Smart Speaker Voice Assistants: Which One Is Right for You in 2023?

Do you wonder how to find the best smart speaker voice assistants? The category of smart speakers is rapidly expanding, encompassing both the realms of hi-fi and smart home technology. However, determining which one to purchase can be challenging for a number of reasons.

Smart speakers are tightly integrated into larger ecosystems. Any speaker you consider will operate using either Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, or Google Assistant. These digital assistants enable you to inquire about today’s weather, check your calendar, or control your music.

Moreover, each speaker is usually linked to a specific smart home platform. Thus, will determine what other devices it can interact with and manage. For example, you cannot use an Amazon Echo Dot to control your Apple TV 4K.
Even after determining the platform, not every smart speaker on the market is a wise investment of your time, attention, and money.

Frequently, we have received smart speakers voice assistants to discover that their microphone setups cannot cope with moderate background noise and will not recognize voice commands unless the surrounding environment is utterly quiet. Additionally, many of these devices do not offer exceptional audio quality. Some manufacturers focusing more on their smart capabilities than on sound.

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How to Buy the Best Smart Speaker Voice Assistants

To assist you in avoiding a subpar product, we’ve assembled a guide that outlines all of the top-scoring products.
When selecting smart speaker voice assistants, the first thing to consider is compatibility. Although most smart speakers are platform agnostic and work with both Android and iOS devices, the Apple HomePod Mini won’t be very useful without an Apple mobile device to set it up.

It’s also important to think about which ecosystem you use the most. If you frequently use Google’s services such as Calendar, Maps, and Gmail, a device with Google Home built-in might be the best option for you. On the other hand, if you love shopping at Amazon and have a Prime account, an Amazon Echo might be the perfect fit. While both these speakers are compatible with other services, they work more seamlessly with the services offered by their creators.

Lastly, sound quality is a critical consideration. But it can vary significantly between different models and manufacturers, and spending more does not always guarantee a better listening experience. Some of the smaller smart speakers have limitations due to their size. It’s important to be realistic about your budget and expectations.

Fortunately, every product on this list comes with our comprehensive, star-rated review attached. Also, if it did not receive at least a highly-commended four-star review under test conditions, it did not make the list.
From affordable budget options to premium sonic experiences, we have covered with the top picks for the best smart speakers:

#1. Apple Homepod 2 – Best Smart Speaker Voice Assistants

If you’re a dedicated Apple user who loves high-quality sound and wants a smart speaker that can fill a room with immersive audio, then the HomePod 2 is the perfect choice. It’s the larger version of Apple’s current smart speaker lineup. Also, it is the best-sounding one on this list.

What sets the HomePod 2 apart from other smart speakers is its ability to adjust its audio settings. So, it can suit the room and position it’s in. During our testing, we were impressed by how well it worked. We even heard it changing its settings in real-time as we moved it closer to a wall.

Setting up the HomePod 2 was a breeze, with Siri reliably responding to our voice commands even while music was playing. This makes it an excellent choice for controlling other Matter-compatible smart home tech. The built-in temperature and humidity sensors are another neat feature that can be used to create custom automations.

However, the HomePod 2 is only suitable for Apple users, and it lacks Siri control for Spotify, Tidal, and other music services. Additionally, some rivals offer a more direct sound, so it’s worth considering your priorities when deciding whether to invest in the HomePod 2.

#2. Apple HomePod Mini

If you’re looking for a smart speaker that’s smaller and more compact than the HomePod 2, the HomePod Mini is a great option. Measuring at just 8.4cm tall and 9.8cm wide, it’s considerably smaller than other spherical speakers like the Amazon Echo or the new Echo Dot. But don’t let its size fool you, the HomePod Mini packs a punch in both sound quality and smart features.

One of the standout features of the HomePod Mini is its ability to provide music recommendations based on your preferences. By simply saying “Hey Siri, play something I’ll like,” you’ll be treated to a track that you may not have heard before, but is likely to be a great fit for your musical taste. This feature works seamlessly, making music discovery a breeze.

While it may be small, the HomePod Mini boasts an impressive sound quality that rivals its larger counterparts. Despite its size, it can easily fill a room with sound, and delivers a sophisticated and mature audio experience that outshines its direct competitors.

#3. The Amazon Echo Dot (4th Generation)

The Amazon Echo Dot (4th Generation) is a compelling option for those seeking a feature-packed and affordably-priced smart speaker with premium design and expansive sound. While the device may be fussy over placement and lacks JBL Connect support, Amazon has significantly improved the sonic performance of the Echo Dot since the earlier versions.

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The Alexa voice assistant is incredibly responsive and delivers crystal-clear responses. Despite its unique aesthetic, the Echo Dot 4th Gen has undoubtedly made a full circle in the smart speaker space. Ultimately, the choice of which voice assistant to welcome into your home comes down to personal preference.

