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Smart speaker review methodology

Here's how we break down the scores for our smart speaker reviews.

Updated

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Here at Finder, we rigorously test the smart speakers we review to determine scores for design and performance as well as an overall score. Each category is scored out of five, with zero being the lowest possible score.

This is how our reviewers break down each score:


Design

To determine the design score, we consider:

  • Aesthetics. What does it look like? Does it come in multiple colours or styles? Is there a display?
  • Materials. What is it made out of? Does it feel cheap or high quality?
  • Size and weight. How bulky is it? Is it easy to move from room to room?
  • Functionality. Does the design make the speaker easier or harder to use? What physical controls does it have?
  • Set-up. What's included in the box? How easy is it to set up the speaker?

Performance

To determine the performance score, we consider:

  • Sound quality. How does the speaker sound? Is it clear and well-rounded? How dynamic is the bass?
  • Smart assistant. Which smart assistant is included? Does it perform as promised?
  • Voice detection. What is the microphone array? How well does the speaker pick up voice commands? How does it respond to different accents?
  • Smart home compatibility. What products is the speaker compatible with? How easy is it to control them using the speaker?
  • App. What can you do with the corresponding app? How easy is it to use?
  • Privacy. Is there an option to turn off the microphones? If the speaker has a camera, is there a manual shutter?

Overall score

The overall score is not an average of the other scores. To determine the overall score, the reviewer considers the scores for design and performance, the price and how it compares to other available smart speakers. For example, a speaker could have high scores for design and performance, but a high price tag might bring down the overall score.

When coming up with the overall score, we consider:

  • Our overall impression of the product
  • Value for money
  • Design
  • Performance
  • How it compares to the rest of the market

While our scores reflect the value we give each smart speaker, there is and will always be a level of subjectivity to each review. If your experience with a smart speaker differs from ours, we'd love to hear from you.

We review the speakers as we get them and software updates and improvements can occur after the time of review, changing the performance of the device. Where possible, we will strive to reflect these updates in our reviews.


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