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9 Best Smart Speakers (2024): Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri

9 Best Smart Speakers (2024): Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri

Connects to Google Assistant.

Best Smart Soundbar

With a wireless subwoofer, room-filling virtual surround sound, and Amazon’s Alexa onboard, the Yamaha YAS-209 is the best smart soundbar you can buy right now. It’s compatible with Spotify Connect and has both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections, which makes it a great speaker for all-around listening in your living room.

Connects to Alexa.

★ Alternative: The Sonos Beam soundbar ($499) (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is another good option. It isn’t our absolute favorite soundbar for the money, but it has Alexa, Google Assistant, and Airplay support (with some Siri) out of the box.

Best Google Assistant Smart Display

Smart displays are great in a few different parts of the home, like the kitchen or an entryway, but might go mostly unused. The Google Pixel Tablet (7/10, WIRED Recommends) fixes that by marrying a tablet and a smart display into one handy device. The 11-inch tablet sits on the included Docking Station to turn it into a smart display, appearing almost identical to the Google Nest Hub Max, and you simply pop it off the display to turn it back into a tablet. (There may be a slight learning curve to properly disengaging it from the magnet base.)

Popping it onto the dock activates the tablet’s Hub Mode, and you can customize the display to either show your Google Photos or select one of the fun clock designs. You can easily control smart home devices by tapping the Google Home icon on the lock screen, which will pull up an overlay of your favorite smart home devices to let you control them and and check camera feeds on doorbells and Wi-Fi cameras. This feature is only available while docked, so your camera feeds are safe from strangers if you take the tablet out and about with you.

The Pixel Tablet is now our current favorite smart display for a number of other reasons. The dock’s built-in speakers have robust sound with surprisingly decent bass, so you can jam while you’re in the kitchen or the living room. There’s also multiuser support that lets you add up to eight accounts, each of which can have custom apps, layouts, and wallpapers all protected by fingerprint, so the whole family can use this device without infringing on one another.

If you don’t want to splurge on getting both a tablet and a smart display, the Nest Hub Max (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is still a great option with similar features, a large screen, and pretty impressive speakers considering the slim profile.

Connects to Google Assistant.

Best Alexa Smart Display

The Echo Show 8 (3rd Gen) keeps everything we liked about the previous model, but adds the features we like on Amazon’s pricier Echo Show displays. For the new kicks, the third-gen Show 8 gains a smart home hub that works with Zigbee, Matter, and Thread devices, and it has spatial audio capabilities (though not all music services can take advantage of this feature). It also gains widgets, which allow you to put little Post-It-sized shortcuts on your screen to things like your favorite smart home devices, calendar, or even a little digital sticky note. On the Echo Show 8 these don’t always show up, as they’re part of the display’s content rotation, but they’re fun and handy when they do.

Besides that, the Show 8 still has great sound and a perfect-size screen for seeing the weather and reading recipes without hogging too much counter or tablespace. It’s easy to control your music and smart home devices, watch videos, and get content like sports scores and weather alerts right on the screen. The 13-MP camera lets you take video calls and doubles as a security camera, or as a way to video call your family within the house.

9 Best Smart Speakers (2024): Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri

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