Top 8 Smart Speakers (2021): Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri
Amazon connects to Alexa
If you are not involved in music, Amazon Echo With Dot Clock (4th Generation) and Google Nest Mini (7/10, recommended by WIRED) will give you most of the advantages of having a smart speaker, and you can use it to make existing speakers affordable.
The sound is very similar between the models, and they have almost identical footprints, so you can easily argue that they are better than each other based on the ecosystem. That’s why we preferred the Nest Mini, but now that Amazon has added a simple watch to the front of the Echo Dot, we like the Alexa-powered option a little better.
The small screen in Echo Dot With Clock comes in handy. The timer will tell you when the kitchen will expire or when the alarm is set in the morning. Of course, it also says time. This makes it a better bedroom and kitchen assistant. You can also ask the weather, answer random questions, and play the white noise during sleep to help you fall asleep. Plus, the smart assistant introduces you to an easy way to get into places where your home doesn’t normally listen to music.
Another alternative: The Nest Mini ($ 49) it’s also a great mini speaker if you prefer Google Assistant.
Connects to Google Assistant or Alexa
If you’re looking for a great speaker for a socially distanced party, WIRED review editor Jeffrey Van Camp has enjoyed your time with Sonos Move (8/10, recommended by WIRED). It has a splash of beer, a carrying handle and an excellent charging cradle for IP56 water resistance when you return inside. It charges for about 10 hours and is the first Sonos speaker to offer Bluetooth when you want to bring it outside the limits of your home Wi-Fi.
The loud, bold bass and intelligent equalization that always hears the surrounding sound weighs heavily on the volume and quality of the audio. It may not be enough to feed a big outdoor dance party, but it’s definitely enough to throw you and some friends a few moves.