Home Speakers Intelligent speakers: the 12 best smart speakers in comparison

Intelligent speakers: the 12 best smart speakers in comparison

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Smart speakers conquer the market. More and more people are deciding to integrate the useful devices, which can be conveniently operated using voice control, into their everyday lives. But what is really important when buying a smart speaker? We would like to pursue this question together with you in the course of our now following article. We have then put together a selection of what we believe to be the 12 best smart speakers for you. Have fun with our article!

The range of current smart speakers is almost unlimited. While some models were developed for permanent use in the home and work best in conjunction with other smart speakers, other manufacturers have specialized in making their intelligent speakers as compact and easily transportable as possible. What all Smart Speakers have in common is the fact that they can easily be operated with your own voice. Which language assistant we use depends on the one hand on our own preferences and on the other hand on the capabilities of the model in question. Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri react to commands such as “Start playlist XY” or “Lights on”.

What is still preventing many buyers from using a smart speaker is the issue of data protection. Many people are reluctant to think that the history of the functions they use is stored in some higher-level cloud. For this reason, many manufacturers now advertise with the promise to conscientiously protect the privacy of their customers. However, to be completely on the safe side, you should familiarize yourself with the individual data protection provisions of the respective product before buying your speaker.

Like so much in life, the choice of an intelligent speaker is also a matter of personal taste. While some consider the technical gadgets, such as voice control, to be decorative accessories and place their main focus entirely on the sound properties of the respective device, others attach great importance to the functional diversity of their speakers. You can read which model best suits your requirements in our list of the best below!

1st place: Bose Home Speaker 300

Bose Home Speaker 300 with integrated Amazon Alexa voice control, black
Bose Home Speaker 300 with integrated Amazon Alexa voice control, black

  • Sound experience: room-filling bass and lively 360 ° sound in a compact design
  • Alexa is integrated: Thanks to the integrated voice control with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, the smart speaker can be conveniently operated by voice command. The dual microphone system picks up your voice from every direction
  • Connection options: Pair your mobile device with this home speaker to stream your favorite music and much more via Bluetooth, WiFi, Apple AirPlay 2 or Spotify Connect

The Home Speaker 300 from Bose is in first place on our list of the best. The model, which is optionally available in black or silver, comes with the Amazon voice control system Alexa. Optionally, the speaker can also be operated using the Google Assistant.

 

Located in the middle price segment, the Bose Home Speaker 300 impresses with full-bodied bass and a dynamic 360-degree sound, which gives your living room a thoroughly lively sound. Thanks to six microphones, all of which have been integrated into the compact device, the Home Speaker 300 promises excellent voice reception at all times, which means that linguistic misunderstandings or commands that are not understood are a rarity.

The small model remains discreetly in the background within your living space and, at just 950 grams, is really not a heavyweight. The Bose Home Speaker 300 is compatible with WLAN, Apple AirPlay 2 and Bluetooth, which means that you can connect the intelligent speaker to a variety of different end devices. In addition to the option of controlling the smart speaker with your own voice, it is also possible to operate the Home Speaker 300 via the associated app or via manual button control. The initial setup of the speaker is a breeze thanks to the accompanying instructions in the Bose Music app.

In terms of sound quality, the speaker scores with a surprising full-bodiedness. The crystal clear sounds only suffered a few losses in the middle. In addition, we would not have complained if the manufacturers had provided their device with a few more connections. All in all, however, the Bose Home Speaker 300 will give you many beautiful hours of sound without stressing your wallet too much.

2nd place: Amazon Echo Studio

We introduce: Echo Studio - Smart high fidelity loudspeaker with 3D audio and Alexa
We introduce: Echo Studio – Smart high fidelity loudspeaker with 3D audio and Alexa

  • Immersive sound – 5 speakers for powerful bass, dynamic mids and crystal clear highs. Dolby Atmos processing gives your music space, clarity and depth.
  • Always ready – Alexa can play music, read the messages, and answer questions.
  • Voice control your music – Stream songs from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer and more. Amazon Music HD gives you access to 50 million songs in HD as well as an ever-growing selection of music mastered in 3D.

The Echo Studio loudspeaker is already lurking just behind the Bose Home Speaker 300. Just like the previous model, the Echo Studio is controlled with the help of Alexa and knows how to convince with an extremely lively sound. With the help of its five speakers, the Echo Studio Speaker masters bass as well as mids and highs without having to make any compromises in terms of quality. Only the bass might seem a bit too dominant for one or the other of you, but in our opinion this is just a nuance that in and of itself does not really matter.

