So, you’ve settled on a price range for your first—or latest—smart speaker and you’re ready to go shopping. Which smart speakers are the best values in today’s market? We have a few picks to match your budget.
If you’re looking to spend no more than $50, we think the Amazon Echo Dot and the Google Nest Mini make for great budget picks. Both of these compact smart speakers are powered by full-fledged voice assistants: Alexa (for the Echo Dot) and Google Assistant (on the Nest Mini).
With Alexa and the Assistant on board, the Echo Dot and the Nest Mini can take charge of your smart home devices, and they both come with decent (for the price, anyway) speakers for listening to music. Best of all, the Echo Dot and the Nest Mini are frequently on sale, which means it’s easy to snap one up for well below their list prices.
If you have a bigger budget and are willing willing to spend about $100, consider the $99 Amazon Echo, a large speaker that comes with stereo drivers, Dolby sound, and a Zigbee smart home hub that can control a host of smart devices, including smart plugs and switches, contact sensors, smart lights (including Philips Hue), and more.
If audio quality is a higher priority, check out the $99 Google Nest Audio, which is the best-sounding smart speaker you can get for $100.
Finally, those willing to spend $200 or even $300 should take a look at the Google Home Max, which ddelivers the best audio of any smart speaker, period. Google just announced that it’s discontinuing the three-year-old Home Max, but it’s worth noting that Google promises to keep supporting its high-end speaker with software updates, and you might be able to find remaining stock at third-party retailers for a steep discount.
If you’d rather spend your money on a high-end smart speaker that’s still in production, we’re fans of the Amazon Echo Studio, a $200 smart speaker that supports the immersive Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 Reality audio formats, which makes it perfect for pairing with Amazon’s Fire TV devices.