Best Smart Speakers for Your Bedroom

By Nicole Gleichmann

Long gone are the days when you must flip through a book and find your favorite CD, walk over to your stereo, insert it, play with the volume, and do that whole process again to listen to something new.

Now we have Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music and more, giving us access to an endless variety of tunes. Add this with a smart speaker and you can listen to what you want, and even change the volume, without leaving the comfort of your bed.

Smart speakers with your personal virtual assistant are all the rage, with new models and brands popping up left and right. Which begs the question, which one is the best one? The answer depends on what you’re looking for.

The Best Smart Speakers for Your Bedroom

Do you want the top-of-the line smart speaker, or the best bang for your buck? Are there times when you’d like to take your speaker with you camping or to a friend’s place, or will it be staying in the same spot for the foreseeable future? Your answers to these questions dictate which smart speaker is the best fit for you.

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sonos speakers

Best for outdoor Use

Sonos Move – Battery-powered Smart Speaker

If you’re an outdoor lover, chances are you’d like a smart speaker that you can take along with you to your outdoor bedroom during warm summer months. Finding a good speaker for both indoor and outdoor use can be challenging. You need a speaker with sound rich enough to overcome nature’s music and one that’s resilient enough to withstand a light drizzle or being knocked over.

The Sonos Move battery-powered smart speaker satisfies these needs and more. Equipped with audio that adjusts based on the music you’re playing and area you’re in, this speaker will provide optimized sound. It’s also weather-resistant as demonstrated by its IP56 rating, so you don’t have to worry about dust, UV rays, or light rain. And a hard shell protects the speaker from drops that might ruin another portable speaker.

On top of its durability and sound quality, the Sonos Move boasts up to 10 hours of play time without needing to be recharged.

Few portable speakers that offer this level of quality are equipped with Alexa through the device, resulting in a speaker that is great for both indoor and outdoor use. You can call on Alexa to set alarms, play music, or answer your questions whenever you’re connected to WiFi.

echo dot

Best Budget

Echo Dot 3rd Generation with Clock

Not everyone needs a high-end smart speaker for their bedroom. Maybe you simply want an alarm clock with smart speaker capabilities, so you throw out that old alarm and hear the weather first thing in the morning.

The Echo Dot 3rd Generation with Clock is a budget-friendly option that provides direct Alexa access and functions as an alarm clock. A bright LED display behind the fabric can show you the time, a countdown timer, or the weather. And for those mornings when you just need a few extra minutes to snooze, you can simply bop it up top like you would a normal alarm.

With the Echo Dot, you always have the option of connecting it to a robust smart speaker with quality audio (see our best wireless speaker below). This way you can enjoy the convenience of Alexa and rich audio when listening to music, podcasts, or audiobooks.

bose soundtouch

Best Wireless Speaker

Bose SoundTouch 10 wireless speaker

The Bose SoundTouch 10 wireless speaker doesn’t have Alexa built-in, but it can be paired with speakers that do, like the inexpensive Echo Dot. This pairing is a great way to get high-quality sound at a low-cost. And when it comes to rich sound and reliable products, Bose has a solid reputation.

The Bose SoundTouch 10 wireless speaker is the smallest speaker in the Bose SoundTouch collection, but for such a small speaker, it packs impressive sound quality and volume. And if you want to enjoy the same music as you wander around your home, connect this to other Bose speakers for a full-home audio experience.

Even if you don’t have an Alexa device to pair with the Bose SoundTouch 10, its six presets, smartphone app, and intuitive remote make it easy-to-operate with or without voice control. This means that you can enjoy Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music, or other favorites without Alexa.

Another perk that we love? Because the SoundTouch 10 is wireless and small, it can be taken with you easily when you leave the house, allowing you to play music when you camp, go to the beach, or head to a friend’s house.

echo third gen

Best Overall

Echo 3rd Generation

The Echo 3rd Generation combines a solid sound system and built-in Alexa at a reasonable price. For anyone who wants a quality smart speaker that looks great and doesn’t take up much space, the Echo is a great option.

The new Echo has noticeably enhanced sound when compared to the Echo 2nd Generation. With 360 degree Dolby sound, the same acoustics as used in the more expensive Echo Plus, this powerful little speaker can fill a room with sound.

Another benefit of the Echo 3rd Generation is that it comes in 5 attractive colors: charcoal, twilight blue, limited edition red, sandstone, and heather gray. With its fabric cover, this speaker looks posh and attractive in most any setting.


Pros and Cons of Smart Speakers

There are people who love smart speakers, and those who are a bit more skeptical.

Smart speaker fans love their convenience. You can change the volume or switch songs without having to find your phone or remote. This hand-free perk comes in very handy when you’re cooking, showering, or doing chores.

And then there are those who use their smart speaker to control their smart home devices. For instance, with the right technology, you can set a “goodnight” mode where your front door locks, lights go out, and sleep podcast comes on. These settings are both convenient and fun to play around with.

For people who aren’t sold on the smart speaker, it’s usually due to one of three things. The first is having little desire for its benefits. In truth, there is nothing that a smart speaker does that most of us aren’t capable of doing ourselves. Next, smart speakers generally cost more than wireless speakers with the same sound quality. Lastly, people worry that the smart speakers are listening to them, even when they aren’t aware of it.

With tech data breaches becoming relatively common, this last point of concern is one that smart speaker manufacturers have listened to. Most smart phone speakers allow you to turn off the microphone so that you’re only heard when you want to be.

How to Choose the Best Smart Speaker

The trick to finding the best smart speaker is to decide what it is that you’re looking for.

Cost

Smart speakers start at around $40, but some models are costly. Before you start shopping, ask yourself what your budget it. This can help you find the best speaker that fits well with your finances.

Sound Quality

Will you be using your smart speaker to play music when friends come over, or will it mostly be used as an alarm or to ask Alexa random questions? If you won’t be using your smart speaker for music, you probably don’t need one with amazing audio capabilities. But if you’re a music lover, chances are that you’ll do best with a smart speaker that boasts high-quality acoustics.

There is another option that delivers great audio and a virtual assistant for a lower cost. By pairing an inexpensive smart speaker (like the Echo Dot) with a high-quality wireless speaker that can connect to the smart speaker, you’ll get the best of both worlds. But this does require multiple gadgets, more space, and more time to set up.

Functions

Ask yourself where you’ll be using your speaker and what you’ll be using it for. Compare the size, weight, battery life, display, and durability to find one that fits what you need so you avoid paying for costly capabilities that you don’t need.


Conclusion

Smart speakers are a fun and handy device that many people have grown to love. There are now smart speakers for most every budget, allowing you to decide what it is that you want from this technology. From simple smart alarm clocks to smart speakers with deep bass and amazing balance, there’s something for everyone.


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