Best Google Assistant speakers 2022: best Google smart speakers

Best Google Assistant Speaker Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best Google speakers you can buy in 2022.

Google may have arrived late to the speaking speaker party, but the company is certainly making up for lost time. Adoption of Google voice control and Chromecast is becoming much more common and opting for Google's own inbuilt assistant when picking a smart speaker might be especially sensible if you're using other Google devices such as Pixel phones or Nest products – or Google services such as Gmail, Google maps or the Google Calendar to organise your life.

How to choose the best Google Assistant speaker for you

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Thanks to Google's class-leading Search and the latest Google Home app, there's no denying that the best Google Assistant speakers deliver excellent results when trying to test your general knowledge. The tricky bit is making sure you get a Google speaker that delivers good sound quality for your music as well as delivering on the voice assistant promise.

But we're here to help. Whether you want Bluetooth or wi-fi, an aux input, compatibility with a certain streaming service, a screen for visual answers as well as verbal ones or even help with getting a good night's sleep from Google (yes really), we can help you find the best Google Assistant speaker for your needs. 

best Google Assistant speakers

A typically excellent Sonos smart speaker with Google voice control.

Specifications

Virtual assistant: Alexa, Google Assistant
Wi-fi: Yes
Bluetooth: No
Outputs: N/A
Dimensions (hwd): 16.1 x 11.7 x 12cm
Weight: 1.85kg

Reasons to buy

+
Stylish and unobtrusive
+
Solid, sophisticated sound
+
Alexa well integrated

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks full Alexa control
-
No hi-res audio

Arguably the best all-round smart speaker you can currently buy, the Sonos One sounds superb for the money and has all the functionality you're likely to need. There's Spotify and Tidal integration, the ability to chat with Google Assistant (and Alexa), and the option to build a multi-room system around it using other Sonos speakers or AirPlay 2. This is now the best Google speaker on the market.

Read the full review: Sonos One

best Google Assistant speakers

(Image credit: JBL)
This Google Assistant speaker is a winner at this price

Specifications

Virtual assistant: Google Assistant
Wi-Fi: Yes
Bluetooth: Yes
Outputs: N/A

Reasons to buy

+
Expansive sound
+
Packed with features
+
Premium design

Reasons to avoid

-
No JBL Connect support
-
Fussy over placement

This portable wireless speaker is powered by Google Home and delivers great sound and performance on budget. It's perhaps a touch heavy for taking everywhere you go, but otherwise it ticks all of our boxes for a Google Assistant speaker.

As well as Google's smart features, you will also find Bluetooth 4.2 and AirPlay 2, plus a battery life of up to 8 hours. There's a neat charging cradle supplied and a standard USB-C port.

In terms of the sound quality, the JBL Link Portable presents a detailed, musical, spacious and cohesive listen. You can control Spotify with your voice and of course get random questions answered at the drop of a hat. Undoubtedly one of the best Google Assistant speakers we've tested at this price.

Read the full review: JBL Link Portable

Best Google Assistant speakers

(Image credit: Sonos)
The Move goes where no Sonos speaker has gone before

Specifications

Virtual assistant: Alexa, Google Assistant
Wi-fi: Yes
Bluetooth: Yes
Outputs: N/A
Dimensions (hwd): 24 x 16 x 12.6cm
Weight: 3kg

Reasons to buy

+
Open, large-scale sound
+
Neat charging base
+
Multi-room smarts

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
No aptX Bluetooth support
-
Not class-leading sound

Another Sonos speaker, but this one is a little different. The Sonos Move is the first Sonos speaker to be portable and the first to offer Bluetooth streaming. It still offers everything you'd expect from Sonos, with full multi-room streaming functionality and access to Google Assistant, but if you were expecting a battery-powered, Bluetooth version of the Sonos One, think again. 

Physically, the Move towers over the One. Compared to the majority of portable Bluetooth speakers, and indeed anything Sonos currently offers, it is relatively tall (24cm) and heavy (3kg). So while it certainly has a battery, we're not sure how many people will be taking it on holiday or to the park.

Sonically it's weighty and full-bodied, and the Move can carry a tune as well as the next Sonos speaker, but it's big and expensive, which brings it up against some more capable speakers. Still, for the portable Sonos experience, look no further.

