From playing a treasured playlist or your favourite podcast to answering questions and setting reminders, a smart speaker is an invaluable addition to any well-connected home.


What is a smart speaker?

A smart speaker is a speaker which also integrates the functions of a voice-activated assistant, like Alexa, Google Assistant or Siri.

That means that as well as listening to music, podcasts and other audio, you can use your smart speaker to answer queries, set reminders, check the weather and any of the other myriad tasks you can accomplish via a virtual assistant.

Check out some of the latest and best smart speakers to find out what’s new in the world of these handy gadgets, powered by your very own virtual assistant.

Best smart speakers

Echo Dot

Echo Dot

The 4th Generation Echo Dot offers everything you need for both entertainment and smart home control. Ask Alexa to tell a joke or answer questions, and use your voice to control your smart home with compatible devices, such as smart lights and smart thermostats. Music streaming is available through Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify and more.

We love: The kids’ version, which comes in a tiger or panda design and has easy-to-use parental controls for complete peace of mind.

BBC Music Magazine named the Echo Dot the best smart speaker for sound quality

Sonos One smart speaker

This powerful smart speaker is a great choice for music lovers as it offers fantastic room-filling sound that can be controlled with your voice. Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa are built in, so you can check the news, ask questions and set alarms in an
instant. Its sleek, compact design is available in black or white and will fit right in with your décor and colour schemes.

We love: The option to pair two Sonos Ones together for stereo separation – perfect home cinema surround sound for those festive films and parties.

Apple HomePod mini

Apple HomePod Mini

Delivering impressive audio as well as stylish good looks in a sleek spherical design, Apple’s HomePod mini with Siri is a great choice, especially if you already own other Apple products – bear in mind that you will need an iPhone or iPad to use it. It features the Siri personal assistant to help with everyday tasks and complete your smart home set-up.

We love: The price – at under £100 it’s an affordable option for anyone looking to invest in a smart speaker with
great quality sound.

Google Nest Audio

Best smart speakers

Stream your favourite music and radio and experience room-filling sound with Google’s latest smart speaker. You can ask Google anything, from weather updates to news, for help around the house, such as setting timers or making shopping lists, or to control your smart lights or TV.

We love: The choice of five different colours, so you’re sure to find one to suit your room scheme.

Lenovo Smart clock 2

Lenovo smart alarm clock

This brand new voice-controlled smart speaker and clock features a 10cm touch-screen colour display, which can be customised with different clock faces and even family photos. Google Assistant lets you wake up to the news, your favourite playlist or a connected lamp brightening gradually, so your morning routine will become a little more relaxed. There’s also an optional wireless charging dock (£24.99) so you can charge your phone while you sleep.

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We love: The soft-touch fabric cover is available in three stylish colours.


For more advice on the best audio equipment and systems to buy check out BBC Music's audio equipment section


Lisa Hibberd is an experience freelance journalist specialising in interiors