The best smart speakers for 2022

Best smart speakers for 2022: Since the introduction of smart speakers with Amazon’s Echo many years ago, our team has been reviewing them and has a good idea of what to look out for in a product. We are confident that the Sonos One (Gen2) will be an excellent choice for most people after listening to hundreds of hours and controlling innovative home tasks. No matter which speaker you choose, you might be amazed at the capabilities of smart speakers.

The Sonos One is a great smart speaker and a great wireless speaker. This gives you the best of both worlds. The Sonos One controls your smart home easily and delivers high-quality audio to satisfy audiophiles. There are many other smart speakers that you should check out, especially if you want.

Best smart speakers at a glance:

the best smart speakers for 2022
best smart speakers for 2022

The best smart speaker: Sonos One (Gen 2)

second gen sonos one by a bed.

This speaker is a great choice: This speaker sounds great and works with all Sonos devices. It also offers more streaming services than any other smart speaker.

Who is it for? All.

Why the Sonos One (Gen2):

Sonos One’s second Generation is more user-friendly. It has a new design with touch controls and Bluetooth 5.0 to allow multiple connection options. The core features of the Sonos One are still available, such as the ability to select between Alexa and Google Assistant and link up with other Sonos speakers via Wi-Fi to add even more sound to the room.

The far-field microphone array of the speaker can easily hear voice commands across a room even while music is playing. Sonos claims that you can use the hardware to mute the microphones. This ensures that the speaker is not listening when the mic indicator light goes out. AirPlay 2 allows you to stream audio directly from your Apple device to the speaker or any other Sonos speaker within your home.

We love the fact that this model has a Sonos speaker. We are still impressed by the Sonos wireless whole-home audio system. You can control it from any smartphone, tablet, or computer via an app. It supports almost all primary streaming services. These features, such as Apple Music playlist compatibility or the ability to group several speakers, are not only great but also extremely easy to use.

Sonos has partnered with Ikea to create a new ecosystem of third-party devices that can control your Sonos One or any other Sonos speaker. The Sonos One Gen 2 is a beautiful speaker that you can use to enhance your home’s smartness.

The best cheap smart speaker: Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen) with Clock

amazon echo dot (4th gen) with clock led light.
John Velasco / Clear Tips

Why this is a good choice: It’s inexpensive, can control your home, display the time, and route sound through other speakers, though you may not need it.

Who is it for? Anyone who needs an Alexa voice-control hub.

We chose the Amazon Echo (4th Generation) with Clock:

Amazon knocked it out of the park with its fourth-generation Amazon Echo Dot. This model is quite different from the previous versions due to its spherical shape. It is undoubtedly a beautiful product! Thanks to its new design, this version can tell the time in a split second. Another version is for children.

Its small size doesn’t mean it is weak. Its performance is impressive despite being relatively compact. Although designed for small spaces such as bedrooms and offices, the Echo Dot (4th Generation) with Clock delivers excellent bass and power. It’s not unreasonable to expect such a small device to produce a high-quality product.

What is the best thing about the Amazon Echo Dot (4th Generation) with Clock? Its price. It’s affordable at $60, so you can get multiple units without spending a lot of money. Who doesn’t love that?

The best smart speaker for Amazon Alexa: Amazon Echo (4th Gen)

a enlightened amazon alexa echo 4 on a table.

Why this is a good choice: Because of its outstanding audio quality and home control, the Amazon Echo is the best Alexa-powered speaker.

Who is it for? Music listeners who have Alexa-enabled devices at home.

The reason we chose the Amazon Echo (4th Generation):

Like the Echo Dot (4th Generation) with Clock, Amazon’s Echo is now in its fourth generation. It offers rich audio performance and the intelligence of Alexa. It’s a significant upgrade to the Echo Dot in music performance, with a 3-inch woofer and two front-firing, 0.8-inch tweeters. All this in a new, spherical design.

It’s an excellent centerpiece for the living room, especially if you plan to entertain guests. It also has Bluetooth, stereo pairing, and a 3.5mm auxiliary audio jack. The Amazon Echo (4th Generation) is capable of controlling smart homes. It can turn off lights, make appointments on the calendar, and even order pizza. It can monitor your home from afar and send you notifications when it detects smoke alarms.

With the Amazon Echo (4th Generation), you get a wealthy smart speaker in performance and features. You’ll be happy to know that it only costs $100. It costs only $100

The best smart speaker for Google Assistant: Google Nest Audio

the google nest audio on a table.
John Velasco / Clear Tips

Why this is a good choice: This model packs more sound and is more significant than its predecessor. It also costs $100, which is a reasonable price.