Read the full review: Sonos Move

best google assistant speakers

(Image credit: Sonos/IKEA)
Yes, it's quite literally a bookshelf speaker, and we like it.

Specifications

Virtual assistant: Alexa, Google Assistant
Wi-fi: Yes
Bluetooth: No
Outputs: N/A
Dimensions (hwd): 31 x 15 x 10cm
Weight: 3.12kg

Reasons to buy

+
Fully integrated into Sonos network
+
Bold, focused presentation
+
Quirky design

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks a little refinement

We didn't know what to expect when IKEA and Sonos released a bookshelf that could sing... but the results are actually quite impressive. The Symfonisk bookshelf speaker is the cheapest Sonos multi-room component on the market, half the price of a Sonos One and two-thirds that of the other IKEA speaker in the new range (the Sonos IKEA Symfonisk lamp speaker).

It’s also fully integrated into the existing eco-system, and will link to any other Sonos kit you have. And you’re not going to get a better-sounding multi-room speaker with Sonos’s sonic signature for this price – not to mention one that you can use as a floating bookshelf. A Sonos + IKEA bookshelf speaker? It’s a thumbs up as far as we’re concerned.

Read the full review: Sonos IKEA Symfonisk bookshelf speaker

best Google Assistant speakers

(Image credit: Google)
Google offers smarts, sound and a screen at a budget price

Specifications

Virtual assistant: Google Assistant (Chromecast built-in)
Wi-fi: Yes
Bluetooth: Yes, 5.0
Outputs: 3.5mm
Dimensions (hwd): 12 x 18 x 7cm
Weight: 558g
Screen : 7-in (1024 x 600p)
Camera: No

Reasons to buy

+
Great streaming service support
+
Good-value screen
+
Sleep Sensing tech

Reasons to avoid

-
Making calls requires app
-
Basic sound

To put the Google Nest Hub’s 7in (1024 x 600) touchscreen into context, the display real estate is only marginally bigger than the 6.7in one sported by the largest iPhone 12 Pro Max when measured on the diagonal – and here, there's no camera for selfies, video calls or security duties. 

But there are plenty of music streaming and TV services available, including All 4, Deezer, Netflix and Disney Plus – and remember, Amazon's smart products don't currently have 'skill' support for Disney Plus. The headline-grabber, however, is Sleep Sensing – which is still free throughout 2022. As the Nest Hub includes Google’s Soli sensor for motion detection plus light and temperature sensors, not only can you stop and resume tracks by simply showing your Hub the palm of your hand, the chip housed within the speaker can tell you how long you slept for and how restful your sleep was. It's something different – and trying to align your 'sleep circles' with a good eight hours is quite addictive. 

Amazon's Echo Show – a similar smart-speaker-with-screen concept – is almost three times the price and is bigger, beefier, and comes with a snapper. But thanks to Disney Plus, Sleep Sensing tech and a good (if not great) sound, the Google Nest Hub is a worthy proposition, depending on your priorities.

Read the full review: Google Nest Hub (2nd Generation)

best Google Assistant speakers

Cheap and effective

Specifications

Virtual assistant: Google Assistant
Wi-fi: Yes
Bluetooth: No
Outputs: No
Dimensions (hwd): 4.2 x 9.8 x 9.9cm
Weight: 173g

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable Google Assistant
+
Chromecast compatibility
+
Fine sound for speech radio

Reasons to avoid

-
Sound quality is average for music
-
No aux or Bluetooth output
-
Device support could be better

The Google Home Mini is, basically, Google's spin on an Amazon Echo Dot. It's a dinky device that comes with Google Assistant and can be used purely as a wireless speaker or as a smart hub, through which you can control other Google Home or Chromecast-enabled speakers around your house.

It's cheap as chips, but you get what you pay for. The Mini is low on frills and features – the lack of Bluetooth or an aux input is a shame  and the sound quality is average for music. But if you simply want hands-free access to Google Assistant voice commands and some occasional background listening, perhaps for the kitchen or a kids room, then the Home Mini is a fine choice.

