Without a smart speaker, it would be difficult to set up a smart home because they serve as the control panel for all of your connected gadgets. You may cast old memories from Google Photos to Android TV boxes or operate several devices with a single command, saving you from navigating through dozens of different phone apps to do a straightforward operation.
Even while smart speakers are essential for a connected home, the selection has increased, making it difficult to pick the best one.
Although choosing between Alexa speakers and Google Assistant speakers may seem simple, each speaker has advantages, disadvantages, and sound quality. Some allow you to use both Alexa and Google Assistant on the same device, while others feature a built-in Zigbee hub that you would otherwise need to purchase separately for things like smart lights. We have chosen the top smart speakers for your house from the many options.
1. Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen):
The Echo Dot (4th generation) continues to be the top smart speaker for most consumers despite being a little over a year old. This little speaker is not only louder than its Google equivalent, but it also delivers richer sound with a bigger echo chamber (no pun intended) and deeper bass. Microphones are a necessary piece of technology for smart speakers, and fortunately, the Echo Dot’s mics are fairly responsive to the Alexa wake phrase. Therefore, you don’t have to shout while music is playing or you’re across the room. The bright ring light is similarly noticeable from a distance.
While Alexa has a modest advantage when used in smart homes, it is usually true that Google Assistant is a superior voice assistant overall. If your home already has a linked gadget, there’s a good possibility that it works with the Echo Dot because Alexa is compatible with many more smart home gadgets. You would receive the same functionality as any more expensive Echo speaker, except for their more booming, room-filling sound and a built-in Zigbee hub. Voice assistants, after all, essentially live in the crowd.
Though a significant change from the more understated appearance of earlier Dots, its crystal ball-like form has given Amazon more freedom to experiment with the front design. You can choose between the panda or tiger-looking Echo Dot for your child’s room. It also comes in a version with a digital clock at the front, making it the ideal desk accessory. The one criticism we have with the Echo Dot is that it is difficult to mount on a wall, albeit a few brackets make it simple to do so. Additionally, you can’t place the Echo Dot in the middle of the room because it has a forward-firing speaker, but most purchasers won’t find this an issue.
2. Google Nest Audio:
We were impressed by Google’s mid-range Nest Audio speaker’s enhancements and lower starting price than the Home speaker it replaced. Taylor stated in his review that the Nest Audio performs well across highs, mids, and lows, with even the minute details now audible clearly. This is due to the new, significantly beefier woofer-tweeter combination. The Nest Audio is better if you enjoy loud, bass-heavy music and fully justifies its higher price over the Nest Mini.
For an even louder sound and true stereo separation, link two Nest Audio speakers together to create a stereo pair. Given that Google frequently offers discounts on the speaker in its US store, the bundle should be significantly less expensive and a better value than the enormous Home Max. Although you may wirelessly link this sound system to your TV, the Bluetooth connection is less than ideal. However, your results may differ.
The Nest Audio is made smarter by Google Assistant, and if you’ve used Assistant on an Android phone, you won’t have any trouble getting used to it with the Nest Audio. There will very rarely be a situation where the Assistant cannot provide you with appropriate answers because Google Search supports it. The Nest Audio is also simply connected to your existing Google Cast speakers, Chromecasts, or Android TVs, thanks to its strong integration with various Google products and services; you can even ask it to play YouTube movies on your TV.
Even after the makeover, the Nest Audio has kept its basic fabric design, which you may alter in a variety of cheerful pastel hues to match the furnishings in your room. A cable connection for music streaming to and from this Nest speaker would have improved Google’s bundle. Despite its flaws, the Nest Audio is an important improvement over the old Home and a suitable replacement for the Home/Nest Mini.
3. Sonos Move:
The Sonos Move lives up to the reputation that Sonos speakers have established for themselves in the premium audio market. When it comes to quality and volume, the speaker’s audio output is comparable to that of the Apple HomePod, if not slightly better. The Move is a Sonos product, and as such, it is designed to operate with your existing Sonos system at Home, providing all the advantages such as multi-room and multi-device pairing. The Move is one of the first Sonos speakers that enable automated TruePlay. Thus the speaker can now adjust the EQ without requiring an iPhone.
With Sonos’ selection of smart speakers, you can shout at either Alexa or Google Assistant on the same hardware, depending on which voice assistant you prefer. Even though you can’t use both assistants at once with The Move, it’s amazing to have the choice between the two ecosystems, and switching between them in the companion app isn’t very challenging. However, you should be aware that some Alexa capabilities, such as drop-ins and calls, are available only on Echo speakers and are not included here.
Although many smart capabilities are unavailable when using the Move as a normal Bluetooth speaker, the audio quality won’t be affected. However, these connected features require Wi-Fi constantly.
As its name suggests, the Sonos Move is a portable speaker with a 10-hour battery life rating. Even if the Move isn’t the lightest speaker, you’d want to carry around all the time, having the choice is still beneficial when you want to liven up the party. The main feature is that the battery is user-accessible, enabling you to replace it after a few years of use when it becomes worn out. It has a dock and a USB-C port for charging.
4. Google Nest Mini:
The Nest Mini, Google’s smallest smart speaker, resembles its predecessor very closely, but don’t be fooled by appearances. The Nest Mini has more modern internals than the Home Mini, resulting in significantly better audio quality and a little greater volume. The bass is significantly punchier this time, and the entire sound can easily fill the room. You may also connect two Minis to create a stereo duo or multi-room streaming, much like Nest Audio.
The Nest Mini is equipped with the same cutting-edge intelligence as the Nest Audio, enabling it to respond to virtually any question you might ask it or to operate your smart Home’s appliances with a single command. You’ll appreciate the Mini if you frequently cast YouTube videos to a large screen because it is a product of Google and naturally works with Chromecasts (as well as other Home and Nest devices).
With a few of these Minis scattered throughout your Home, you may expand your current connected device setup or enter Google’s smart home ecosystem at the lowest cost possible. Another benefit is that you don’t need additional wall mounts to hang the speaker, thanks to the built-in notch.