Who is it for? Anyone who enjoys great-sounding music relies on Google Assistant.

Why did we choose the Google Nest Audio?

The Nest Audio, Google Home’s new successor, finally launched after long waiting. It’s finally here, and it’s appealing to a broader audience because it offers that perfect combination of intelligence as well as raw power.

This speaker is much more powerful than Google Home. This is due to its 19mm tweeter and 75mm mid-woofer. It’s a Google Assistant-powered smart speaker that is loud and powerful. It’s clear that this smart speaker is far more capable of playing music than its predecessor, simply because it’s 76% louder (and has a 50% increase in the bass)

You can pair it with another Google Nest Audio to create stereo sound. You can also group speakers in different rooms so you can play your music everywhere while keeping it in harmony. With its $100 price tag, the Nest Audio is an excellent value for money. It is affordable, has all the intelligence of Google Assistant, and delivers impressive sound.

The best smart speaker for Apple Music: Apple HomePod Mini

apple homepod mini on table.
John Velasco / Clear Tips

Why this product is worth your money: If you are an Apple enthusiast, don’t let its small size fool you. It has excellent sound quality.

Who is it for? Only those with an iPhone and an Apple Music subscription or Spotify account.

We chose the Apple HomePod Mini because of

Apple learned the difficulties of completing innovative speaker projects. Although the HomePod was challenged when it launched, its sibling, the HomePod Mini, fared better. The HomePod Mini was affordable and still provided excellent audio quality.

Apple users will love the HomePod Mini because we can use Siri on the speaker to do various tasks, including turning on the lights and unlocking the doors. Its compact design still has a lot to offer in audio. But what’s most impressive about the speaker’s ability to adapt to whatever is playing is its ability to adapt. If you watch a movie on TV and use the HomePod Mini to play audio, the HomePod Mini will adjust the volume so that background sounds don’t drown out the dialogue.

You can create home theater experiences by pairing two HomePod Mini speakers together. You’d be amazed at how much it sounds when compared to a traditional Soundbar.

The best smart speaker for TV: Sonos Beam

sonos beam sound bar underbeath television set.

Why this is a good buy: This product has superior sound quality and sophisticated voice control.

Who is it for? Anyone with a TV in an area smaller than a bedroom or kitchen.

Why you chose the Sonos Beam:

Soundbars are a popular option because even the most expensive TVs can have poor sound quality due to their small built-in speakers. Many soundbars are large and cumbersome despite their simplicity. The Sonos Beam is the solution.

It is a compact, well-designed bar that can fit under small TVs using either the console or the bracket. It can be used as part of a more extensive multiroom audio system and has excellent sound quality. You can stream from almost every music service, and the Sonos app does a great job managing your private music collection.

We chose the Beam to be part of this roundup because of its intelligent speaker skills. It can run Alexa or Google Assistant as its voice assistant and serve as the hub of various home automation commands.

We love the fact that the Beam can convert spoken commands from Google Assistant and Alexa into signals to control your TV. “Alexa, turn off Bedroom TV,” will accomplish this. You can also use commands like “Alexa, turn up the volume on Bedroom TV,” similar to commands with Google Assistant.

You can use these voice commands to control almost all functions without using a remote. The Sonos Beam works well with traditional infrared remotes.

The best portable smart speaker: Bose Portable Home Speaker

bose portable home speaker outside.
Simon Cohen / Clear Tips

Why this speaker is a good choice: This intelligent speaker is lightweight and portable yet has a remarkable sound quality.

Who is it for? People are looking for a smart speaker to keep up with their busy lifestyles.

Why we chose the Bose Portable Speaker:

We already love the Sonos One because it allows you to choose your preferred voice assistant. Bose Portable Home Speaker enables you to make that choice, as well as a carry-handle, rechargeable battery, Bluetooth, and Bluetooth, so it can go with you wherever you go.

Although the Bose may be more expensive than the Sonos One, it is still an excellent choice for those who need absolute flexibility. The Portable Home Speaker, connected to your Wi-Fi network and used at home, is a fully-fledged smart speaker. It allows you to talk to Alexa and Google Assistant while in use. The Bose app allows you to select multiple speaker groups and control Spotify music. Although the app isn’t as great as Sonos, it’s still a good option if you don’t plan to create a whole-home system with Bose speakers.

Even though it shouldn’t fall into the pool, the IPX4 rating protects the speaker from water. This means you don’t have to worry about the odd rain shower.

