8 best smart speakers (2021): Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri
Connects to Amazon Alexa
If you don’t like music, Amazon Echo Dot With Clock (4th generation) and Google’s Nest Mini (7/10, WIRED recommends) will give you most of the benefits of owning a smart speaker, and you can use them to make cheaper available speakers.
The sound is very similar between the models and they have almost identical footprints, so you can easily argue that one is better than the other based solely on the ecosystem. We used to prefer the Nest Mini for this reason, but now that Amazon has added a simple watch in front of the Echo Dot, we like the version that runs on Alexa.
A tiny display on Echo Dot With Clock will come in handy. It can tell you when the kitchen runs out of timer time or when the alarm is set for the morning. Of course, this also shows time. This makes it the best companion and cuisine. You can also ask about the weather, answer random questions and reproduce white noise before bed to help you fall asleep. It also presents an easy way to bring a smart assistant to places in your home where you don’t normally listen to music.
Another alternative: The Nest Mini ($ 49) also a great mini speaker if you prefer the Google Assistant.
Connects to Google Assistant or Alexa
The half-liter Sonos Roam (9/10, WIRED Recommends) has become our new favorite portable speaker. I (Parker) took it with me on the road, to an outdoor wedding and to a bicycle basket. The easy-to-use Sonos ecosystem works with Google Assistant and Alexa, and the speaker has Bluetooth when you’re out of range of Wi-Fi. It even includes wireless charging, making it the perfect speaker that can be placed at home between trips outdoors.
You get 10 hours of listening at full charge at medium volume, and the thing is durable; an IP67 rating means it can survive in 3 feet of water for 30 minutes. I don’t just have speakers, and our review team is still strong. If you want to improve your popular game, buy one of them and hide it in a stainless mug. Along the way just have a drink.
Another alternative: The Sonos Move ($ 399) also a great mini speaker, and it sounds bolder, but it’s much more bulky (and costly).
There are a lot of smart speakers. Here are a few more we like: