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The 6 Best Smart Speakers - Spring 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 110 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 that we've tested is the Sonos Era 300. Released in 2023, this premium device has built-in Alexa support for hands-free control. It's available in both Black and White and its sleek design melds in easily with your existing home decor. With this speaker, you get access to all the manufacturer's most premium sound enhancement tools, including a room correction feature that automatically optimizes its audio reproduction based on your room's unique acoustics. It offers a clear and balanced sound, making it the best-sounding smart speaker we've tested. Bass and treble adjustments let you customize its output manually, too.

    This speaker is considered the best of the best, so it comes with a lot of premium features that make it stand out from the crowd. It's one of the only speakers we've tested with Dolby Atmos support. Depending on your listening habits, this may or may not be useful to you. Dolby Atmos Music is increasingly common on certain subscription music streamers like Apple Music. Plus, if you own other Sonos products, like their soundbars, you can connect the speaker and use it to watch Dolby Atmos movies and TV shows. If you're looking for a simple plug-and-play device to listen to music, it's probably a little much, but avid audiophiles will want to check it out.

    See our review

  2. Best Upper Mid-Range Smart Speaker

    The Sonos Move is a more affordable smart speaker that's a great alternative. Unlike the Sonos Era 300, this speaker doesn't support Dolby Atmos—but it does come with one major added perk. Since it's battery-powered, you can take this smart speaker with you on the go, which is great if you want to listen to your favorite tunes in your backyard. Its 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, too. It's one of the few smart speakers we've tested to offer such outstanding portability.

    This speaker is a solid pick for listening to everything from music to podcasts to audiobooks, and it offers many of the same features as its more premium cousin. You get access to the Trueplay room correction tool and can use the Sonos S2 app to adjust its bass and treble. With both Alexa and Google Assistant built-in, you get hands-free control, too. Audiophiles should note that unlike the Sonos Era 300, this speaker has to downmix stereo content into mono to play it. You notice that the sound feels less wide, and there isn't the same instrument separation between the left and right drivers. That said, if you're a more casual listener, it's not a huge deal— and as one of the most versatile smart speakers we've tested, this model is worth a look.

    See our review

  3. Best Mid-Range Smart Speaker

    If you want a premium speaker at a more affordable price, check out the Sonos Era 100. As its name suggests, it's the smaller and more price-friendly alternative to the bigger Sonos Era 300. Still, for the price, it offers many of the same features. With built-in Alexa, you can control the speaker using only your voice. Plus, through the Sonos S2 app, you can access Trueplay room correction as well as the bass and treble adjustments. It's easy to pair the speaker with other Sonos devices, too, so you can spread audio throughout your room or create a home theater setup with one of its compatible soundbars.

    As a wired-only speaker, this device doesn't offer the same portability as the Sonos Move—it's not rated for dust or water resistance, either. It doesn't support Dolby Atmos content like the Era 300, either. That said, if you want something to keep in your living room full-time, it offers impressive sound quality for the price. It's suitable for listening to lots of different music genres, and thanks to its stereo sound, you get a solid sense of separation between the left and right channels. Voices are especially clear, which is great for listening to pop and other vocal-centric genres. Overall, it's a versatile pick for smart speakers.

    See our review

  4. Best Lower Mid-Range Smart Speaker

    Shopping on a tighter budget? Check out the Amazon Echo Studio. This stylish device has a wide array of smart speaker functionalities, including a built-in Zigbee hub. That means you can connect other compatible smart home devices like light bulbs or thermostats to the speaker and control them using Alexa. Plus, Alexa offers a great voice assistant performance, ensuring the speaker can hear your commands clearly and respond accordingly.

    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 Era 100, so you don't hear as much rumble in bass-centric tunes. That said, if you don't like a lot of EDM and hip-hop, you won't notice much difference. For a more budget-friendly price, it offers a great performance.

    See our review

  5. Best Budget 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. You can always check out the best Google Assistant speaker we've tested in the budget range, the Google Nest Audio, while Siri fans can look at the Apple HomePod mini. All three speakers perform pretty similarly, but the Amazon's voice assistant performance is a touch better overall.

    See our review

  6. 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

  • Denon Home 350: The Denon Home 350 is another premium smart speaker with built-in Alexa. It has a better low-frequency extension than the Sonos Era 300, so you notice more rumble in the bass. However, its soundstage isn't as good, and the speaker doesn't support Dolby Atmos. 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
  • Apple HomePod (2nd generation): The Apple HomePod (2nd generation) is a mid-range pick that's ideal for those who already own products in Apple's ecosystem. It has a better low-frequency extension than the Sonos Era 100, which is great for bass lovers. However, without bass and treble adjustments, it's not as customizable. It doesn't support Bluetooth, either. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. May 02, 2023: Replaced the Denon Home 350 with the Sonos Era 300 as 'Best Speaker'. Replaced the Apple HomePod 2nd Gen with the Sonos Era 100 as the 'Best Mid-Range'. Added the Denon and the Apple to Notable Mentions.

  2. Mar 08, 2023: Restructured the article to include the new Apple HomePod 2nd generation.

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

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

  5. 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'.

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.