The best Google Home and Assistant smart speakers

We pick out the top devices with the voice assistant built in

The best Google Assistant speakers
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If you want to build a home controlled by Google Assistant, the best place to start is by choosing your controlling device; and your best bet there is a top Google Assistant speaker.

There's a wide range of Google Home smart speakers and plenty more Assistant devices from third-party companies to fill this job.

In case there's any confusion, these are different from home gadgets and appliances that are compatible with Google Assistant - those only become voice-controlled when you have a controller device to connect and talk to; smart plugs, cameras, motion sensors and the like.

Read on for our top pick of speakers with Google Assistant inside - because it's no longer a case of Google Home or nothing.

Update: We've included the latest information in this March 2020 update - including the details on a couple of new speakers coming soon from Bang & Olufsen and Marshall.


Jump to the information you need...


Native Google Home speakers

We've divided this guide into two sections: Google and Nest Home speakers and third-party Assistant speakers. The latter covers the best Google Assistant devices from brands like Sonos and Bose, who while often delivering better sound quality, occasionally lack features you'll find in Google's immediate speaker family.

The best Google Home and Assistant smart speakers

Best Google Home speaker: Google Nest Mini

Buy now: google.com | $49,

The Google Nest Mini is a pebble-shaped smart speaker, and the most affordable of Google's own range. As well as blending into your decor with grey, black, coral and pale blue soft fabric finishes, it makes a neat second speaker around the house.

And at just $49 (and often on sale for much cheaper), it's perfect for anyone building a smart home on a budget.

Its Achilles' heel? Despite some improvements over the OG Google Home Mini, it still doesn't produce hugely powerful sound (hardly a surprise considering the size) and there's no 3.5mm out to your existing speakers, which its rival the Amazon Echo Dot does have.

What we love

  • That cheap price
  • Small and easy to place
  • On-device controls

What we don't love

  • No 3.5mm output
  • Awkward wire placement
  • Sound not amazing (obviously)

Read our full Google Nest Mini review.

The best Google Assistant devices: Speakers and TVs with Assistant inside

Best for sound quality: Google Home Max

Buy now: google.com | $399,

At the highest end of Google's Home family is the Max, its premium speaker that goes all-in on punchy, loud, room-filling sound. But power is expensive, particularly if you want to pick up two for stereo.

However, of Google's lineup of first-party speakers, the Max is still the obvious winner by measure of sound quality alone. It's a hulking great thing, weighing nearly 12 pounds and measuring 13.2 x 7.4 x 6 inches in size. You'd better clear some room.

If you want a Google-built speaker worthy of your favorite records, this is still your best option, but while the Max plays it loud and proud, it's less well balanced than some of the third-party options below from Sonos and Bose.

What we love

  • Sound as hefty as its dimensions
  • Google Assistant outsmarts Alexa
  • Bluetooth support

What we don't love

  • Expensive (double if you want stereo)
  • Very, very large
  • Sound not as well balanced as others

Read our full Google Home Max review.

The best Google Assistant devices: Speakers and TVs with Assistant inside

Best Google Home Smart Display: Google Nest Hub

Buy now: google.com | $129

What was once called the Google Home Hub is now the Nest Hub - but it's exactly the same device. It's a tiny thing with a 7-inch display, but it all comes together for the best showcase of this category, in our opinion.

It also doesn't have a camera. If you want that, you should opt for the larger Nest Hub Max, whose 10 inch display also includes a Nest camera, which you can remotely view from your smartphone and make use of its motion detection features. You can also make Duo video calls, and even wave your hands around for some fun (but novelty) gesture controls.

Both displays have an ambient EQ sensor that adjusts the display to the light around it, the result being that photos look fantastic when displayed on the Nest Hubs.

What we love

  • How small it is
  • Lack of camera good for the privacy-minded
  • Decent sound

What we don't love

  • Some may find it too small
  • No Zigbee/Z-Wave hub
  • Software still maturing

Read our full Google Nest Hub review


Third-party Google Assistant speakers

Like Alexa, Google Assistant is starting to turn up in more and more smart speakers built by other companies. The only thing to bear in mind is that first-party Google Home speakers tend to get new Assistant features before others, but otherwise the experience is identical to the one you'll get on a Google Home.

The best Google Home and Assistant speakers

Best overall: Sonos One

Buy now: Amazon | $199

Sonos' debut smart speaker is still going strong, just slightly tweaked under the hood for 2019 (but you'll barely notice). The biggest update, however, is Google Assistant, which now joins Alexa. You can only have one voice assistant running at a time, but just having the option puts Sonos a cut above most.

The One comes with that typically great Sonos sound, in a smaller and more affordable speaker than the Move. You can pair two together for stereo sound, and the addition of Assistant means you can use this as a Chromecast controller too.

What we love

  • Awesome sound
  • Both Google Assistant and Alexa
  • Loads of ways to listen, including AirPlay 2

What we don't love

  • Still has some hearing problems
  • Some Google features are MIA

Read our full Sonos One review.

