Smart speakers aren’t just a great way to look up recipes and play music, they can also control virtually any appliance in your home (if they are capable). But, they really do make listening to music way more convenient. So which speakers are the best? Well, we did some digging to see what kind of smart speakers make sense for playing music in different situations.

Best Music Quality

Sonos One

If you’re looking to use your speaker to listen to music at home, the Sonos One is by far going to be the best bang for your buck. At just $200 a piece (half the price of its competition), it’s surprising how good it sounds.

Although it lacks slightly in bass compared to the Apple HomePod, it more than makes up for in sound clarity. We found that by itself the highs and mids on the Sonos are generally better than the Google Home Max and the Apple HomePod. As for the bass, since it’s half the price of the other, we just doubled up. You can’t get a better stereo smart speaker than actually having two smart speakers!

Another edge the Sonos has over its competition is its ability to connect with other regular WiFi speakers around the house, so you can crank music out of every room in your house.

“If you’re going to buy one speaker, this will bring your home the most joy (and jams). And if you’re going to buy two, Sonos has a nice deal going, too.” — WIRED

 

Best Party DJ

Google Home Max

If you’re looking to get everybody dancing and grooving at your party, you’re going to need some serious volume. As far as volume goes, Google Home Max has no rival. Not only is it loud enough for a party, but it also has the deepest bass. Google smart speakers will auto tune based on the rooms acoustic factors, which can dramatically impact their sound quality.

Google smart speakers also have the smartest artificial intelligence on the market right now. This makes sense, considering they were created by the largest search engine on the planet. So if you can’t remember the name of a song, you can basically do a Google search with your voice, keeping the party going.

Best Music on the Go

JBL Link 20

What if you need a virtual DJ, but you aren’t at home? Well, Google Home Max and Sonos One speakers are not exactly portable. For on the go smart speaker needs we recommend the JBL Link 20. The sound quality of the link isn’t quite as good as its non-portable comrades, but it’s not lacking by much. And considering its convenience, we find that its slight lack in sound quality hardly matters. Not only is it portable, but it’s also waterproof. You can actually bring it in the pool with you, and it floats; pretty cool right?

Connecting the link to Bluetooth is a cinch. Just like most Bluetooth devices these days, all you have to do is press a button and pair it. To top it all off, the Link uses Google Assistant for all of its smart features, this of course makes it really smart.

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Best Value

Amazon Echo Dot

If you’re looking for a virtual assistant first and a music station second, your best bet is going to be that Amazon Echo Dot. It may not be quite as smart as Google Assistant, but it more than makes up for it in support and features.

Two features that the Echo Dot has that Google Home Mini (for the same price) does not have:

  • 5mm analog line-level output
  • Bluetooth connectivity

So once you have your echo dot, it’s up to you if you want to add some more powerful speakers later down the road.

“At $50, the Amazon Echo Dot is perfect for those that want to try a smart assistant without making a big investment. It’s also great for those with a quality speaker setup already.” — androidauthority.com

Conclusion

Whether you’re an audiophile wanting amazing sound with smart home features or just looking for an assistant to tell you the weather outside, there’s a plenty of options out there for you. With smart home popularity exploding these days, it stands to reason that there will be plenty more options to come. So put the MP3 player away and get smart with smart speakers!