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Best smart speaker

Our expert team has put in months of testing to choose the top 11 smart speakers in Australia for a variety of uses and budgets.

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Best smart speakers

Finder's team of experts has spent more than a year testing a wide range of smart speakers to help determine the best models for most people.

We tested each model by setting up in our homes and using it regularly. We've asked the speakers thousands of questions, from news updates to calendar updates to home control in a variety of environments, from silent rooms to noisy kitchens during dinner preparation. Each device was tested in Australia, with Australian software and functionality.


Best overall smart speaker: Sonos One

  • Superb audio quality
  • Built-in Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa
  • Sonos app works well across streaming services

While the Sonos One is a few years old, it's still one of the best sounding smart speakers available. With premium sound, impressive performance and both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility, the Sonos One is our pick for the best smart speaker in Australia.

The Sonos One has had Alexa integration since its launch and with the addition of Google Assistant earlier this year, the Sonos One now offers more flexibility than any other smart speaker on the market. The One also leverages Sonos' impressive platform of supported streaming services, supporting more platforms than any other brand, including Tidal or Deezer.
For multi-room listening and surround sound, you can easily connect the One to other Sonos speakers.

For the asking price, the Sonos One is hard to beat, balancing a high-end audio experience with the convenience of a smart speaker.

Pricing accurate as of 13th July 2020

Check site for current pricing
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Pricing accurate as of 13th July 2020

Sonos One

From $295.00
via Amazon AU

Best budget smart speaker: Google Nest Mini 2nd Gen

  • A reliable, simple smart speaker
  • Gesture controls for easier volume detection
  • Decent microphone pick-up

The Google Nest Mini has solid bass, impressive microphones and motion controls for the size, and an affordable price tag. If you already have a Google Home Mini, the Google Nest Mini 2nd Gen isn't enough of an upgrade to recommend replacing it entirely. However, it does have a bolder and brighter sound than its predecessor.

If you're looking for a budget smart speaker, or want an additional speaker for a wider range of voice control, the Google Nest Mini is the most appealing option.

Pricing accurate as of 13th July 2020

Google Nest Mini (2nd Gen)

via officeworks

Best for streaming music support: Sonos One

  • Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility
  • The Sonos app offers a huge range of streaming platforms
  • High-quality audio

The Sonos One provides access to more streaming services than any other speaker. It's compatible with both Alexa and Google Assistant, offering the best of each digital assistant, but the Sonos app is where it really stands out.

Sonos has integrated support for pretty much every streaming platform through its app. While you can't control them all with your voice, the app offers streaming services such as Tidal and Deezer that aren't available with any other smart speaker.

With excellent audio quality and the most extensive available range of streaming platforms, the Sonos One makes it the best smart speaker to stream music on.

Pricing accurate as of 13th July 2020

Check site for current pricing
via
Pricing accurate as of 13th July 2020

Sonos One

From $295.00
via Amazon AU

Best for speaker quality: Sonos Move

  • Clear and balanced audio
  • Strong bass
  • Automatic Trueplay gives the best sound in all environments

The Sonos Move offers a full, robust sound with a vibrant bass and plenty of detail at all volumes. However, Trueplay technology is what elevates the Sonos Move to our top pick as the best smart speaker for speaker quality.

The Move uses inbuilt microphones to tune the speaker automatically when you turn it on. This process only takes up to 30 seconds, making the setup virtually instantaneous. You can also move the speakers around your home, or even outside, and it will automatically calibrate to the new setting.

Whether you want to listen to music in your bathroom, kitchen, back yard or on the go, the Move is an ideal speaker for any environment. It's also our pick for the best portable smart speaker.

Pricing accurate as of 13th July 2020

Sonos Move

From $635.00
via Amazon AU

Best for smart home integration: Google Nest Hub Max

  • Can act as a security camera with Nest integration
  • Built-in camera offers gesture controls
  • Offers support for a wide range of smart home brands

Google and Amazon offer significantly more third-party integrations than Apple including some of the top brands in smart home devices such as Philips Hue, LiFX, D-Link, Netgear, Harmony and Ring. What's more, both platforms can tie into IFTTT, so that you can extend the functionality of your speakers even further.

Google ultimately comes out on top with the Google Nest Hub Max, offering compatibility with a huge range of smart home devices, as well as an in-built camera that allows the speaker to double as a Nest security camera. The camera also allows you to use gesture controls that work remarkably well so you can control your smart home devices with minimal effort.

However, double-check that the Nest Hub Max is compatible with your existing smart home devices before purchasing. Ultimately, the best smart speaker for you will be one that integrates with the devices you already own.

