Amazon Echo kick started the smart speaker trend a few years ago, but for some time now it’s not been alone on the market. There are now dozens of smart speakers, and choosing the best one is getting more and more tricky – you need an understanding of which one has the most interesting features and the preferred integrations (especially in terms of home automation) and whether you want something minimalist or more flashy, with a touchscreen, perhaps. Below, we’re going to analyze the most interesting and popular smart speakers of the moment.
There may well be speakers out there that are more powerful or more practical to carry, but none rival the overall quality of Sonos One. In addition to the indisputable technical features, it’s compatible with almost all home automation ecosystems. It features Alexa, but also supports Apple AirPlay 2 and Google Assistant. When it comes to audio, it’s unparalleled – it connects to about 100 different audio services around the world and is one of the best smart speakers for a home theater system. It costs EUR 229.
JBL Link 20
The Link 20 is one of the best portable speakers around. It’s waterproof and has a series of LED indicators that display the remaining battery and Wi-Fi signal strength – useful when moving from areas usually covered by a wireless connection. Pairing via Bluetooth is simple, as is charging, which you can do by holding the Link 20 in a natural vertical position. It features Google Assistant’s AI and is compatible with many third-party apps, such as Spotify, Pandora and YouTube Music for streaming. It’s also very handy to manage with a voice command and entertainment services, including Netflix, to select videos or go back and forward. It costs EUR 199.
Google Home Mini
If music isn’t your top priority, Google Home Mini could be the perfect choice for you. It features most of the benefits of a smart speaker, Google Assistant and extensive compatibility with smart home accessories. The Home Mini tells you the time, recounts stories and anecdotes, plays music, turns lights and thermostats off and on and much more. It’s also an easy way to stream music from your smartphone or another source device via Bluetooth. It costs EUR 39.99.
Echo Show 2019
Never before available in Italy, the second official version of Show is now coming to our country with all its “visual” potential. It has a 10-inch HD screen, a 5-megapixel camera, Dolby audio and an integrated hub for managing home automation devices. It features two 2-inch neodymium drivers, a passive bass radiator and quality signal management to produce deep, powerful bass and crisp, crystal-clear highs. The Echo Show also includes eight microphones on the top, which use beam-forming technology and isolate background noise. It costs EUR 299.
The speaker from the XBOOM range can deliver an excellent experience thanks to the technology by MERIDIAN, a British company pioneering high resolution audio. Compatible with Google Assistant, the WK7 lets you connect all your home smart devices to create a truly smart environment. It may not be the most visually appealing, but it’s certainly among the most functional and best optimized for its mix of functionality and sound quality. It costs EUR 199.