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The 7 Best Smart Speakers of 2020 for Any Budget

best smart speakers

Every smart speaker offers a different set of features, so it’s important to find one that best matches your personal preferences. Some are designed to help you control your smart home devices, while others are better for playing music. Here is our list of the best smart speakers, from the best budget smart speaker to high-end models for Apple and Android users alike.

If you’re having trouble picking the right smart speaker, make sure to check out our quiz below. By answering a few simple questions, you can find the perfect smart speaker for you and your home. You can take the quiz by clicking the big blue button below: 

What Is a Smart Speaker?

A smart speaker is any type of speaker that comes with a smart assistant built-in. You can use a smart assistant to get answers to questions, play music, or control your smart home devices with simple voice commands.

The most popular smart assistants these days are Alexa from Amazon, the Google Assistant from Google, and Siri from Apple. If you want to know more about the difference between the different smart assistants and which one is best for you, check out our article on Alexa vs Google vs Siri.

The Cheapest Smart Speaker: Echo Flex

Cheapest Smart Speaker
(Image Source: Amazon)

If you’re just looking for a way to control your smart home devices, the Echo Flex is the cheapest smart speaker you can get. This budget smart speaker is about the size of a deck of cards, and it plugs directly into an outlet, so it won’t take up any counter space.  

With its 0.6-inch speaker, the Echo Flex isn’t really designed for playing music. Instead, this tiny smart speaker offers a great way to bring Alexa into any room in your home. And, with its far-field microphones, Alexa will be able to hear you from farther away.

The bottom of the Echo Flex features a USB port that allows you to charge your phone, or you can attach a night light, motion detector, or an LED clock. Plus, the front of this speaker features a button that turns the microphone off when you want to keep your privacy.

$24.99
in stock
1 new from $24.99
as of January 21, 2021 3:32 pm
Amazon.com
Free shipping

Best Budget Smart Speaker for Android Users: Google Nest Mini (2nd-Gen)

google mini best smart speaker for android
(Image Source: Walmart)

The Google Nest Mini is the best budget smart speaker for Android users because it comes with the Google Assistant built-in. So, this smart speaker will sync with your Android phone you can ask Google to schedule a meeting on your Google Calendar, ask about your reminders, make a phone call, and more.

While this smart speaker is quite small, it can get loud enough to play music. You can ask Google to stream millions of songs from YouTube Music, Spotify, Pandora, and more. You can also connect the Google Nest Mini to your phone and use it as a Bluetooth speaker.

While the Google Assistant is the smartest digital assistant when it comes to answering questions, it doesn’t work with nearly as many smart home devices as Alexa does. So, you will need to make sure that any smart lights, smart plugs, and any other smart devices are compatible before you decide to buy them.

$39.97
$49.99
in stock
Walmart.com

Best Budget Smart Speaker: Echo Dot (4th-Gen)

echo dot with clock
(Image Source: Amazon)

The fourth-generation Amazon Echo Dot is one of the best smart speakers you can get for the money. This budget smart speaker works with over 140,000 different smart home devices, including Zigbee-based devices.

Amazon recently upgraded its best-selling smart speaker with a faster processor, so Alexa will be able to provide better answers and respond faster. Also, the new spherical shape has a front-facing speaker, which means it won’t vibrate as much when you ask Alexa to turn up the volume. With the new Echo Dot, you can stream music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and more. Plus, if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you’ll be able to access over 2 million songs ad-free.

You can also stream music directly from your smartphone via Bluetooth. If you want to get the best sound out of this smart speaker, you can also connect it to your existing speaker system with the 3.5 mm stereo audio output. Plus, you can spend a few extra dollars to get the version with an LED clock, which makes it the perfect replacement for your alarm clock.

$49.99
in stock
1 new from $49.99
as of January 21, 2021 3:32 pm
Amazon.com
Free shipping

Best Smart Speaker for Apple Users: HomePod Mini

Best Budget Smart Speaker for Apple Users_ HomePod Mini
(Image Source: Apple)

While the HomePod Mini is much more expensive than other budget smart speakers, it is still the best smart speaker for Apple users. It is the only smart speaker under $100 to come with Siri and Apple HomeKit built-in.