 

The voice control works extremely reliably, even when the pieces are turned up loud, Alexa is always at your service. We would like to point out that this volume was implemented particularly strongly, so nothing stands in the way of exuberant music sessions with the Echo Studio. Thanks to its alignment, the smart speaker integrates perfectly into your smart home and can also be connected to Fire TV, among other things. In addition, the manufacturer of the product is committed to providing its model with an intelligent mechanism that analyzes the spatial conditions in its environment and then individually adapts and optimizes the sound image to the respective conditions. In terms of price, there is nothing to complain about with the Echo Studio,

3rd place: MEDION P61142

MEDION P61142 WLAN speaker with Amazon Alexa, 2 x 10 W RMS, far-field voice recognition, control of compatible SmartHome devices, multiroom, party mode, DLNA, wireless music transmission
MEDION P61142 WLAN speaker with Amazon Alexa, 2 x 10 W RMS, far-field voice recognition, control of compatible SmartHome devices, multiroom, party mode, DLNA, wireless music transmission

  • Alexa integrated – control the speaker simply with your voice1
  • Spotify-Connect, wireless music transfer (e.g. Spotify) from smartphone or tablet (Bluetooth 4.0, range approx. 10 m, depending on ambient conditions)
  • Multiroom – classical music in the bedroom, rock music in the office and jazz in the living room. Simultaneous playback of different songs on multiple speakers with the MEDION Speaker APP

The third place in our selection is also the winner in the “Value for money” section. The smart speaker from the manufacturer MEDION already looks great. Accordingly, the device comes in an angular design, which is reminiscent of a classic radio from days long gone. The nostalgic flair that the loudspeaker spreads with it can be wonderfully integrated into your home environment.

 

In addition to its external charms, the MEDION P61142 also knows how to please with its technical performance. In terms of sound quality, the intelligent loudspeaker has no problems worth mentioning across the spectrum. Both quiet and loud playbacks are played back satisfactorily by this model. The handling of the smart speaker also turns out to be pleasantly uncomplicated. The loudspeaker implements the desired functions using voice recognition, the associated Medion app or at the push of a button. Thanks to WLAN and Bluetooth compatibility, various end devices can be wirelessly connected to the stylishly designed box. In addition, the MEDION P61142 has an auxiliary input on its back, which also enables wired connections.

If you are looking for a point of criticism with this model, you will find it with the basses. Although the bass turns out to be anything but inadequate, the bass quality might not be strong enough for one or the other. A total of three side plates are available in the scope of delivery. So you are free to customize the visual appearance of the speaker to suit your preferences. In addition to the chic retro wood look, panels in modern white and classic black are also included. If you are looking for a low-cost model that is easy on the wallet but does not do so at the expense of its own quality, the P61142 from MEDION is ideal.

4th place: Apple HomePod

 

Apple Homepod

Ready to pay more for great sound and are you an Apple fanatic? Then the HomePod is exactly the right smart speaker for you!

The HomePod is a great smart speaker as long as you’re ready to take full advantage of Apple’s ecosystem. It only works with iOS devices like the iPhone or iPad, it can only control smart home devices that are compatible with Apple’s HomeKit automation platform, and if you want to listen to music, you’re limited to Apple software like Apple Music and Spotify – at least as far as voice control is concerned. There is basic multi-room control via the Apple Home app, but it can be tricky to use and some features are limited to Siri only, which is not ideal.

However, the HomePod has AirPlay 2, which means that as long as there is an iOS app for your favorite music service, you can play it through the speaker – all you have to do is do without Siri. Other than that, the HomePod is an amazing great sounding speaker.

Its A8 chip constantly checks the area around the speaker to optimize the audio quality, which works impressively well. No matter where you place the HomePod, it sounds great, thanks in part to the seven (!) Tweeters that surround a four-inch driver, each with its own amplifier. The bass is great, the mids are warm and velvety, and the highs are impressively clear.

If you’ve been a lifelong Apple fan and you don’t mind spending the extra cash to chat with Siri, this is a speaker with great sound.

