- Audio Pro Addon C5A
- Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd Generation)
- Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd Gen)
A good smart speaker is one of the best home accessories you can have. Not only can it, well, work as a speaker, it can also help make your life more convenient. From dimming the lights and reading you the news to waking you up with alarms or reminding you to pick up bread on the way home, a smart speaker can be a useful little gadget.
However, as with anything, not all of them were created equal. We’ve gone ahead and looked at what there is and assembled this list of the best smart speakers money can buy you – any one of these would make a fantastic addition to your living room!
- Water/dustproof IP67
- Bluetooth 5.1
- Carry strap
- Compatibility: Alexa
- USB-C connector
- 4.6 x 13.3 x 13.3cm
This small, round speaker belies its humble shape – it has the kind of quality sound we’d expect from much bigger B&O speakers. It shines in just about all pitches, but especially the base, even more so when compared to similarly-sized speakers. The one drawback it has is that it relies on a Bluetooth connection to work – in other words, if your phone isn’t nearby and connected, the Beosound won’t do you much good.
That’s a minor gripe though – and at the end of the day, having a small, portable speaker of this quality that has excellent Alexa integration is quite an accomplishment. Most smart speakers only work when cabled – to make up for its Bluetooth dependency, this one instead offers portability coupled with sound.
- Large touchscreen
- Security camera functionality
- Compatibility: Alexa
- Camera: 13MP
- Screen: 10.1in
The Echo Show is a particularly unique smart speaker, and it has quite a lot to offer. The primary feature is, of course, the 10.1 inch touch screen that allows for a completely unique Alexa experience. While this device is quite heavy, it’s not meant to be moved – it does that all on its own! That’s right, the Echo Show 10 has the ability to turn itself around to follow you, and of course to record the room with its security camera feature if you’re not home.
That’s right, you can remotely log into the device and use it to peek around the home, for example, to check if your dogs stay off the couch as they should! You can zoom in and out, and manually turn the device around as much as you please. Add to that the native Alexa integration you can expect from any Amazon-built smart device and the decent sound quality that all Echo devices have, and you’ve got a recipe for success!
- Sophisticated mic array
- AirPlay 2 and Spotify integration
- Compatibility: Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri
- 16.15 x 11.97 x 11.97 cm
- 2 x class-D digital amplifiers, 1 x mid-woofer, 1 x tweeter
The Sonos One is the Cadillac of smart speakers – it’s just about the best you can find. Not only does it have extensive compatibility options for example with Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple HomePod, and more, it also features fantastic sound quality and one of the best mic detection setups you can hope to find. It can comfortably pick up your voice from across the room without you having to speak up – ideal for those who don’t want to shout at their assistant!
While it is pricy, you’re paying for quality – and the Sonos One is top of the line when it comes to compatibility with different setups. Available in multiple colours, the speaker is surprisingly compact for everything it can do – it packs a lot of features into a comparatively small box.
- 13 x 25 x 15cm
- Bluetooth 4.0
- Top of the line speaker with Echo Dot addon
- Compatibility: Alexa
- Supports MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC, Apple Lossless
- Ethernet, 3.5mm stereo and RCA input
The Addon in the name of this speaker is a key clue to its functionality – in the box, you’ll find both a high-quality wireless speaker and an Echo Dot bolt-on. It’s a great setup that combines one of the world’s best speakers with full Alexa integration. As mentioned, the speaker itself is incredible, combining dynamic sound, heavy bass, and crisp highs in one relatively chunky package.
The major trade-off to this deal is that the Addon C5A is really expensive, even compared to the other entries on this list. It’s definitely worth the money, but not everyone will want to drop several hundred dollars on one smart speaker, making it more of a niche pick. However, for larger rooms or those where a speaker needs to drown out some background noise, you couldn’t wish for a better device!
That was our round-up of the best high-end smart speakers in 2021. Have you recently bought a high-end smart speaker? What sold you on it and what has your experience with it been? let us know down below.