Pricing accurate as of 13th July 2020

Check site for current pricing
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Best smart display: Google Nest Hub Max

  • Large screen for photos and videos
  • Gesture controls work well
  • Nest Aware monitoring

The Google Nest Hub Max is also our pick for the best as the best smart display in Australia. The Amazon Echo Spot was the first smart speaker with a screen that launched in Australia, but over the last few years the number of available smart displays has increased significantly, offering consumers a wider range of options. Consequently, Amazon is no longer on top.

The Nest Hub Max offers a large display size for viewing photos and watching videos. The built-in camera also provides more features than other smart displays with built-in cameras including gesture controls and the ability to turn it into a Nest security camera.

If you're looking for a more budget smart display, the Amazon Echo Show 5 is a solid runner up.

Pricing accurate as of 13th July 2020

Check site for current pricing
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Best smart soundbar: Sonos Beam

  • Decent audio quality
  • Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility
  • Connects seamlessly to other Sonos speakers

The Sonos Beam is the Sonos's first smart soundbar, and while the Beam doesn't match the audio quality of the company's best soundbars, it's still the best sounding smart soundbar available from any brand. The Sonos Beam uses five digital amplifiers, four woofers and one central tweeter to produce solid audio. However, it doesn't offer Dolby Atmos.

The Beam seamlessly connects to other Sonos speakers and it now has both Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility. It's also compatible with the Sonos app, offering support for a wide range of music streaming services. Like the Sonos Move, the Beam offers Trueplay for faster tuning, though it's only available for those with iOS devices.

Pricing accurate as of 13th July 2020

Sonos Beam

From $474.17
via aaccoz15
Pricing accurate as of 13th July 2020

Sonos Beam

From $545.00
via Amazon AU

Best portable smart speaker: Sonos Move

  • Sonos' first portable smart speaker
  • Trueplay offers high-quality sound in any environment
  • Works as both a portable Bluetooth speaker and a Sonos multi-room speaker

The Sonos Move delivers the excellent audio you expect from the brand in the company's first portable smart speaker.

While the Move isn't as light as an ultra-portable Bluetooth speaker, it offers much better sound quality than a smaller speaker could. Plus, Trueplay allows the speaker to tune automatically in any environment, making it easy to move from room to room, or to take on the go.

It's also IP56 rated, so it can handle a decent amount of dust and water exposure, although it can't be submerged completely.

Pricing accurate as of 13th July 2020

Sonos Move

From $635.00
via Amazon AU

Best Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri smart speakers

The smart speaker category has grown from next to nothing to a massive industry in a short time. However, smart speakers in Australia are still limited to one of three smart assistant platforms: Amazon's Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple's Siri.

Regardless of brand loyalty, the digital assistant that powers your smart speaker is probably the most important decision you need to make when it comes to choosing a smart speaker. Amazon and Google have both opened up their platforms to third-party manufacturers, though Apple, perhaps unsurprisingly, is keeping Siri for its own devices so far.

For more information on how to choose between the three, check out our full guide to smart speakers.

Best Google Assistant speaker: Sonos One

Now that the Sonos One is also Google Assistant compatible, it also comes out on top as the best Google Assistant speaker.

Best Siri speaker: Apple HomePod

The Apple HomePod is the best Siri speaker by default as it's the only available smart speaker with Siri compatibility.

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How to choose a smart speaker

Like a mobile phone, the biggest deciding factor when choosing a smart speaker should be the operating system. There are currently three different platforms available for smart speakers, each developed by a different giant of the technology industry:

Best smart speaker Echo

Alexa:

Amazon kickstarted the smart speaker industry when it launched Alexa-enabled speakers in the US. Alexa has a wide range of core functions built in, from calculations to translation to weather reports. But what makes it really impressive is the way Amazon opened up the platform to third-party integrations, known as Skills. The process for a business to build a Skill for an Alexa-enabled speaker is fairly straightforward, and there are over 10,000 Skills on offer for Australian users on the platform.

Best smart speakers Google Assistant

Google Assistant:

Google's digital assistant has the superpower of being able to leverage the power of Google to help answer your questions, and that's no small advantage. While Alexa can give you the weather forecast for Fiji in general, Google will give you the local weather for Nadi. Google also offers Actions as a way for third-party developers to integrate with the Google Assistant voice search, but it's not as elegant a solution as Amazon's Skills.

Best smart speaker Siri

Siri:

Apple's smart assistant is the latest to make the jump from smartphone to smart speaker, but its functionality as a useful tool is severely limited. Apple has decided to pursue its strategy of a closed system, without support for third-party applications for music streaming or even multi-room audio. It can be used to control Homekit-enabled smart home devices if you have them, but there's no open app marketplace for Apple's voice assistant.

In addition to the operating system, there are a few other key factors to consider when choosing your smart speaker:

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