5th place: Libratone ZIPP MINI 2

Libratone ZIPP MINI 2 Smart Wireless small speaker (Alexa integration, AirPlay 2, MultiRoom, 360 ° sound, WiFi, Bluetooth, Spotify Connect, 12 hour battery) stormy black
Libratone ZIPP MINI 2 Smart Wireless small speaker (Alexa integration, AirPlay 2, MultiRoom, 360 ° sound, WiFi, Bluetooth, Spotify Connect, 12 hour battery) stormy black

  • The ZIPP 2’s battery lasts even longer – for up to 12 hours of music. And thanks to its cordless design and convenient loop, you can take it with you wherever you go
  • Improved 360 FullRoom Sound: The clever acoustic design has been further optimized to ensure the best sound in every direction – regardless of placement or position
  • The Alexa voice control works via 6 built-in microphones and far-field voice recognition. You can choose your music, check the weather, control your smart home devices and much more

The Libratone ZIPP MINI 2 primarily appeals to those customers who do not want to throw themselves into expense when purchasing an intelligent loudspeaker. With its compact design, the smart speaker not only stays discreetly in the background in your living room, but can also be easily taken with you on trips. For this reason, the manufacturers also provided this model with a handy loop, which makes transporting the speaker even more convenient. The speaker’s battery allows you to enjoy your favorite songs, audio books or podcasts for up to 12 hours at a time.

 

With the help of the 360 ​​FullRoom sound, the clever loudspeaker is able to provide the best possible sound to its entire environment. Voice control is once again mastered by Alexa. The Libratone ZIPP MINI 2 comes with six built-in microphones so that speech recognition works without any loss. Thanks to the SoundSpace Link function, up to 10 different loudspeakers can be connected to one another, which increases the acoustic enjoyment to unimagined heights. The favorite playlists can be immortalized in the internal memory of the speaker and are available to you at any time.

As we all know, Alexa is not only able to play your beloved tracks, but also provides you with the latest news, the weather forecast and a lot of other useful information if you wish. In terms of sound, the Libratone ZIPP MINI 2 shines especially in the mids and highs. Only the bass of this compact loudspeaker does not reach the booming depths that we know from some models of the competition.

6th place: Sonos One

Sonos One SL All-In-One Smart Speaker (powerful WLAN speaker with app control and AirPlay 2 - multiroom speaker for unlimited music streaming) black, without voice control
Sonos One SL All-In-One Smart Speaker (powerful WLAN speaker with app control and AirPlay 2 – multiroom speaker for unlimited music streaming) black, without voice control

  • Great sound for every room: the compact and powerful Sonos One SL fills the home with stunning sound and, with its compact design, fits perfectly into every room
  • The home speaker can be conveniently controlled via the Sonos app or AirPlay 2 – or connected to Amazon Echo or Google Home devices via WiFi and operated simply with your voice
  • Powerful stereo sound: Connect the Sonos One SL with another One SL or a Sonos One to form a stereo pair and enjoy even more detailed sound – or integrate it into the home theater

When it comes to looks, simplicity is the key with the Sonos One Smart Speaker. The loudspeaker comes in a classic black design and dispenses with any form of optical gimmicks. The WLAN-bound speaker requires a functioning internet connection, other music playback options are therefore neglected.

 

To control the device via voice recognition, you also need an Amazon account. While the external design of the speaker is extremely discreet, as mentioned above, the Sonos One shines all along the way in terms of sound quality. The sound properties of the speaker can be assigned to the upper tip without further ado. Nevertheless, the bottom line is still just a single loudspeaker, which naturally reaches its limits in terms of sound spectrum at some point. However, if several boxes are in use, the combination of Sonos boxes really doesn’t need to hide from the captivating sound of comparable systems.

We have to complain that the Sonos One Smart Speaker only has two connections, which are limited in detail to the inputs for power and LAN cables. Apart from that, the speaker offers pretty much everything that we currently appreciate in a good smart speaker. The device can be connected to other models from the manufacturer via multiroom. The voice control proves to be stable and comes with all the useful features of Alexa.

7th place: Amazon Echo 3

Amazon Echo (3rd generation), smart speaker with Alexa, sandstone fabric
Amazon Echo (3rd generation), smart speaker with Alexa, sandstone fabric

  • Get to know Echo – Echo (3rd Gen.) offers new, high-quality loudspeakers with Dolby processing that fill the room with pure 360-degree sound with clear highs and dynamic bass.
  • Enjoy Premium Sound – Personalize your listening experience by adjusting the equalizer settings or connect a second Echo (3rd Gen.) or Echo Plus (2nd Gen.) for stereo sound.
  • Voice control for your music – ask Alexa for a song, an artist or a genre from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer and TuneIn. Multiroom Music lets you play music on compatible Echo devices in different rooms.

