As our homes continue to get smarter, so are our speakers. In a way, this makes perfect sense, as smart home speakers are currently considered to be a vital part of any smart home setup. To put the popularity of these devices in context, consider this: one in six Americans now owns a smart speaker, amounting to about 39 million devices in homes across the country.
This trend may feel staggering, but it is really not surprising when you consider the impressive range of smart home speakers currently available on the market. Yet, having numerous great choices available can make it hard to pick the perfect smart home speaker. Depending on your needs, wants, and current smart home setup, there are a number of impressive devices offered by nearly a dozen major manufacturers.
So which smart home speakers are the best? To help answer this question, we would like to spend some time highlighting what we believe to be the best options available to consumers in 2019. Let’s get started with one of the more popular options out there, the 2nd generation Amazon Echo.
Amazon Echo (2nd Generation)
For those looking for a smart home speaker that manages to be affordable while offering great sound, look no further than the latest edition of the classic Amazon Echo. The unique combination of quality and a super-low price help this device to gain the number one spot in our list, as it is one of the best smart home speakers available on the market today.
While the Amazon Echo doesn’t come close to replacing any hi-fi setups, it is a great place to start for those looking to get into smart home and home automation technology. The sound is sharp, and new fabric finishes offered by Amazon blend into a room far better than the brushed aluminum body found on the original Echo. By and large, this is a great option for those looking to purchase their first smart home speaker.
Google Home is another great smart home speaker, especially for those who rely on Google-owned apps like YouTube or devices like Chromecast. Google’s voice assistant is surprisingly intelligent and closely rivals Amazon’s industry-leading Alexa. The Google Home is compatible with a whole suite of smart home devices right out of the box, including the widely popular offerings of Nest, Philips, and even Samsung’s SmartThings.
While we are confident that the Google Home will continue to improve with time, it doesn’t feel quite as robust as the second generation Amazon Echo. Still, this device has the potential to become the industry leader in a year or so, especially considering how much effort Google is putting into the improvement of their smart assistant, fittingly known as Google Assistant.
If high-quality audio is the most prominent feature you’re looking for in a smart home speaker, look no further than the Sonos One. While it is a little pricier than the Amazon Echo, users certainly get their money’s worth in the form of the best consumer-grade audio on the planet. Best of all, Sonos has partnered with Amazon to include the Alexa smart assistant as a built-in feature, making this device one of the leading contenders for the title of the best premium smart home speaker.
For those interested in getting the best sound possible, we suggest pairing two Sonos One speakers in the same room for instant stereo sound. It may be a little pricier, but trust us, if you’re an audiophile then the investment is well worth it. Better yet, those who really want to make the most of their smart home speaker audio experience can opt to combine up to four Sonos One speakers in one room, offering an unparalleled listening experience in ever the largest of spaces.
Rounding out our list of the best smart home speakers available today is the Apple HomePod, which offers a strong option for die-hard fans of the tech giant. We suggest this smart home speaker to those who are already part of Apple’s device ecosystem, as the HomePod was custom-built with the thought of creating the perfect smart speaker to pair with your iPhone or iPad in mind.
The sound offered by this device is superb and could certainly give the Sonos One a run for its money. With this being said, Apple’s Siri smart assistant feels a little behind when compared to some of the other fantastic smart assistants available from the likes of Google and Amazon. As such, despite its excellent sound and strong support for a number of different smart home devices, the HomePod is likely going to appeal to those that are die-hard Apple fans.