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Google makes several smart speakers and many well-known audio companies also put the Google Assistant in their smart speakers.
- We’ve rounded up the best smart speakers with the Google Assistant onboard to help you find the one that’s right for you.
The original Google Home is our top pick because it is a top-notch Assistant-powered speaker that looks good, sounds great, and has a reasonable price tag.
Google Assistant is one of the best digital assistants along with Alexa. If you own an Android phone and you use other Google products and services, there’s plenty of reason to buy into the Google ecosystem and get a smart speaker that’s powered by the Google Assistant. The Assistant boasts excellent voice recognition, access to a huge range of third-party services, the power of Google’s search engine, and more.
Of course, ever since the launch of the original Google Home, plenty of smart speakers with the Google Assistant have been released by traditional audio companies, too. All of these speakers are great for different situations. You might, for example, want a speaker with slightly better audio quality. Or, you might want something a little cheaper or more portable. Thankfully, there are plenty of options, and we think there is a Google speaker for everyone.
There are a number of things to think about before buying a Google Assistant-powered speaker. Perhaps the first and most important thing, however, is your budget. As long as you’re willing to spend $50 or more, there will be a speaker for you, but if you’re willing to spend more than $100, you’ll likely find a great sounding speaker. You’ll also want to think about whether you want a stationary speaker or something that’s portable.
Here are the best Google Home and Google Assistant smart speakers:
- Best Google Home speaker overall: Google Home
- Best Google Home speaker on a budget: Google Home Mini
- Best Google Home speaker for audiophiles: Google Home Max
- Best Google Home speaker with a screen: Google Home Hub
- Best portable Google Assistant speaker: JBL Link 20
Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.
The best Google Home speaker overall
Why you’ll love it: The Google Home is well-designed and classy, plus, it sounds good and doesn’t cost a ton of money.
The original Google Home may be a few years old that this point, but it’s still arguably the best value-for-your-money Google Assistant smart speaker you can buy. It boasts a relatively classy and modern design that should fit in with any decor. The speaker also sounds good for its size.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Google Home speaker is its lovely design. It has interchangeable bases, so you can swap the base to fit the color-scheme of your home decor.
Although design is important, the sound quality is an even bigger deal since it’s a speaker. Luckily, the Google Home sounds quite good, especially for the size and price. The speaker does extend the bass a little, which is good for bass fans but not great for those who like a more natural sound. It also offers 360-degree sound and a solid amount of clarity in the high-end.
So what about downsides? Well, apart from the boosted bass, there aren’t too many. At launch, Google Assistant didn’t work with as many services as Alexa, and while that may still be true, we think the vast majority of people will be happy with what the Assistant can do.
The digital assistant is arguably better than Alexa at answering questions, thanks to the power of Google’s Search engine. It also works with many of the best smart home devices, including Nest products and Philips Hue light bulbs.
Put simply, the Google Home is a great device. It’s versatile, modern, and not too pricey.
Pros: Nice design, not too expensive, decent sound-quality
Cons: Bass boost may not be for everyone
The best budget Google Home speaker
Why you’ll love it: The Google Home Mini may not sound as full as other Google Home speakers, but it still boasts all the same smart features, plus it comes at a fraction of the price.
Looking for the advantages of the Google Assistant in a speaker but don’t have a huge budget? The Google Home Mini is a great way to go. It’s cheap, well designed, and it offers all the smart features you’d find in any other Google Assistant speaker.
Let’s start with the design. The Google Home Mini is a small puck-shaped device that’s covered with a classy-looking fabric that comes in Coral, Chalk, or Charcoal. We think all the colors look good, though if you like a splash of color, the Coral is definitely the way to go.
Then there’s the sound quality, and although it’s not great, it’s not bad. We found that while the Home Mini wasn’t terrible in terms of sound quality, the overall tone was a little tinny and thin, with a lack of bass all-around. That’s to be expected for such a small speaker, though.
This device is really more for those who want the smart features of the Google Assistant in their homes than those who like listening to music all the time. If you’re a music fan, it’s worth looking elsewhere.
