HomeTechnologyNewsWhich smart speaker has the best audio quality?

Which smart speaker has the best audio quality?

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Despite their audio-centric nature, people rarely talk about the actual audio quality of Google Assistant, Amazon Echo, and Apple smart speakers. Which one should you get if you want the best-sounding audio experience?

There are some smart speakers that focus on audio quality, but most focus more on their virtual assistants and price. That doesn’t mean they sound bad, necessarily, but some do sound better than others. We’ll take a look at both types of smart speakers.

Note: “Smart speaker” is a pretty general term. For our purposes, we’ll focus on smart speakers (without screens) from Amazon, Google, and Apple.

RELATED: Which music streaming service has the best audio quality?

High-end smart speaker with the best sound

Amazon echo study.

Small, affordable smart speakers are very popular, but there are also smart speakers that focus more on the “speaker” part of the term. If money isn’t an issue, which smart speaker sounds the best?

Amazon Echo Study

The Echo Studio is Amazon’s attempt to create a smart speaker that actually sounds great and offers quite a bit. There are 2-inch speakers on each side and on top, a 1-inch tweeter, and a 5.25-inch bass driver.

The results are big, room-filling sound with plenty of detail. If you’re an Amazon Music Unlimited subscriber, the Echo Studio is an even better option. You can take advantage of Amazon’s library of songs available in Dolby Atmos Music, which is compatible with the Echo Studio.

Amazon Echo Study

A large, robust Echo speaker with five speakers in total, room-adapting technology, and support for Dolby Atmos Music.

What about Apple and Google?

Apple used to have a high-end HomePod, but it was discontinued in 2021. Google’s high-end smart audio device is the display-equipped Nest Hub Max. The company’s best speaker-only option is the much more affordable Nest Audio. Both the HomePod Mini and the Nest Audio are listed below.

The “mini” smart speakers with the best sound


The “mini” category of smart speakers is dominated by Google and Amazon. The Apple HomePod Mini also falls into this category by size, but it’s more expensive. However, you can get what you pay for.

Apple HomePod Mini

Audiophiles love the HomePod Mini for its excellent sound quality. It features a patented full-range driver design that sends sound downward and out a full 360 degrees. The driver is suspended to reduce distortion, and the passive radiators help give the sound depth.

Like the full-size HomePod, the Mini model has the same optimizations for the environment. The results are big sound in a very small package. The only trade-off is that you’re limited to Siri, which doesn’t have as many features as Alexa or Google Assistant.

amazon echo

It’s understandable that not everyone is willing to use Siri for better audio quality. If you’re in the Amazon ecosystem, the Echo 4th Gen is your best bet for a mini speaker. It’s a bit bigger than the Echo Dot, but that does allow for better audio.

Inside the orb are drivers the same size as the more expensive Echo Plus, a 76mm woofer, and two 20mm front-firing tweeters. The speaker supports Dolby Stereo, and like Apple, Amazon has an “adaptive sound” feature that tries to optimize the sound for the room.

Amazon Echo 4th generation

The Echo 4th Gen packs a 76mm woofer, dual 20mm front-facing tweeters, and Dolby Stereo support in a small, affordable package.

Google nest audio

For Google lovers, the Nest Audio is the obvious choice for sound quality. Your only other non-screen option is the Nest Mini. The Nest Audio costs about the same as the HomePod Mini and is often on sale.

Nest Audio features a 19mm tweeter and a 75mm woofer. Google claims the Nest Audio is 75% louder and has 50% more bass than its predecessor. However, users report that it is not great at providing immersive, room-filling sound.

A practical smart speaker doesn’t have to sound bad. You’re probably using it to stream music and podcasts, so make sure you pick one that makes your ears happy. There are plenty of other good smart speakers to choose from if sound quality isn’t that important to you.


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