Updated March 25, 2019 by Jeff Newburgh

The 10 Best Smart Speakers

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Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive

Since the initial publication of this wiki in October of 2017, we've made 13 edits to this page. If you and the family crave a more interactive listening experience, consider one of these smart speakers as a step in the right direction to bringing a home into the 21st century. Made to do much more than stream radio stations or play back CDs, our options feature integrated Bluetooth functionality and compatibility with several common voice assistance platforms, including Amazon Alexa and Siri. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best smart speaker on Amazon.

10. Ellipsis Plug-In

9. Echo Dot

8. Creative Nova

7. Bose Home 500

6. Riva Concert

5. Harman Kardon Allure Portable

4. GGMM E3

3. Sonos Beam

2. Echo Show

1. Marshall Stanmore II

Editor's Notes

March 24, 2019:

Given that this is a relatively fast-moving category, my process for bringing the wiki up to current standards included a focus on functionality, size, portability, compatibility, and of course rich sound distribution. I included the next generation of both the Echo Dot and Echo Show models. The Echo Show (2nd gen), for example, now has a larger and more vibrant screen than its predecessor along with expanded compatibility with Zigbee devices. Keeping with the same theme, the Echo Dot (3rd gen) offers improved sound quality and a fabric-made exterior design for complementing virtually any interior decor. I added the Marshall Stanmore II due to its classic and elegant exterior along with the far-field microphone array technology that ensures Alexa will "hear" a user across a room and over high volumes (many of the other options on the list are equipped with far-field microphones as well). While dedicated more for television use, the Sonos Beam's slim profile and use of woofers, tweeters, and several amplifiers allow it to distribute sound evenly without taking up too much space in one's entertainment center. Added the GGMM E3 for its enhanced connection capacity with up to 16 speakers/devices, offering a true surround sound experience for larger homes. Additionally, it's one of the few models with a built-in digital clock for convenience. I also thought the Harman Kardon Allure Portable was a worthy contender, particularly because of its omnidirectional sound delivery and 10-hour battery life. The Riva Concert is a perfect option for outdoor use, thanks to its splash-resistant design and patented Trillium technology that works to ensure distortion-free playback of any music. Even though I know the brand tends to be on the pricey side, I felt it was important to have the Bose 500 represented, especially due to its 8-microphone array and oppositely-facing drivers that set an extra-wide soundstage for large interior spaces. Now I could imagine the Creative Nova being used by a busy housewife (or husband) who's trying to find his/her "inner peace" by using the device as both a therapeutic tool and a speaker for room-filling audio as they relax by watching the device display a color-changing light show while in the bathtub or kitchen. It also has a convenient carrying handle for easy transport into any other room. Small, but mighty, the Ellipsis Plug-In is one of the more innovative products I discovered due to its native Alexa support, multi-device syncing, and its ability to function as a WiFi extender. It's also a surprise for it to have superior bass response, given its small size.


Jeff Newburgh
Last updated on March 25, 2019 by Jeff Newburgh

Jeff is a dedicated writer and communications professional from San Francisco with a bachelor of arts in anthropology from UC Berkeley. He began his career in computer consulting and later branched out into customer service. Jeff focuses on making complex topics easy to understand. With over 10 years' experience in research, his relentless curiosity fuels a love of writing and learning how things work, and has helped to build expertise in categories such as heavy-duty power tools and computer equipment. Jeff's passion for animals affords him a strong understanding of pet products, including dog houses, beds, and grain-free foods. When he's not writing, he prefers spending time with his family and three dogs, while kicking back and relaxing with a nice glass of red wine.


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