Still, despite that single downside, the Google Home Mini is a great option. It’s not overly expensive, it’s very smart, and it integrates very well with Google’s other apps and services, which is super important for Google fans.
Pros: Inexpensive, works with smart home, looks good
Cons: Sound-quality isn’t amazing
The best Google Home speaker for audiophiles
Why you’ll love it: The Google Home Max gets much louder and offers a far superior sound quality compared to the other speakers in our guide.
Perhaps the sound quality of your smart speaker is important to you – and if that’s true for you, then the Google Home Max is the way to go. The speaker is big, loud, and seriously powerful.
The first thing to note about the Google Home Max is its design – it’s very clearly a Google-built product. It features the same design sensibilities as other Google Home speakers, including fabric accents and a clean, simple design. The Max is a large speaker, so it will take up a good amount of space in your home.
Of course, the best thing about the Google Home Max has nothing to do with its design. It’s about the overall sound quality. The speaker not only gets super loud, but it boasts a great frequency response, too.
Like the original Google Home, there’s a ton of bass, but that can thankfully be adjusted in the Google Home app. Also, if you want a seriously high-quality sound, the Google Home Max can be paired with another Google Home Max for stereo sound, making it a great option for audiophiles who like a clear, detailed sound.
So what about downsides? Well, the main one is that the speaker is quite a bit more expensive than the other Google Home speakers. On top of that, the speaker is big, so you may have to set aside a solid amount of space for it. However, that’s to be expected for such a powerful speaker.
Pros: Well-designed, excellent sound-quality, can be paired with second Home Max
Cons: Big and expensive
The best Google Home speaker with a screen
Why you’ll love it: The Google Home Hub takes the smarts of the Google Assistant and puts them on display – literally.
While smart speakers have a lot to offer, there’s some information that they just can’t display because they don’t have screens. That, is exactly where a smart display like the new Google Home Hub comes in.
The Google Home Hub, like most of the other devices in our guide, is designed by Google. Therefore, it has the same overall look as other Google devices with its white, clean design and fabric accents. But what sets it apart is the screen.
The Hub takes the Google Assistant and gives it a screen, so you can watch news segments and YouTube videos, see information like the weather, control smart home devices by touch instead of your voice, and more. It also integrates with Google services like Google Photos, which is great news for those who use the app for their photos.
There are plenty of things to love about the Google Home Hub. For example, the device has an innovative and functional user interface, which is different from some of the other smart display interfaces from other companies. On top of that, it’s a little cheaper than some of the other smart displays, including the Amazon Echo Show.
But what about the downsides? Well, perhaps the biggest one is that the screen is pretty small, coming in at only 7 inches, which isn’t even that much bigger than many smartphones these days.
On top of that, the audio quality isn’t all that impressive, though many people who want to buy smart displays may not need super high-quality audio in the first place. Still, despite those downsides, the Google Home Hub has gotten great reviews. Engadget gave it 4.5/5, while The Verge gave it a slightly more conservative 8.5/10.
Pros: Offers much more information than smart speaker, integration with Google services, good price
Cons: Small display, unimpressive audio
The best portable Google Assistant speaker
Why you’ll love it: The JBL Link 20 offers most of the same smart features as Google-made smart speakers, plus it comes in a nice black color and has a battery that lasts up to 10 hours.
If you’re looking for a Google Assistant smart speaker that you can take on the road with you, the JBL Link 20 is the way to go. JBL has really hit a home run with the Link series, which includes several great smart speakers with the Google Assistant, but the Link 20 is our favorite. It’s small, portable, and has decently powerful sound, too.
Unlike the Google-built devices in our guide, the JBL Link 20 comes in black, which might fit better with many people’s home decor than the typical white color option. On the top of the speaker, you’ll find a series of controls for volume, playback, and activating the Google Assistant.