The best Google Home and Assistant speakers

Best portable Google Assistant speaker: Sonos Move

Buy now: Amazon | $399

Sonos goes portable for the first time with the Move – and it's bringing Google Assistant with it. Well, sort of. The Assistant is built in (as is Alexa, but you can only choose one) and you can use it so long as the Move is on your Wi-Fi. But in Bluetooth mode the Assistant will, sadly, go deaf.

Still, this is a great speaker and the long range of Wi-Fi means you can put the Move just about anywhere in your home and enjoy music and the Assistant uninterrupted.

There's a good chance you'll even manage to stretch it to the backyard, something Sonos had in mind when making the Move. Did we mention it also sounds fantastic? Just a shame it costs so much.

What we love

  • Brilliant sound in both modes
  • Very durable
  • Long battery life

What we don't love

  • Expensive
  • Mic pickup a bit iffy
  • Really heavy

Read our full Sonos Move review.

The best Google Home and Assistant smart speakers

Best third-party Smart Display: JBL Link View

Considering how good Google's own smart displays, the Nest Hub and Nest Hub Max, are, it's a shame that it hasn't raised the bar for other companies building their own G screens. In our opinion, the JBL Link View is the best of a small bunch right now, balancing size, screen and sound to form a more complete whole than, say, the Lenovo Smart Display.

The Link View puts more emphasis on sound quality, particularly in the bass, which is where this speaker really shines. The 8-inch display is well sized, although there's a lot of bezel (and of course, the speakers) around that.

The overall look is fine; much nicer than Lenovo's equivalent, but still not as nice as the Nest Hubs. On the other hand, the additional bulk affords it better speakers.

We wish the viewing angles were better. As we put it in our review: "Unless you're looking at the Link View dead straight, you're going to see an ugly, distracting glare. If you're even a couple degrees the wrong direction, it's there." That's a shame, but doesn't go so far as to undo all the other positives here.

What we love

  • That great sound
  • Chromecast built in
  • YouTube

What we don't love

  • Bad viewing angles
  • Bland design
  • Software needs to mature

Read our full JBL Link View review

Also consider...

The best Google Home and Assistant speakers

Best Bose Home Speaker 500

Buy now: Amazon | $399

Like Sonos' speakers, the Bose Home 500 arrived with just Alexa, but the company has since rolled out Google too. And like Sonos, you'll only be able to have one running at a time. That makes a superb speaker even better, putting Google's smarts on top of top-tier audio quality and a lovely-looking speaker.

Our biggest complaint is the price, which puts it neck and neck with the Sonos Move, but you do get the same portability.

In fact the only major difference, other than how the sound is tuned, is that small screen, which will display album artwork for a little extra spice.

Read our full Bose Home Speaker 500 review.

The best Google Assistant devices: Speakers and TVs with Assistant inside

Polk Assist

Buy now: Amazon, polkaudio.com | $199,

The Polk Assist is a bit larger than the standard Google Home, but it's also a much better speaker, offering multi-room audio and Bluetooth support on top of access to the Assistant. However, think small to medium sized rooms - any larger, and you'll want something more powerful to fill the space.

It's impressive sound for the price, with the option of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and built-in Chromecast.

Read our full Polk Assist review.

The best Google Home and Assistant speakers

LG ThinQ WK7

Buy now: Amazon, lg.com| $179.99

LG's first smart speaker may not be the prettiest, but it does give you Google Assistant smarts and audio developed by sound experts Meridian. Coming in charcoal black and resting at 8.3-inches tall and 5.3-inches wide, this bulky, budget customer is able to deliver some serious bass.

That makes it a solid option for anybody who wants Google in their home but not through the sound-weak options in the Home range (or the costly Home Max), with the ThinQ WK7 providing support for Voice Match, multi-room audio and all the other usual Assistant tricks.

Read our full LG ThinQ WK7 review.


Coming soon

Those Google Home smart speakers detailed above are the best devices on sale right now, but there are a couple of newcomers you might want to consider that are due to hit the shops very soon...

The B&O Beosound Balance is a super high-end smart speaker that is all set to give your wallet a right hammering.

Costing $2,250, the AirPlay 2 enabled speaker has the Google Assistant baked and is first and foremost an audiophile-grade bookshelf speaker. That solid oak base houses a pair of 5.25-inch bass drivers, which teams up with two 3-inch full range drivers, two 2-inch full range drivers and a 0.75-inch tweeter for a 104 dB SPL volume.

B&O tells us that, thanks to the "Active Room Compensation" capabilities, you'll get "carefully controlled beams of sound for a clear acoustic experience from the front and rich sound enhancement at the back".

The best Google Home and Assistant smart speakers

The latest Marshall smart speaker has just gone live - the Alexa-packing Uxbridge Voice, which comes with a Sonos One rivalling $199 price-tag. However, a Google Assistant version is landing in June.

Coming in either white or black, it boasts a pretty powerful 96dB punch, thanks to its built-in 30 Watt Class D amplifier for the woofer and tweeter.


TAGGED    google    speakers    buyers guides

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