Smart speakers are a useful and handy way to control your smart home devices. However, you don’t necessarily need to live in a house full of smart devices to benefit from a Wi-Fi connected smart speaker. On the plus side, choosing to use a particular brand of a smart speaker doesn’t necessarily mean that you are then restrained to that brand’s entire system. For example, obtaining an Amazon Echo speaker, will not limit you to using Amazon’s music system and will instead allow you to use the smart speaker with other music services such as Spotify. A smart speaker can truly turn any house into a smart home.
So, if you are contemplating which smart speaker you should purchase, then scroll on down to view our top recommendations.
Amazon Echo (2nd Gen)
The Amazon Echo was the first smart speaker to be released into the market with artificial intelligence, and still to this day, dominates the smart speaker field. The Echo line is the most common smart speaker adopted by consumers. The slim, modern design, can fit in any room’s décor and is available in 5 different colours and finishes.
The updated model of the Amazon Echo is valued at a price much lower than the original Echo. However, the newer model looks just as sleek and ultimately, sounds better. Alexa, the virtual assistant developed by Amazon to be used in the Amazon Echo, supports heaps of smart home appliances. Currently, this speaker supports more smart home products than any other smart home speaker in the market. In addition to this, Amazon’s Alexa has more than 15,000 skills available, has the ability to order things on Amazon with your voice, and works with a sheer number of apps. Although, it has been recognised that Alexa’s search abilities aren’t as good as Google Home’s assistant.
Moreover, the sound of the Amazon Echo is of very high-quality, making it perhaps one of the best speakers for music at home. Priced at £89.99.
- High-quality sound
- Ability to buy products from Amazon
- Offers the best support for multiple smart home devices
- 15,000+ skills
Anker Eufy Genie
Very much like Amazon’s own speakers, The Anker Eufy Genie Smart Home speaker is compatible with Amazon’s Alexa. The Eufy Genie is intended to work alongside Eufy’s smart bulbs and plugs. However, as the smart speaker is compatible with Alexa, you will still be able to control a great number of other devices with your voice. Just say the wake word “Alexa” and Genie plays music, controls your smart home devices, answers your questions, sets calendars, reports the weather and news and more.
An audio driver using HiFi-grade material delivers powerful and clear sound. And even when music is playing, you’ll be heard from across the room thanks to far-field voice recognition. Built with a 2W speaker the Eufy Genie delivers dynamic audio and room-filling sound, so you can truly enjoy your favorite playlists from streaming services like Spotify, Amazon Music, TuneIn, Pandora, and iHeartRadio.
The main advantage of this product is the lower price point, whilst still obtaining good reviews. Price points of smart speakers are usually set quite high, however, the Anker Eufy Genie can be yours for under £20 from MyMemory – a steal if you ask me!
- Inexpensive price point (Under £20)
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa
- Works alongside Eufy’s smart home devices, as well as being compatible with a number of other smart home products
- Built with a 2W speaker to provide strong sound
The Google Home is a smart speaker that is customizable and attractive, which suits most homes and can fit in with any style of a room. The bottom of each Google Home comes with a grey fabric base with rubber underneath, that can be switched for a different colour or material. Activated by saying the phrase, “Hey Google,” or “Okay Google”, the smart speaker will light up on the top in Google’s signature colours and will be ready for you to ask it to do something.
Alongside connecting smart home devices, Google Home has the ability to read you a daily update, sum up the news, answer any questions or play music. The smart speaker uses Google’s search to answer any question for you, meaning it will answer the question from the copious amounts of information available on the internet. Whether you’re wondering how much plane tickets will cost or just want to find out the weather, Google Home’s AI personal assistant will be able to give you an answer.
The Home works with a large variation of smart home devices. However, the general disadvantage of this product is that it doesn’t work all the time and isn’t able to fulfill every request. Although, Google has stated that they are continuing to improve the Home smart speaker, priced at £129.
- Base is customizable
- Best smart speaker for search
- Works well with other smart home devices
- Good voice recognition
The Apple HomePod entered the smart speaker market back in early 2018 and future updates have just been announced at Apple’s September release event. A clear benefit of the HomePod is that it will work seamlessly well with your other Apple products. However, this could also be perceived as a disadvantage, as owning the Apple HomePod means that it only fits well with products in the Apple ecosystem. (Unless you are a die-hard Apple fan, then this product is perfect for you).
If you were to review the smart speaker merely based under the premium speaker category, then the HomePod would be ranked very highly. The device includes high-quality speakers that in turn, produce high-quality sound. However, in regards to reviewing the device as a smart home hub, it doesn’t rank as well as speakers like the Amazon Echo or Eufy Genie.
The Apple HomePod’s personal assistant operates with Siri. Though, Siri needs a significant revamp to reach the number of features that Alexa and Google Assistant can provide.
The design of the product is sleek, modern and aesthetically pleasing, similar to other Apple products. The smart speaker is priced at £349, putting it above the price of Amazon and Google’s competing speakers.
- High-quality sound
- Fits best with devices in the Apple ecosystem
- Sleek, modern, aesthetically pleasing design
If you are looking for a smart speaker with the best sound available, then you may need to invest in the Sonos One. Similar to the Eufy Genie and Echo, this product is powered by Amazon’s Alexa, so it supports the majority of the same smart home devices. Yet, Sonos has a slight advantage over other smart speakers, for the reason that in the near future it will work with Google’s Assistant and Apple Airplay system, as well as Amazon Alexa. The Sonos One gives you the ability to ask Alexa to play any music from Amazon’s music streaming services, TuneIn, Pandora, Spotify, Sirus XM, and iHeartRadio.
Numerous audio experts concur that the Sonos One is the best sounding smart speaker on the market. So if audio is the most important factor when deciding which speaker to pick, then the Sonos One could be for you.
On the other hand, it has been recognised that not all voice controls for this product work seemingly. And at £199, this smart speaker may be considered to be expensive.
- Excellent sound
- Multi-room audio functions
- Considered to be the best speakers for music
- No matter what system or devices you want to use, Sonos One will most likely connect with them
Choosing the right smart speaker can be a confusing process, but we hope our top recommendations highlight what speakers may be best fit for you. We believe the Eufy Genie is the most affordable smart speaker you can buy, and with the device utilizing Amazon’s Alexa, it’s just as smart as the Echo. Be sure to get your own Eufy smart speaker and other smart home devices from our website now.