Smart speakers are revolutionary. Now, you don’t only listen to music and podcasts over Bluetooth; you can even query your speaker and get loads of information over the internet.
Smart speakers can connect to several streaming services. Also, their built in voice assistant helps you control your audio and music with your voice and set timers. Besides that, you enjoy listening to sports scores and the latest headlines.
Big brands have invested heavily in the best smart speakers, but they all have strengths and weaknesses. You can choose a speaker according to how you intend to use it. This review will take you through the best speakers and what you should look for when buying one.
Table of Contents
- Echo 4th Gen
- JBL Clip 4 Portable Speaker
- Bose Home Speaker 500
- Sonos One, Gen 2
- Bang and Olufsen Beosound A1, 2nd gen
- Ultimate Ears Megablast
- Audio Pro Addon C5A
- Harman Kardon Citation 100
- Echo Show 5, 1st Gen
- Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin Speaker
- Best Smart Speakers Buying Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions
Echo 4th Gen
The latest speaker from Amazon is a revamp of their flagship smart speaker. It’s impressive, aesthetic, and with improved audio. This generation has an inbuilt Zigbee smart home hub. Its Alexa responds faster to your voice command since it has AZ neural edge processor.
You can stream your music from Amazon Music, Apple Music, SiriusXM, Spotify, and Deezer over Wi-Fi, and more. When you are not on any music subscription, it connects automatically to Amazon Music.
Alexa comes in handy when you need to set timers, alarms, and reminders. It would help to pose a question by addressing “her” first.
JBL Clip 4 Portable Speaker
The speaker has a compact design. However, it produces a rich and crisp-clear sound and punchy bass. It has a colorful fabric that makes it look great. Besides that, its dustproof and waterproof; you can clip it on your bag while camping or hiking.
You set up the smart speaker with the Google Home app. However, it’s relatively heavier than other portable speakers. Thus, it’s best when using the outdoors in a stationary position.
Bose home speaker 500
If you love a wall-to-wall stereo sound, then the Boseman home speaker is an excellent choice. You’ll enjoy voice assistance from Google Assistant and Alexa. The design has an 8-microphone array. Also, it allows you to talk to Alexa when the music is loud.
The speaker connects to various music streams such as Apple Airplay 2, Spotify Connect, home Wi-Fi network, and Bluetooth. You can control your music through voice, button resets, and the Bose Music app.
Sonos One, Gen 2
If you want an all-around smart speaker, go for Sonos One, second generation. You can use it with smartphones, tablets, and computers. It has a rich sound that will fill your room from one speaker. Also, you can control the music through Sonos App, Apple Airplay, and your voice through Google Assistant and Alexa.
The speaker has a compact design that helps it fit in a small space. You can also carry it to the bathroom since it’s humidity resistant.
Bang and Olufsen Beosound A1, 2nd Gen
Bang and Olufsen is a unique smart speaker. Its compact design comes in a wheel shape. It’s easy to fit on a small space, including a kitchen shelf. The sound is loud and amazing.
The speaker is battery-powered. However, the second generation has an improved battery power that enables you to listen to music for 18 hours non-stop. If you use lower volume settings, you can listen to music for longer.
You can select among five available colorways. Thus, it can complement your interior decor. The control buttons are larger than the previous versions and well labeled.
Ultimate Ears Megablast
This speaker looks like it can serve the spiritual and religious people well. It has a striking cross decoration on its side. As its name suggests, it has a loud and clear sound. You can use one speaker in a large room.
The speaker is waterproof and indestructible. You can change the music with your voice - Alexa will connect you to Spotify, Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn. Alexa also allows you to change tracks, discover new restaurants, search trending topics, and other Alexa functions.
You can update your speakers with the Ultimate Ear app. Thus, you get better sound quality and access better features.
Audio Pro Addon C5 Speaker
The Audio Pro Addon C5 speaker is your exquisite choice if you love holding house parties. It has a sturdy handle that allows you to carry it around easily.