The HomePod Mini easily syncs with your iPhone and other Apple devices, so you can ask Siri to add an item to your grocery list, and it will instantly appear on your iPhone. It will also sync information from your other apps, like Messages, Reminders, Contacts, Calendar, Notes, and more.

With its downward-facing speaker, this 3.3-inch tall speaker was designed to deliver 360-degree sound. It can get much louder than the previous smart speakers on this list, and it has surprisingly deep bass for its size. However, you will need an Apple Music subscription to be able to ask Siri to play a song on this smart speakers. Otherwise, you will have to play all your music through AirPlay from your iPhone or other Apple device. You can also hold your device close to the HomePod Mini, and it will start playing your music or podcasts right where you left off.

If you want to know more about Apple’s budget smart speaker, check out our hands-on review of the HomePod Mini here.

Shop: Apple

Best Budget Smart Speaker with a Display: Echo Show 5

echo show 5
(Image Source: Amazon)

If you’re looking for a budget smart speaker with a display, the Amazon Echo Show 5 is your best choice. This smart speaker has a 5.5-inch touchscreen display, a full-range speaker, and a 1 MP front-facing camera, which means it’s perfect for making video calls, watching videos, and more.

You can ask Alexa to watch cooking shows on YouTube, movies on Amazon Video, TV shows on Hulu, and more. You can also use the display to get directions, check your calendar, show a clock, or turn it into a digital picture frame with a slideshow of your family photos. Plus, if you have a Ring Video doorbell, you can use the Echo Show 5 to see who’s at the door before answering it.

If you’re concerned about privacy, the Echo Show 5 has multiple layers of protection. It has a button that turns off the mic and camera, and there’s also a built-in camera shutter. If you are concerned about your privacy, check out our step-by-step guide on how to delete your voice recordings with the Alexa app.

$44.99
$89.99
in stock
1 new from $44.99
1 used from $39.59
as of January 21, 2021 3:32 pm
Amazon.com
Free shipping

Best Smart Speaker for Music: Sonos One (2nd-Gen)

sonos one best smart speaker for music
(Image Source: Amazon)

Since Sonos designs home audio systems, it’s no wonder they make one of the best smart speakers for music. This smart speaker looks very similar to a standard bookshelf speaker, and it sounds like one too.

This smart speaker works with more streaming services than any other speaker on the market. You can stream music from the most popular streaming services, like Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube Music. But you can also stream music from dozens of other streaming services, like Last.fm, Plex, Bandcamp, SoundCloud, and more. When you get the Sonos One, you can also stream over 60,000 local and international radio stations on Sonos Radio for free.

If you want to know more about what Sonos Radio is, check out our previous article here.

While this smart speaker doesn’t support Bluetooth, you can stream music directly from your devices using WiFi, the Sonos app, Apple Airplay2, and more. You can also pair it with another Sonos One speaker, and they will work together to deliver high-quality stereo sound.

Aside from being the best smart speaker for music, the Sonos One also works with Alexa and the Google Assistant. This way, you won’t have to decide which digital assistant you want to use to control your smart home devices.

$199.00
in stock
7 new from $198.49
28 used from $159.00
as of January 21, 2021 3:32 pm
Amazon.com

Best Smart Speaker With a Display: Google Nest Hub Max

google nest hub max best High-end smart speaker with a display
(Image Source: Google)

The Google Nest Hub Max is the best smart speaker with a display that you can get. It is great for everything from controlling your smart home devices to watching movies, video chatting, and listening to music.

With its huge 10-inch touchscreen display, the Nest Hub Max is big enough to see every detail when you make a video call. This smart speaker also works with Netflix, so you can watch your favorite shows while doing the dishes. Plus, it comes with two full-range speakers, so you will get excellent stereo audio quality out of the box.

The Nest Hub Max has a built-in Nest Cam, which means you can use this smart speaker to monitor your home with live video. With a Nest Aware subscription, it will record short video clips whenever it detects motion or sounds, which you can review from anywhere in the world. It can even detect the difference between a familiar face and a stranger, so you won’t get notifications every time a family member steps in front of the camera.

With its Face Match technology, the Nest Hub Max will provide personalized responses to each member of your family. This way, you will only hear your favorite playlists when you ask Google to play music.

(64)
$229.00
out of stock
Walmart.com

Now that you know the best smart speaker for Apple and Android users, check out our guide on how to set up a smart home for beginners.