The #1 Best Smart Speakers In 2019 For Sound Quality & Usefulness!

The #1 Best Smart Speakers Detailed In Full – Pros, Cons & Best Prices

The smart speaker market is red hot thanks to three of the biggest tech companies. First on the scene was Amazon, with the Echo smart speaker. Next came Google with its Home speaker. And finally, Apple joined the smart speaker club with its HomePod.

So what makes a smart speaker “smart”? It generally needs to have the ability to control it with your voice, a built-in virtual assistant, and a streaming music service. All smart speaker on this list fit that description, so which should you get? Here are our recommendations.

#1) Apple HomePod – Best For iPhone Users (And Sound Quality)


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  • Get if: You want the best sound on the market
  • You value your privacy
  • You’re in the Apple Music/iOS ecosystem
  • You have cash to burn

Without a doubt, the best sounding smart speaker on the market is Apple’s HomePod. As Apple brags, “it has a high-excursion woofer is positioned at the top of the speaker facing upward, creating a wide range of deep bass that surpasses any traditional speaker. A six-microphone array, along with an internal bass-EQ microphone, analyzes and compensates for the effect of the room on the bass response, providing rich, consistent sound. And a powerful motor drives the diaphragm a remarkable 20 mm, so the bass shines through even when the volume is low.”

In other words, it sounds amazing. Better than other smart speakers by a long shot. The downside is HomePod uses Siri as its smart assistant, which isn’t as “smart” as Alexa or Google Assistant. But then again, Siri and the HomePod don’t invade your privacy like Amazon’s and Google’s smart speakers do. Go with the HomePod if you want a smart speaker that is less of a wiretap than others.

#2) Amazon Echo Plus – Best For Functionality & Abilities

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  • Get if: You want a smart speaker that also works as a smart home hub
  • You want to expand your speaker’s features with thousands of skills (apps)
  • You’re an Amazon Prime/Amazon Music subscriber
  • You want the highest-quality speaker Amazon makes

Amazon makes multiple Echo smart speakers, but the Echo Plus is the best. Its big draw is that it’s powered by Dolby play 360° audio that gives it crisp vocals and a dynamic bass response. It doesn’t sound as good as the HomePod, but sounds better than most smart speakers.

The Echo Plus also has the advantage of having the largest ecosystem of apps (Amazon calls them “skills”) and supports a wide array of music streaming services. If you’re a big Amazon user already, the Echo Plus is a natural option.

#3) Google Home MAX – Best For Android Users (And Sound Quality) 


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  • Get if: You’re a diehard Google user
  • Want the best voice assistant on the market
  • You use multiple streaming music services

The Google Home MAX is essentially the Google Home on steroids. It’s bigger, possesses vastly superior sound quality and you still get ALL the awesomeness of Google’s super-useful Assistant.

The Google Home MAX is a natural evolution of Google’s original Home device; it caters to users that want better sound quality, something to rival a SONOS speaker or Apple’s HomePod. And with the Google Home MAX, The Big G hit the nail on the head.

The Google Home MAX is cheaper than Apple’s HomePod, as you’d expect, but it is more than a match for it with respect to sound quality and functionality – Google Assistant is WAY better than Apple’s Siri, for instance.

If you’re an Android user, this is the one to go for. Hands down.

#4) Amazon Echo Dot – Best Budget Option

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  • Get if: You’re an Amazon Prime/Amazon Music subscriber
  • You don’t want to break the bank
  • You want to expand your speaker’s features with thousands of skills (apps)
  • Sound quality isn’t your top priority in a smart speaker

If you are looking for a low-cost smart speaker, you can’t go wrong with the Echo Dot. The Dot features all the skills that run on more costly Echo speakers so the feature set is basically the same. However, don’t expect amazing sound quality on the Dot. It’s decent, but not great. You should use the Dot if you care more about having a voice assistant in your home as opposed to a speaker where playing music is your top priority.

#5) Google Home Mini – Best Secondary Room Option

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  • Get if: You’re a diehard Google user
  • Want the best voice assistant on the market
  • Sound quality isn’t your top priority in a smart speaker
  • You want a low-cost smart speaker

As the Echo Dot is to the Echo Plus, so is the Home Mini to the Home smart speaker. The Home Mini includes all the features of the Google Home, but in a smaller package. Again, this is very attractive for those of you that want a smart speaker by Google, yet don’t want to spend a ton of cash. Just keep in mind you probably shouldn’t get the Home Mini if you really care about music sound quality. Opt for one of the other speakers above if that’s the case.

Things To Keep In Mind When Looking For The Best Smart Speaker…

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As with most things in life, finding the best smart speaker for your exact needs isn’t as cut and shut as simply viewing a list of the top-rated smart speakers and making a decision. First and foremost, your decision will be heavily influenced by what phone you use…

If you’re an iPhone user, you’re best off with a HomePod system, as it is built with iOS in mind. Like most Apple products, HomePod is locked down too, so it doesn’t play nice with outside forces like Android. Bottomline: if you’re using an iPhone, HomePod is your best bet – it also happens to have the best sound quality too.

If you’re an Android user, you have a little more freedom. Both Amazon and Google’s systems (Alexa and Google Assistant) are fairly flexible, and so too are the smart speakers they live in. For overall functionality and sound quality, the Google Home Max is the one to go for if you’re an Android user.

Like Apple’s HomePod, the Google Home Max is designed for performance. The sound quality it outputs is incredible, easily up there with the HomePod, and it is considerably cheaper too. On top of this, Google Assistant is A LOT better than Siri – and this is kind of a big deal when you’re talking about choosing the best smart speaker…

What about Amazon’s offerings? Well, they kind of stand on their own. Amazon started the whole smart speaker thing, entering the market first with the Amazon Echo and then the Dot. Its Alexa AI is brilliantly useful and has the most abilities of ALL the assistants currently available.

For this reason, if you’re platform agnostic, meaning you use Android, iOS, Macs, and Windows, Amazon’s Echo is definitely a good option. The Dot too offers up exceptional value for money and is super useful to have in the office or bedroom. Amazon’s smart speakers are also cheaper than both Apple’s and Google’s – and Alexa is more competent as well. But the Amazon Echo is 100% the one to go for; the sound quality is far better than on the Dot.

Best Smart Speaker (RECAP): 

Michael Grothaus

Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.