Like the Echo Studio, the 3rd generation Echo also attracts with a rich 360-degree sound. And in fact, the sound also proves to be extremely dynamic in this case. Accordingly, not only the highs and mids are spat out in crystal clear quality, the basses are also convincing and come with the necessary force. The multiroom function enables you to create a coherent audio system from your network of echo speakers, which both intensifies and enhances the sound experience. Compared to its predecessors, the Amazon Echo 3 has slightly larger drivers, which means that the sound is much more powerful than with older models. While the sound is satisfactory across the board, we don’t want to hide from you,

 

Voice control is done, how could it be otherwise with an in-house Amazon product, with the help of Alexa. The corresponding implementation of the voice commands proves to be precise, major complications or misunderstandings during the command input are therefore the exception. Using dual-band, the WLAN runs over two different frequencies. This fact primarily benefits the transmission quality and signal stability. If you own a smart home, you can easily integrate the Amazon Echo 3 speaker into it. This allows you to switch lights on and off or regulate the thermostats in your apartment using voice control.

From an optical point of view, the Amazon Echo 3 knows how to please with a high-quality workmanship, which makes a thoroughly robust impression. If you look at the scope of the connections, the manufacturer waived other manual inputs except for an auxiliary input.

Various users also reported that problems with the software can occur at irregular intervals. In most cases, Alexa reacts as desired, but it can happen that there are minor sags in between. In view of the price, which is in the lower mid-range, the smart speaker from Amazon is particularly suitable for newcomers who are just getting into the world of intelligent speakers.

8th place: Denon Home 250

Denon Home 250 multiroom speaker, HiFi speaker with HEOS built-in, WLAN, Bluetooth, USB, AirPlay 2, Hi-Res audio, Alexa compatible, black
Denon Home 250 multiroom speaker, HiFi speaker with HEOS built-in, WLAN, Bluetooth, USB, AirPlay 2, Hi-Res audio, Alexa compatible, black

  • CLEAR HEIGHTS AND POWERFUL BASS – The music box is equipped with two dynamic ¾ “tweeters, two powerful 4” woofers and a 5¼ “passive bass membrane for entertainment with the best sound.
  • INTERNET RADIO AND MUSIC STREAMING – Listen to music from Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music HD, TIDAL, TuneIn, Deezer and other services conveniently via WiFi, AirPlay 2 or Bluetooth.
  • APPLE AIRPLAY 2 CERTIFIED – Use AirPlay 2 to play music wirelessly through your Denon Home 250 or group the speaker with other AirPlay 2 compatible speakers for unlimited music enjoyment throughout the house.

If the purchase of your smart speaker can be a bit more expensive, you should take a closer look at the Denon Home 250. Although the loudspeaker costs a lot more than the Amazon Echo 3 just introduced, the device also comes with a much more luxurious sound. The combination of tweeters, midrange and woofers creates a razor-sharp sound image that is not only crystal clear, but also well balanced. Thanks to the integrated amplifier, the result is a sound experience that is both room-filling and dynamic.

With regard to the preferred voice control, you have a wide range at your disposal. In addition to Amazon’s well-known Alexa, the Denon Home 250 also supports Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant. If we criticized the lack of variety of connections in some of the products already presented, the speaker from Denon comes with a wide range that allows you to connect USB, AUX and Ethernet cables to the smart speaker. If you want to spare your voice, you can use the direct selection buttons on the device to manually issue the corresponding commands to the loudspeaker.

If you don’t shy away from the high purchase price and like to put the required amount on the table, the Denon Home 250 is a more than satisfactory device that easily plays in the top league of the segment.

9th place: Pure DiscovR

Pure DiscovR Smart Home Wireless Speaker with Alexa voice control (360 degree sound, 15 hours battery, quick charge function, internet radio and special privacy protection), silver / white
Pure DiscovR Smart Home Wireless Speaker with Alexa voice control (360 degree sound, 15 hours battery, quick charge function, internet radio and special privacy protection), silver / white

  • POWERFUL SOUND: Optimized 45 W audio with an impressive downfire subwoofer and double tweeter ensures room-filling 360 ° sound.
  • ALEXA: Music, news, weather or smart home control. Ask Alexa and create presets for voice commands that start your favorite channels, playlists, home control options and more at the touch of a finger.
  • MIC DROP FEATURE: For the ultimate protection of your privacy, the microphones can be physically decoupled by closing the loudspeaker.

The Pure DiscovR Smart Speaker also allows us to stream our favorite songs completely wirelessly. In the case of this model, playback takes place either via WLAN, via Bluetooth or with the help of Apple AirPlay 2.