Read the full review: Google Home Mini

best Google Assistant speakers

This bass-heavy smart speaker likes to party

Specifications

Virtual assistant: Google Assistant
Wi-fi: Yes
Bluetooth 4.0: Yes
Inputs: No
Amplifier: 50W
Audio formats: MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, FLAC
Dimensions: 27.5 x 17.2 x 16.3cm (hwd)

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful, deep bass
+
Eye-catching design
+
Impressive scale

Reasons to avoid

-
Bass is unbalanced
-
No aux input

It looks like your average smart speaker, but the Citation 100 produces bass by the bucket-load and can play extremely loud without strain. It is great for parties, though perhaps not so much for purists. 

This Harman Kardon speaker has a pretty standard, minimalist design, and it keeps connections to a minimum, too, with no aux input. Control comes via the Google Home app and Google Assistant, and commands work well enough, though it seems slightly more prone to wi-fi drop-outs than rivals.

Sonically, while the Harman Kardon Citation 100 isn't exactly balanced, it is otherwise a tasteful-sounding smart speaker with enough scale to fill most rooms. If you don't mind that bassy over-exuberance, there's a lot to like.

Read the full review: Harman Kardon Citation 100

(Image credit: Harman Kardon)
The Harman Kardon Citation Towers are bold and playful.

Specifications

Virtual assistant: Google Assistant
Wi-fi: Yes
Bluetooth 4.0: Yes
Inputs: No
Amplifier: 2 x 200W
Audio formats: MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, FLAC
Dimensions: 116 x 34.7 x 34.7cm (hwd)

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful, authoritative sound
+
Well balanced
+
Lots of bass and rich midrange

Reasons to avoid

-
Beaten for timing and organisation
-
Lacking some dynamic nuance

If you have a bit to spend and you want something bold, fun and wireless, the Harman Kardon Citation Towers are certainly worth an audition. They might not match up to the kind of traditional hi-fi system you could build for two grand, but then that was never the attention.

Subtlety is their main issue – these stereo towers like to play loud, with a lot of energy – but if you're hoping to get a party started then they will most happily be of service. Google Assistant being built-in only sweetens the deal. 

Read the full review: Harman Kardon Citation Tower

How we choose the best Google Assistant speakers

The What Hi-Fi? team tests hundreds of products every year – and that includes the newest smart speakers. How do we come to our review verdicts and why should you trust them? Give us two minutes of your time... 

We have state-of-the-art testing facilities in London, Reading and Bath, UK, where our team of expert reviewers handles every step of all independent testing process. This gives us complete control, ensuring consistency and impartiality. 

All products are tested in comparison with rivals in the same price category (often What Hi-Fi? Award-winners) and all review verdicts are agreed upon by the team as a whole rather than an individual reviewer, again helping to ensure neutrality and avoid any personal preference.

Finally, we choose the culmination of our efforts – the best products from all of our in-depth reviews – to feature in our Best Buys, which is where you are now. If you take the plunge and buy one of the products recommended above, or on any other Best Buy page, you can be assured you're getting a What Hi-Fi? approved product.

MORE: 

See our pick of the best Amazon Alexa speakers

Best wireless speakers

Best portable speakers: brilliant budget Bluetooth speakers 

Becky has been a full-time staff writer at What Hi-Fi? since March 2019. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, she freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 20-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance is of course tethered to a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo, This is Cabaret and The Stage. When not writing, she dances, spins in the air, drinks coffee, watches football or surfs in Cornwall with her other half – a football writer whose talent knows no bounds. 

  • dbent1856
    How can you rank the Sonos one as the top speaker for Google assistant when it barely works? I bought this speaker based upon your 2020 review of the same and it is a disaster. With tidal, you cannot even use the tidal app. You must use the sonos app to play on tidal and it does not recognize tidal as an option for voice control...so requesting the speaker to play a song is a complete no go. I wish I would not have bought it. I already had the sub, the playbar at two ones in my room upstairs so I thought great! Just add another sonos. This thing sounds good but the interface sucks. I cannot believe you ranked it first. Just go look at the reviews on sonos. They are awful. One star. Almost all of them. You really need to spend more time with these devices before you recommend them so highly.
    Reply
  • E8link
    You should revisit the recommendations for compatibility with google assistant. Sonos - no chrome cast grouping - same with Bose. Very few supported music providers with Google - Apple Music, etc.

    I think you are just basing the recommendations on sound quality not actual compatibility with Google assistant.
    Reply