Of course, as a device that’s not specifically built by Google, you might expect that the JBL Link 20 doesn’t offer many of the same features as the Google Home. Luckily, that’s not the case, so you can use it to control smart home devices, play music, and more. One of the only main things that the JBL Link 20 can’t do is make or take phone calls, though many people won’t need to do that on their smart speaker, anyway.
So what about the downsides? For starters, at $200, the JBL Link 20 is a little pricier than the standard Google Home, but the trade-off is that you get a battery that brings 10 hours of use and you can take the speaker on the go with you. Still, it’s important to keep in mind that you can’t really use Google Assistant to its full potential when you’re not connected to Wi-Fi.
Pros: Well-designed, 10-hour battery life, decent sound quality
Cons: A bit expensive, Assistant requires Wi-Fi connection
What can smart speakers do?
- Darren Weaver/Business Insider
What can a smart speaker with artificial intelligence do?
Smart speakers can do a number of different things, including answer questions, control smart home devices, set alarms, play music, and more. Each speaker has different strengths and weaknesses, but companies like Amazon, Google, and Apple are working hard to fill the gaps and make these speakers even smarter.
Perhaps the best thing about having a smart speaker is that it frees up your hands and gets you away from your smartphone. You can ask Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri what the temperature is before you run out the door or ask if you need an umbrella. The voice assistants can also read you recipe instructions or set timers when your hands are occupied in the kitchen. They can play you soothing music after a long day or set the mood during a date. If you have smart home devices, you can control them with your voice instead of having to get out of bed or off the couch to turn your lights on and off.
Smart speakers are also fun for parties and kids, because they can answer trivia questions and even play games. If you have an inquisitive child at home or you like to win arguments, you can just ask your voice assistant a question and get the answer immediately without typing a word or opening an app. Once you’ve used one, you won’t want to be without it. – Malarie Gokey
What services and smart home devices work with the Google Home?
- Smart home devices: Chromecast, Chromecast-enabled TVs and speakers, Nest, SmartThings, Phillips Hue, LIFX Smart Lights, TP-Link Smart Home, Vivint Smart Home, Rachio Sprinklers, Logitech Harmony, Geeni Connected Tech, August Smart Locks, Anova Precision Cooker, Insignia Wi-Fi Smart Plug, Belkin WeMo Insight Smart Plug, iRobot Roomba 960, Honeywell Wi-Fi Thermostat, Mr. Coffee Smart Coffee Maker, Lutron, Ring, and many more. See the full list here.
- Services: Spotify, Pandora, Google Play Music, TuneIn Radio, YouTube, IFTTT, Netflix, Google Services, Domino’s, Food Network, Headspace, MadLibs, and more. See the full list here.
Read our full guide to the best smart speaker you can buy
Thanks to advances in artificial intelligence, smart speakers can answer any question, control your smart home, play games, and so much more.
Amazon’s Echo was the very first smart speaker on the scene with artificial intelligence, and it still dominates the field. Since its launch, Amazon has grown the Echo lineup to include the new Echo, the new Echo Dot, the touchscreen-enabled Echo Show, the fashion-forward Echo Look, the Echo Plus, and the Echo Spot.
However, Amazon is no longer alone in the smart speaker space. Google entered the fray with the Google Home smart speaker and it now has the small Home Mini, the big Home Max, and the touchscreen-enabled Home Hub. Its smart Assistant now rivals Alexa for power. Apple also got into the AI smart speaker space with its HomePod.
Most recently, traditional audio companies like Sonos, JBL, Marshall, and others have created smart speakers with Amazon’s Alexa or the Google Assistant built right in, and they sound absolutely fantastic.
So which one is best for you? We’ve tested the main smart speakers and done a lot of research to find the winners.
Here are the best smart speakers you can buy:
- Best overall: new Amazon Echo
- Best for sound quality: Sonos One
- Best for Google fans: Google Home
- Best cheap smart speaker: Amazon Echo Dot
- Best small Google speaker: Google Home Mini
- Best Alexa with a screen: Amazon Echo Show
- Best Google speaker with a screen: Google Home Hub
- Best for big sound: Google Home Max