 

The Pure DiscovR is equipped with three drivers, which do their job in a rock-solid manner, but from which one should not expect any masterfuls at the same time. The battery of this speaker lasts up to 15 hours, which means that nothing stands in the way of extensive music sessions. While Amazon’s Alexa takes care of your voice commands, there are also countless Internet radios and an integrated coupling with the Spotify streaming service available. Those who prefer to operate it manually can quickly fall back on the numerous quick-start buttons on the device, with which certain functions can be started in next to no time. If you want to do without voice control via the built-in microphones entirely, these can be easily deactivated using a switch.

In view of the small size and the lack of sonic power, the Pure DiscovR is not necessarily suitable for permanent use in the living room at home. The compact loudspeaker simply lacks the necessary power for this. But if you are on the road a lot anyway and have made it your task to musically refine the get-togethers with your friends outside, you can grab the easily transportable model without further ado.

10th place: Lenovo Smart Assistant

Last but not least, we will take a closer look at Lenovo’s Smart Assistant together with you. The first thing that catches our eye positively about this model is its low price. In addition, there is the compact size of the device, which turns the Lennovo Smart Assistant into an extremely space-saving gadget. Parallels to Amazon’s Echo models cannot be denied in terms of appearance. In order to keep the voice control stable and precise at all times, the makers of the loudspeaker decided to equip their device with eight microphones.

 

The low purchase price results not least from the fact that the manufacturer largely foregone additional functions that are now standard in comparable models from the competition. Accordingly, the Lenovo Smart Assistant is neither compatible with Spotify, nor does it have the multi-room function that many buyers appreciate. A constant internet connection is required to enjoy your favorite songs. The sound produced by the Lenovo Smart Assistant loudspeaker is fundamentally solid in and of itself, but naturally does not come close to the qualities of higher-priced products. These tonal compromises are particularly noticeable at high volume.

While the smart speaker has to record losses in these points, the operation via voice commands is completely successful. The intelligent loudspeaker records the commands you utter with high accuracy and, moreover, has no problem with greater spatial distances.

If you do not place too high demands on your smart speaker and want to carefully approach the field of intelligent speakers, the Lenovo Smart Assistant is a solid entry-level model.

11th place: Google Nest Mini

Google Nest Mini
(c) Google

Although the Google Nest Mini looks identical to the Google Home Mini, the Smart Speaker offers some advantages over the older model: The device is made of more environmentally friendly materials, can be easily attached to the wall and reacts much faster to your voice commands.

 

The Nest Mini doesn’t have an aux port to send your songs to a larger speaker, but it does have Bluetooth, which could work if your larger speakers support this technology.

If you prefer Google Assistant to Alexa, the Nest Mini is for you (unless you want to spend more money on a little more sound). There are numerous apps and gadgets that work with the assistant, it has an individual voice adjustment and enables uncomplicated phone calls.

Compared to the Echo Dot, the Mini is a bit bigger.

Rank 12: Marshall Woburn Multi-Room

Marshall Woburn Multi-Room Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Speaker - Beige (EU)
Marshall Woburn Multi-Room Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Speaker – Beige (EU)

  • Robust sound and appearance – the perfect centerpiece even for the largest room
  • Multi-Room – Combine with other Marshall wireless speakers to make your home the ultimate listening experience
  • Connectivity – Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v4.2 + EDR, Chromecast, Spotify Connect, AirPlay, 3.5mm input, RCA

While we’re on the subject of optical eye-catchers, the Marshall Woburn Multi-Room is probably the most beautiful representative in our selection today in terms of its external design. However, the Smart Speaker comes with a rather steep price and is in the upper segment. However, if your budget is generous, the WLAN-enabled speaker is a device that perfectly complements any classically elegantly furnished home. The strong wattage turns the loudspeaker into a powerful device that, thanks to its two subwoofers, achieves a particularly rich sound quality. This in turn is particularly noticeable in the bass, making the Marshall Woburn Multi-Room a safe tip for those of you who

 

At a good 8 kilograms, the equally robust and high-quality processed device is truly no lightweight. If you already have other speakers from the manufacturer, you can connect this device to the other speakers in no time and optimize the sound experience even further. However, individual users complained that the said multi-room playback can lead to unpleasant failures from time to time. In general, the Marshall Woburn Multi-Room suffers from isolated connection problems, which is why the Smart Speaker is ultimately denied a higher position in our current best list.

Disclosure: Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.

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