Apple users will love AirPlay 2 integration. This allows you to stream any audio, whether it’s music from your streaming service or soundtracks from Netflix movies, directly to your speaker via Wi-Fi. The Bluetooth connection lets you keep your tunes going while on the move (or Android users are using it). You can enjoy your music for 12 hours between charges.

The best smart speaker for room-filling sound: Marshall Woburn II

the marshall woburn ii speaker.

This is a good choice: This classic design features a rich sound.

Who is it for People who aren’t willing to compromise on high-quality sound and classy appearances when purchasing a smart speaker?

Why you chose the Marshall Woburn II:

It is possible to argue that intelligent speakers often have two disadvantages. They are not the most appealing. A few can be a decorative addition to your space, whether it’s a small puck made of plastic or a cylinder wrapped in fabric. Second, while some speakers sound great, they don’t have the power to fill a space with a loud, clear sound.

Both of these issues are addressed head-on by Marshall Woburn II. The speaker is a bold statement with its retro-cool guitar amp-inspired design. The vintage feel is reflected in the physical control knobs at the top and the chunky rubber feet at the bottom. This adds instant appeal to any space and makes it easy to place.

The speaker is much more than just a pretty face. You’ll find two tweeters measuring 1 inch and two subwoofers measuring 5.25 inches. 110-watt Class D amps power them. You won’t hear any distortion, even at high volumes.

The speaker can be connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth 5.0 with AptX. This high-quality speaker has one drawback. It doesn’t support voice assistants directly. However, you can use phone-based voice aids to connect to it if you wish. The Marshall Woburn II has a great mix of style and reverberating sounds for people serious about wireless sound.

The best smart speaker for 3D sound: Amazon Echo Studio

get 3d sound with the amazon echo studio.

Why this intelligent speaker is so special: It’s the only one with Dolby Atmos capabilities and delivers a truly immersive, 3D sound experience.

Who is it for Alexa lovers who want a speaker at the forefront of digital music formats?

We chose the Amazon Echo Studio because of:

Although it looks a lot like the Apple HomePod’s cylindrical design, the Echo Studio is an entirely new type of smart speaker. The Echo Studio is still an Amazon Echo. This means you can use voice commands to Alexa for everything, from music to thermostat control. The Echo Studio is a leader in audio.

Amazon has taken a severe approach to audio quality recently. We discussed this in connection to the Echo Dot 3rd generation, but it extends much further. Amazon Music HD streaming service has made it a significant-high-quality music source. It offers high-quality CD-quality audio, hi-res audio, and 3D music tracks via Dolby atmos Music and Sony 360 Reality Audio. The Echo Studio is currently the only speaker who can work with them.

Hi-res and CD-quality stereo sound is simple to understand. Dolby Atmos is different from Sony 360 Reality Audio. These new formats allow you to make your music more immersive, deeper, and more prosperous. We refer to them as 3D. Echo Studio projects these formats in a room strictly as they were intended. It also provides a robust and clean bass response that we didn’t expect from this expensive speaker.

Although the Amazon Echo Studio is not for audiophiles, it can muffle stereo sound and some midrange sounds. However, it is a great value and an intelligent speaker that leads to a growing trend.

Research and buying tips

Should I buy an Alexa smart speaker or Google smart speaker?

That depends on which ecosystem you like most. Both have their benefits and drawbacks, and both allow you to use the most popular streaming services out there. If you’re undecided, go for a smart speaker that gives you a choice like the Sonos One or Bose Portable Home Speaker.

Do smart speakers help the visually impaired?

Yes. Because they have a lot of functionality that doesn’t require buttons, smart speakers can be great for visually impaired people.

Do smart speakers have an aux input?

Some smart speakers, like the Marshall Stanmore II Voice, have 3.5mm inputs. If you need an AUX input, we recommend checking to make sure the speaker has one before purchasing.

Can I use smart speakers to listen to FM radio?

No, most smart speakers do not have an FM tuner. If you want to listen to the radio, your best bet is to use internet radio on these speakers.

Do smart speakers usually have a battery?

Some do and some don’t. If you want to take your smart speaker with you on the go, we recommend making sure it has a built-in or add-on battery (like the Bose Portable Home Speaker).

How do smart speakers help the visually impaired?

Visually impaired individuals can benefit tremendously from using a smart speaker at home. As with any physical disability, smart speakers offer people actions through voice interactions. Instead of having to get up to flick a switch to turn on the lights, you can just speak actions to a smart speaker. Additionally, smart speakers can read the news aloud — instead of having people try to read it themselves. These are just a couple of the many examples of how smart speakers help the visually impaired.

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