#4. The Echo (4th Generation)

Its small size belies the power of its expansive bass, and its sleek and stylish design makes it an attractive addition to any room. However, it falls short in the treble department, and its sound projection isn’t fully omnidirectional.

Amazon has taken a fresh approach to this fourth-generation Echo, revamping its appearance with a spherical shape and imbuing it with a smart hub powered by Zigbee. It offers a wide range of third-party support and can play music from various streaming services, including Apple Music, Spotify, and Deezer, over Wi-Fi. The pulsating ring of light has been relocated to the base, which is now lopped off.

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Alexa is always present and ready to help, and the Alexa app provides excellent support for placement and multi-room configurations. The sound quality, although not exceptional, is impressive given its modest price, making it an excellent choice for anyone seeking a budget-friendly smart home hub.

#5. The Beosound A1 (2nd Generation) – Bang & Olufsen

The Beosound A1 (2nd Gen) from Bang & Olufsen is another example of the company’s premium and innovative approach. The wireless speaker has a unique and stylish design, similar in size to a large roll.
With the latest Qualcomm aptX Adaptive Bluetooth 5.1 codec and Alexa integration, it delivers a comfortable and commanding performance that you can enjoy all day. The speaker is easy to operate and built to last, making it an excellent choice for any music lover.

The Alexa integration is available as long as you have your smartphone nearby and connected to Wi-Fi. Overall, there are no significant drawbacks to this exceptional Bluetooth speaker.

#6. The Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd Generation)

The Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd Generation) is Amazon’s priciest smart device, but it offers impressive new features that justify the price increase. With a 10.1in Full HD screen that can follow you around the room, improved speaker and camera performance, it’s worth the extra £20 ($20, AU$50).

The camera has been upgraded to 13MP and now allows you to “drop in” visually on the Show 10, giving you a live feed of your home. You can even move the Show 10 remotely to pan around your room in real-time.
The security camera feature is a neat addition, as it allows you to zoom in and out on moving objects close to the screen. The Show 10 is easy to use, with a responsive touchscreen, and Alexa integration.

However, it may not satisfy audiophiles, as it falls short in terms of sound quality compared to its price point. The device lacks YouTube “skill” support, but it remains an excellent smart device overall.

#7. The Google Nest Hub (2nd Generation)

The Google Nest Hub (2nd Generation) has a 7-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1024 x 600. While this is smaller than the largest iPhone, it is still a good-value screen.

It doesn’t have a camera for selfies, video calls, or security. However, it supports many music streaming and TV services such as All 4, Deezer, Netflix, and Disney Plus. It’s worth noting that Amazon’s smart products do not have ‘skill’ support for Disney Plus.

One of its key features is Sleep Sensing, which uses Google’s Soli sensor for motion detection and light and temperature sensors to track how long you sleep and how restful your sleep was. Sleep Sensing is free to use on the Nest Hub until the end of 2021, but from 2022, it will be a paid feature.

The Google Nest Hub also allows you to pause and resume tracks by showing your hand to the sensor. While the sound quality is basic, the Nest Hub offers great streaming service support and Sleep Sensing technology, making it a worthwhile purchase depending on your priorities. However, making calls requires an app.

#8. The Amazon Echo Studio

The Amazon Echo Studio is a significantly larger device than any previous Echo. But it has more power and upgraded internals that allow it to support CD-quality and hi-res audio. It also offers 3D audio via Sony’s 360 Reality Audio and Dolby Atmos. While producing immersive, directional audio from a single speaker source is challenging, the Echo Studio offers an open, airy presentation that suits the 3D environment well.

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However, some may find the bass to be overcooked and the 3D audio to be hit-and-miss. Despite these shortcomings, the Echo Studio is still a good value proposition.

#9. The Amazon Echo Show 5

The Amazon Echo Show 5 is a great option for those who want both audio and video capabilities from their digital assistant. Unlike most Alexa-enabled devices that focus on audio, the Echo Show 5 offers a 5.5in LCD touchscreen for video content and an HD camera for Skype calls and viewing camera footage from other rooms.

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#10. The Sonos One

The Sonos One is arguably the best all-around smart speaker voice assistants. It offers solid, sophisticated sound and integration with Spotify and Tidal, as well as the ability to chat with Alexa and Google Assistant.

It can also be used to build a multi-room system with other Sonos speakers or AirPlay 2. However, the Sonos One lacks full Alexa control and doesn’t support hi-res audio. Nonetheless, it remains one of the best Google speakers on the market.

Well, that are the choices when it comes to smart speaker recommendations with voice assistants. Here are the review of best smart speakers brands if you need more options.

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