With so many Smart Speakers to choose from, how do you know which one will be best for you and your needs? With a choice of 4 voice assistants, various connecting accessories and other smart home gadgets, as well as multiple app integrations, it can be tough to choose. Let us break down the best Smart Speakers of 2019 and help you choose which one will be the best choice for you and your home.
1.Best Overall Speaker
(Connects to Alexa, Sonos, AirPlay 2, and soon Google Home)
There are louder speakers, and some that are more portable, but no smart speaker is a better buy than the Sonos One right now. It sets the bar in a number of areas, including sound quality, stable multi-room audio, and smart-home utility. Plus, it’s probably compatible with whatever ecosystem you prefer—it comes with Alexa enabled but also supports Apple Airplay 2, and software improvements in the next few months will add Google Assistant.
On the audio front, the Sonos One is virtually unrivaled. Apple’s HomePod is the only voice-enabled speaker we’ve heard that may best it in sound, but not by much. It connects to about 100 streaming audio services around the world, which is most of them. It’s also one of the best smart speakers to buy if you plan to build a home theater setup—it connects to Sonos’ larger speakers and its TV soundbar.
If you’re going to buy one speaker, the Sonos One will bring your home the most joy (and jams).
2. Best Mini Speaker
Google Home Mini
(Connects to Google Home)
If you aren’t in it for the music, the Google Home Mini will give you most of the perks of owning a smart speaker, and you can use them to smarten up existing speakers on the cheap.
The Home Mini can tell you the weather, answer your random questions, and play white noise at bedtime to help you sleep. It also has more contextual awareness than Alexa. It presents an easy way to get Google Assistant into the places in your home where you don’t normally listen to music; you can just use it to ask questions and control your smart-home devices.
3. Best Party Speaker
If you’re looking for a smart speaker that can crank it out in any size room, the Google Home Max is our pick. It gets loud and brings the bass, thanks to its dual 4.5-inch woofers. Touchpad volume controls work well, and a magnetic pad on the bottom keeps the speaker from sliding around. It also dampens vibrations, preventing the speaker from rattling against the table and keeping those beats extra tight.
The Max automatically shapes its sound to match the acoustic properties of the room you’re in. An array of six microphones listens to the audio signature of the space, amplifying or reducing certain frequencies to arrive at a sweeter-sounding result. The Max gets about as loud as a Sonos Play:5 speaker. But if you like to rock out and kick up the volume, it’s unmatched among voice-controlled options. If you’re completely nuts, you can pair two of these together. Like other Google speakers, setting up the Home Max is easy. Android phone users will find it more useful, since its smooth integration with Google-powered handsets adds extra utility.
4. Best Sound Quality Speaker
The obvious benefit of an Apple HomePod is that it’ll play nice with your other Apple products. So if you’re a die-hard Apple fan the HomePod may be a no-brainer.
The HomePod is excellent as a smart home hub, as it boasts incredible sound and a very intuitive set-up.
5. Best Smart Speaker to Connect to Other Smart Home Gadgets
For starters, you might never appreciate just how much music is on YouTube without buying a Google Home. We’re not saying Google Home is capable of playing any song you can think of, but after dredging the depths of the ’90s we still couldn’t find a tune Google Home couldn’t track down and start playing.
While Google Home excels as a DJ, it’s also a surprisingly intelligent smart home hub. It already hooks into some of the largest platforms now available by including Nest, Philips and Samsung’s SmartThings, and given a few months that number will grow even more.
You can now use the device to make calls, connect to your Google Chromecast device and connect to other smart speakers around your home. Google Assistant has also been updated to included bilingual capabilities, Continued Conversation and Multiple Actions. A more recent update has also brought Google Assistant to Nest Security alarm systems.