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Best Google Assistant speakers 2019: The 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 2019.

Google may have been late to the smart speaker party but it's doing its level best to catch up. Adoption of Google voice control and Chromecast is becoming more common, meaning you might want to stick with Google Assistant when it comes to a smart speaker.

Thanks to Google's class-leading Search, there's no denying the best Google Assistant speakers deliver excellent results when trying to test its knowledge on that random 80s actor or the capital of Afghanistan. The tricky bit is making sure you get a Google speaker that sounds good, too.

Whether you want Bluetooth or wi-fi, an aux input or compatibility with a certain streaming service, we can help you find the best Google Assistant speaker for your needs. And with Black Friday in full swing and Cyber Monday around the corner, you could get a bargain to boot.

How we choose the best Google Assistant speakers

Here at What Hi-Fi? we review hundreds of products every year – and that includes plenty of speakers. So how do we come to our review verdicts? And why can you trust them?

We have state-of-the-art testing facilities in London and Bath, where our team of expert reviewers do all our testing. This gives us complete control over the testing process, ensuring consistency. 

All products are tested in comparison with rival products in the same price category, and all review verdicts are agreed upon by the team as a whole rather than an individual reviewer, again helping to ensure consistency and avoid any personal preference.

The What Hi-Fi? team has more than 100 years experience of reviewing, testing and writing about consumer electronics.

From all of our reviews, we choose the best products to feature in our Best Buys. That's why if you take the plunge and buy one of the products recommended below, or on any other Best Buy page, you can be assured you're getting a What Hi-Fi? approved product.

best Google Assistant speakers

1. Sonos One

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

(Image credit: Sonos)

2. Sonos Move

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)

3. Sonos IKEA Symfonisk bookshelf speaker

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 x 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

4. LG WK7

A solid start for LG’s venture into smart speakers with audio experts, Meridian

SPECIFICATIONS

Virtual assistant: Google Assistant | Wi-fi: Yes | Bluetooth: Yes | Outputs: N/A | Dimensions (hwd): 21 x 13.5 x 13.5cm | Weight: 1.9kg

Reasons to Buy

Large sound, powerful bass
Good level of detail
Google apps are nice to use

Reasons to Avoid

Bass a little uneven
LG app isn't great

The LG WK7 is LG’s first foray into the smart speaker market and the first product to emerge as part of the new partnership with British audio specialist Meridian. There's nothing special about the design but it looks smart enough and the top features touch-sensitive controls for volume and playback. There's a Google Assistant button, too, and a function button that allows you to switch between wi-fi and Bluetooth.

There are no other connections - no analogue input or 3.5mm connection - but a smart speaker such as this doesn't really need one, especially when there's also Chromecast built-in and Android Things support. 

And it sounds pretty good by smart speaker standards, not least thanks to the support for hi-res audio. A little too much bass is apparent at times and music doesn't sound quite as, well, musical, as on the HomePod, but there's impressive scale, clean and clear vocals, and plenty of punch to drums and bass. The LG WK7 is one of the best Google speakers, especially now it has a healthy discount.

Read the full LG WK7 review

best Google Assistant speakers

5. Google Home Mini

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

6. Harman Kardon Citation 100

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

best Google Assistant speakers

7. Google Home

Simple to use and plenty of features

SPECIFICATIONS

Virtual assistant: Google Assistant | Wi-fi: Yes | Bluetooth: Yes | Outputs: No | Dimensions (hwd): 14.3 x 9.6 x 9.6cm | Weight: 477g

Reasons to Buy

Simple to use
Stereo pairing
Multi-room capability

Reasons to Avoid

Average sound

Google Home is looks a bit like a large white air freshener. It’s a minimalist design, with a touch-sensitive circle on the top for adjusting volume and pausing/playing music. There are also a series of coloured lights that illuminate when the device is active, and a mute button if you want to turn the two microphones off. To personalise the device, you can add one of the optional coloured bases, either fabric or metal.

Set up is simple and there are now plenty of compatible apps and devices, including Chromecast, though still not as many as on the Amazon Alexa platform. Bluetooth, multi-room and stereo pairing are all supported, too. The let down is the sound, which while OK for dialogue is underwhelming for music considering its size and price, and the much-improved performance of the new Echo devices. If you're still tempted for this rather than the Home Mini, we'd wait until you see a good deal.

Read the full review: Google Home

(Image credit: Harman Kardon)

8. Harman Kardon Citation Tower

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

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