Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo (Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash)

In today’s tech-driven world, smart speakers have become increasingly popular, offering voice-controlled convenience and entertainment. But with so many options available, choosing the right one can be overwhelming. From music lovers seeking premium sound to budget-conscious users prioritizing affordability, everyone has unique needs. This guide delves into the best smart speakers currently available, exploring their strengths, features, and potential drawbacks to help you find the perfect fit for your home and lifestyle. Whether you crave crystal-clear audio for immersive listening, seamless smart home integration, or simply a handy voice assistant, we’ll help you navigate the market and discover the smart speaker that speaks to you.

Smart speakers offer more than just music playback. Research shows they can even coach you in skills like public speaking. But, for many, these speakers serve as a helpful assistant for your everyday tech needs. If you are looking to buy your first smart speaker or upgrade your existing one, StudyFinds has you covered. We’ve compiled a list of the five best smart speakers, from ten expert websites. As always, we’d like to see your own recommendations in the comments below!

➡️ How Our “Best Of The Best” Lists Are Created


StudyFinds’ “Best of the Best” articles are put together with the idea of taking the work out of common consumer research. Ever find yourself searching for a product or service on Google and reading multiple reviews to find items listed across many of them? Our Best of the Best lists are created with that process in mind, with each item ranked by how frequently it appears on expert reviews or lists. With Best of the Best, you are getting consensus picks — making them truly the best of the best!

Woman using digital assistant Alexa
Woman confused while using a smart speaker (© ryanking999 – stock.adobe.com)

The List: Best Smart Speakers, According to Tech Experts

1. Amazon Echo (4th Gen)

Amazon Echo (4th Gen)
Amazon Echo (4th Gen)

For an affordable price, this smart speaker “is a cute ball of sound,” according to Wired. But don’t let its cuteness fool you! this little sphere packs a punch. Wired reviewers also say it has impressive bass, a wide soundstage, and more room-filling sound than any previous models.

Released in 2020, this redesigned Echo works with Alexa and has “a built-in Zigbee smart hub, and more potential under its new 100 percent recycled hood,” adds What Hi-Fi? It’s been completely redesigned to bring all the buttons and whistles of previous Echos, with a level up.

The speaker might sound a bit heavy on the bass and muffled out of the box, but fear not! You can easily adjust the bass and treble levels through the Amazon Alexa app to fine-tune the sound to your preference. Plus, there’s a handy mute button for the microphone, giving you complete control over when the speaker listens (RTINGS.com).

2. Sonos One Smart Speaker

Sonos One Smart Speaker
Sonos One Smart Speaker

The Sonos One is a bit more expensive than the Echo, but it works with both Alexa and Google Assistant. So, is it worth the extra cash? Let’s find out!

Don’t underestimate the Sonos One! Despite its compact size, Tom’s Guide assures it delivers powerful sound you wouldn’t expect from such a small speaker. Similar to other Sonos devices, you can double the sonic punch by pairing two Ones for true stereo, or integrate them into a wider Sonos setup for a whole-home audio experience.

Engadget echoes the praise, highlighting its exceptional sound quality, especially after a quick room calibration through the Sonos app. This calibration takes mere minutes and unlocks the One’s full potential, offering lively sound with punchy bass and clear highs. So, if you’re looking for a small speaker with big sound, the Sonos One seems to be a strong contender.

3. Apple HomePod Mini

Apple HomePod Mini
Apple HomePod Mini (bestbuy.com)

Calling all Apple enthusiasts! Consumer Reports declares the HomePod Mini the “best speaker for Apple fans,” praising its sleek design and seamless integration with Apple HomeKit smart home devices and Apple Music. Control your lights, thermostats, and more, all through the power of your voice.

This Apple smart speaker comes in some fun colors like yellow and blue, along with the standard varieties. CNET goes beyond aesthetics, highlighting its practicality with features like intercom, audio handoff, and stereo pairing. They also commend its stylish design and impressive sound quality, making it a well-rounded choice for Apple users.

PCMag reinforces the specific appeal to Apple users who favor Siri over other assistants. If you’re deeply invested in the Apple ecosystem and prioritize HomeKit compatibility, the HomePod Mini is the perfect smart speaker match for your needs.

4. Google Nest Audio

Google Nest Audio
Google Nest Audio

If you are a fan of Google products, Google Nest Audio is worth a look. Wired praises its compact, user-friendly design and powerful sound that fills even medium-sized rooms with ease. Whether you’re nestled in your reading nook or cooking up a storm in the kitchen, this speaker promises a satisfying audio experience.

TechRadar loves its seamless integration with popular smart home platforms like Nest, Philips Hue, and Samsung’s SmartThings. This compatibility allows you to control your lights, thermostats, and more, making it a true smart home hub.

Tom’s Guide emphasizes not just the sound quality, but also the responsiveness of Google Assistant thanks to the speaker’s on-device processing. This translates to speedy answers to your queries, whether you’re searching for music or catching up on the latest news while multitasking.

5. Amazon Echo Studio Smart Speaker

Amazon Echo Studio Smart Speaker
Amazon Echo Studio Smart Speaker

Music lovers will truly enjoy how the Amazon Echo Studio performs. Immerse yourself in rich, room-filling sound with the Amazon Echo Studio. T3 Smarter Living highlights its support for Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 Reality Audio, creating a truly enveloping listening experience powered by three mid-range speakers, a tweeter, and a hefty woofer.

RTINGS.com emphasizes its versatility, praising its clear reproduction of both vocals and instruments across different genres. And if you prefer a different soundscape, you can easily adjust the bass and treble through the Alexa app.

But the Echo Studio shines brightest in a home cinema setting. TechRadar hails it as the “best smart speaker for home cinema set-ups,” praising its ability to create an impressive, immersive surround sound experience when paired with another Echo Studio. While it may not rival a dedicated system, it offers an impressive and convenient alternative, especially considering its price point.

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links in which we receive a commission if you make a purchase.

About Melissa Kraus

Melissa is a freelance writer, based out of New Jersey. She has over two-decades of writing, editing, and producing experience for Radio, TV, and Digital Media.

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