use the app to connect the speaker to other compatible speakers to create a stereo pair or when you want to listen to different audio in different rooms across your home at once.

    Unfortunately, although it supports Apple AirPlay, it doesn't have Chromecast built-in. Its room correction feature is currently only available with iOS devices. It also struggles to reproduce the thump and rumble in low-bass that's typically present in bass-heavy music like hip-hop or EDM and has to downmix stereo content to mono to play it, which isn't as immersive. That said, it's still a great choice if you're looking for a versatile smart speaker to add to your home.

    See our review

  2. Best Portable Smart Speaker: Bose Portable Smart Speaker

    The Bose Portable Smart Speaker is the best portable smart speaker we've tested. It comes with an IPX4 rating for water resistance that certifies it to withstand small splashes of water, so you don't have to worry about it getting a bit wet from some light rain when taking it outside with you. It's smaller than the Sonos Move, making it easier to bring along with you on the go, and offers a wider-sounding soundstage.

    This speaker has Google Assistant and Alexa built-in and has little trouble understanding you from far away and in noisy rooms. You can also mute its mic when you no longer want it listening to you. Its sound profile is slightly-boomy out-of-the-box, with a balanced mid-range that ensures vocals and lead instruments sound clear and present in the mix. You can also adjust its sound to your liking thanks to the bass and treble adjustments in the Bose Music app.

    Unfortunately, its battery only lasted a little over five hours in our tests, so you need to recharge it between listening sessions frequently, though this can vary depending on your usage habits and chosen volume level. Also, although it supports Apple AirPlay, it doesn't support Chromecast. That said, if you're looking for a portable smart speaker that isn't too bulky to use when you're on the move, it's still a good choice.

    See our review

  3. Best Smart Home Speaker: Bose Home Speaker 500

    The Bose Home Speaker 500 is the best home speaker we've tested. This smart home speaker comes with Google Assistant and Alexa built-in. You can activate your assistant with your voice, and has no trouble understanding you from far away or in noisy rooms. You can mute its mic when you no longer want it to hear you. Also, using Alexa only, you can make commands to Bose smart products, Amazon Echo products, and your contacts list.

    Out-of-the-box, it has a fairly neutral sound profile suitable for listening to lots of different music genres, and its balanced mid-range ensures vocals and lead instruments sound clear and present in the mix. You can tweak its sound to your liking thanks to the bass and treble adjustments featured in its companion app. It lacks low-bass, so you can't feel the deep thump and rumble typically present in bass-heavy music like hip-hop or EDM.

    Unfortunately, although it gets pretty loud, there are compression artifacts present at max volume that degrade audio quality as you bump up the volume. Also, the speaker needs to remain wired to a power outlet to work, so it isn't very portable. While it isn't as portable as the Sonos Move, it can play stereo content without downmixing it to mono and has better directivity, resulting in a more immersive and open-sounding soundstage. If you're looking for the best sounding smart speaker to keep at home with an excellent soundstage performance, it's still a great choice.

    See our review

  4. Best Smart Alexa Speaker: Amazon Echo Gen 4

    The best smart Alexa speaker for Alexa that we've tested is the Amazon Echo Gen 4. Alexa is built into this speaker and can be voice-activated. It does an excellent job registering your commands from far away and in noisier rooms. There's also a mic mute button you can use when you no longer want the assistant to listen to you.

    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. You can 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.

    Unfortunately, it needs to stay connected to a power source to work, so it isn't very portable. That said, while it doesn't get as loud as the Amazon Echo Studio, it's much better at understanding your commands in noisier environments. If you're looking for a smart speaker that offers fantastic voice assistant support via Alexa, this is a great choice.

    See our review

  5. Best Smart Google Assistant Speaker: Google Nest Audio

    If you prefer using Google Assistant, check out the Google Nest Audio. It's the best smart Google Assistant speaker that we've tested. Google Assistant is built into this speaker, can be activated using your voice, and can understand your commands in noisy rooms and from far away. It also comes with a mute microphone button, which is handy when you no longer want it to listen to 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 at times. 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 can cause syncing issues when using the speaker to watch movies and videos, though some apps compensate for latency differently, and your experience may vary. Also, since it needs to remain connected to a power source to work, it isn't very portable. That said, this speaker still offers outstanding voice assistant support and would make a great addition to your home.

    See our review

  6. Best Smart Siri Speaker: Apple HomePod mini

    The Apple HomePod mini is the best smart Siri speaker we've tested. This small home speaker is Apple's only speaker currently on the market since the Apple HomePod was discontinued, and it comes with Siri built-in. You can activate the assistant with your voice, and it has little trouble registering your voice from far, though it doesn't perform as well in noisier rooms.

    Out-of-the-box, it has a balanced mid-range that ensures vocals and lead instruments reproduce clearly and with detail in the mix, though they sound a bit veiled at times. Fortunately, it comes with bass and treble adjustments in its companion app, which you can use to tweak its sound to your liking. That said, like most speakers its size, it lacks low-bass, so you can't feel the thump and rumble 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 which supports Siri, it's worth taking a look at speakers from other brands that are compatible with Siri through your smartphone, like the Bose SoundLink Flex. However, if you want to add a Siri-enabled smart speaker to your Apple ecosystem at home, it's still a solid choice.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Amazon Echo Studio: The Amazon Echo Studio is an Alexa-enabled smart speaker that supports Dolby Atmos content and has a Zigbee hub built-in. While it can get louder than the Amazon Echo Gen 4 with less compression present at max volume, it isn't as good at registering your commands in noisier settings. See our review
  • 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. 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. However, its soundstage doesn't sound as wide and natural as 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. 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

Recent Updates

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

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

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

  4. Jan 05, 2022: Minor updates to the text for accuracy; no changes in product picks.

  5. Dec 15, 2021: No changes in product picks after verifying their accuracy and availability.

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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