The speaker produces a stunning and dynamic voice and a deep bass. Its performance outshines its compact size.
If you use it as a multiroom speaker, all the speakers sync to offer seamless music. However, you can choose to play personal music in different rooms.
Audio Pro Addon has Wi-Fi presets. It connects with your home Wi-Fi automatically. Also, you can save your favorite radio stations and music playlists.
Harman Kardon Onyx Citation 100
The speaker is among the top sellers on Amazon. At a glance, you’d think it’s an average smart speaker. However, it produces a bucket-load bass, which can be very loud. So, you can use it at parties.
Its rechargeable battery can run for 8 hours non-stop. Also, it allows you to stream music wirelessly through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The Harman Kardon speaker enables you to connect to two devices simultaneously. Its voice control supports Google Home and Google Assistant. Besides the few sound hitches, it counts as an excellent smart speaker.
Echo Show 5, 1st gen
Echo has amazing smart speakers. The echo show 1st generation has a screen that allows you to watch your music in seamless videos. The screen displays the date, time, and weather features when not in use.
It’s among the few smart speakers that support audio and visual. Thus, you can access video content and read out information on the screen.
The speaker has a camera and allows you to access Skype. You can also sync it with cameras in other rooms and view the photos on the screen.
Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin Speaker
The speaker gives you great audio like no other. They use Apple Airplay technology to connect with your iPhone. Thus, you can stream your music from your iPhone, iPod, iPad, Mac, and PC.
The item weighs 6 kg, which is heavy for a portable device. Thus, you use it for home entertainment. It gives a powerful sound and deep bass. It’s rated as the best non-potable smart speaker.
Best Smart Speakers Buying Guide
When buying a smart speaker, there’s much you should look for. The sound quality, volume, and voice assistance should be your top priority. Since there’s so much more, remember to look at the following features before buying a smart speaker.
The main aim of a smart speaker is to entertain you. However, it will depend on the entertainment that you need. You should access your music from various streaming channels. Also, it should connect to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
For better entertainment, you should switch through channels with ease. That’s why voice assistants are vital features to support entertainment.
News and Entertainment
A great smart speaker should allow you to get information from various sources. Some speakers will give you weather forecasts, news headlines, dates and times, traffic reports, and Wikipedia entries.
You can do much with advanced smart speakers when you invest in them. Some models allow you to plan your day. Thus, even when listening to music, it will pause to alert you on upcoming appointments, meetings, and other activities. The reminders and to-do lists ensure you stick to your goals.
You can use your smart speaker as a kitchen assistant. It can recite recipes or show them if you have a model with a display. The best part is that they offer measurement conversions that sometimes slow down the cooking process.
Voice Assistant allows you to control the speaker even when your hands are engaged. Thus, you should ensure that the voice assistant has a quick response.
A smart speaker should open up your world to possibilities. Thus, a smart speaker to connect to other devices is the best. You can use them as stand-alone speakers or connect them with other home devices.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do Voice Assistants work?
All voice assistants have a name. It is part of the wake words that allows it to pick commands. Thus, it won’t make unnecessary changes when you are not using it. For instance, you say ‘Hey Google’ to address Google Assistance. Use the correct wake word for your voice assistant.
Which home devices are compatible with a smart speaker?
Most modern smart speakers don’t need an external device to operate. However, you can have some that you can control with your phone, computer, or tablet.
How much does a smart speaker cost?
The cost of smart speakers varies depending on the brand and built-in features. Advanced speakers cost as high as $400 and more, while simple features cost as little as $30. You’ll be limited by the functions it can play.
Do smart speakers sound good?
Smart speakers have amazing sounds to rival the best traditional speakers. You can use them as speakers without voice assistance. However, do not invest more in a brand than the quality you are looking for. A renowned brand is not a guarantee for quality voice.
Can I make my existing speaker smart?
Yes, you can convert your traditional speaker into a smart speaker. All you need is to attach a streaming DAC. However, you should check if your existing speaker supports the attachment.