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How to choose the best smart speaker

A smart speaker can simplify your life as well as amplify your music. Here’s your guide to choosing the smartest home speaker for your unique needs.

How to choose the best smart speaker

In a world where refrigerators can order milk, phones can recognise faces and watches can monitor sleep patterns, home speakers should be able to do more than just play music—a lot more. Everything, from cars and vacuum cleaners to doorbells and thermostats, is smart; speakers should be, too. Bose has three speakers and two soundbars on the market that are. Along with a premium listening experience, they offer all of the modern features that make smart speakers so intelligent.

However, the best smart speakers aren’t just smart—they’re sensible, too. The following buying guide will help you choose the best smart home speaker based on your unique needs and lifestyle.

Bose Portable Home Speaker with water droplets on it, on a table outside

Sound quality

If your priority is entertaining, first consider sound quality. Whether you’re known for hosting large parties with your friends or intimate dinner parties with your family, the Bose Home Speaker 500 offers wall-to-wall stereo sound that’s engineered to fill any room. Inside the Bose Home Speaker 500 are two custom drivers pointing in opposite directions that bounce the sound off your walls. The result? An incredibly wide stereo soundstage that’s perfect for any situation.

Other options are the Bose Home Speaker 300 and Bose Portable Home Speaker. Both feature 360 degrees of astonishing Bose sound, radiating clear sound in all directions, and are great for bass lovers, with room-rattling bass that is sure to impress.

Portability

Do you have back-garden barbeques or patio parties? Perhaps you like going to the beach? Or maybe you’re an avid traveller who spends as much time in hotels as you do at home? If you want a smart speaker that can go with you wherever you go, try the Bose Portable Home Speaker. It encompasses the freedom of a Bluetooth® speaker and the power of a smart speaker in a single product. When adventures arise, simply grab the speaker’s handle and go wherever the day takes you—from room to room or out into the great unknown.

As for its smart features, they’re available whenever the Bose Portable Home Speaker is connected to Wi-Fi®. When there’s no Wi-Fi connection, the speaker acts like any other wireless Bluetooth speaker, which makes it the perfect speaker for anyone who lives life on the go.

And with up to 12 hours of battery life, you don’t have to worry about watching the clock or finding a power source. Nor do you have to worry about spilled drinks or rain clouds, as the Bose Portable Home Speaker has a durable and water-resistant design that will stand up to many of life’s minor accidents.

Size

Size is another important consideration. Do you have a spacious home? A big space deserves big sound. That’s where the Bose Home Speaker 500 comes in. Or are you tight on space? Instead, consider the Bose Home Speaker 300, which is more compact. Measuring just over 15 centimetres, it delivers powerful audio that sounds big but isn’t, making it perfect for smaller rooms or spaces. Both speakers boast the same smart features, so you’re free to choose whichever one has the ideal dimensions for your space.

Bose Home Speaker 500 on a table in a home

Control

Last but not least—control. The final consideration when shopping for the best smart home speaker should be how you interact with the speaker. If ease of use is important to you, know that all Bose smart speakers work easily with the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.* With built-in voice assistants, you’re just one simple voice command away from playing your favourite song or asking what the weather is like. During the initial product setup, you can choose which voice assistant you’re most comfortable using. Even if your home is loud, don’t worry. Bose smart speakers have custom microphones designed to hear your voice even in the middle of a party. And for Apple users, Apple AirPlay 2 seamlessly integrates iOS technology.

If you’re a visual person, the best smart home speaker for you might be the Bose Home Speaker 500. It features an LCD screen that shows you what’s playing and also doubles as a clock when nothing’s playing.

For the ultimate convenience, you can also use the Bose Music app to control your Bose smart speaker with your smartphone when it’s in reach. When it isn’t, the Bose smart speakers have multiple controls on top of the speakers themselves. Controls allow you to play, pause or skip tracks, and turn the volume up or down as needed. The Bose Home Speaker 500 and 300 also feature six programmable presets, so your favourites are only one touch away.

Man using the Bose Music app on a smartphone

Cinematic sound at home

Thanks to the rise of streaming services, at-home entertainment has a new audio-visual standard. If you’re looking for a cinematic home cinema experience and a premium music-streaming experience, the best smart speaker for you might actually be a smart soundbar, like the Bose Soundbar 500 or Bose Soundbar 700. Both transform your living room into a cinema when you want to watch the big screen, and also deliver powerful audio when you just want to listen to your favourite music. Whether you’re binge-watching the latest hit series, gathering for family movie night or just jamming to your favourite tunes, a Bose smart soundbar is for you. Check out the Bose buying guide to soundbars to find out how to choose the best option for you.

*Voice assistants are not available in all countries and may vary. Bose smart products voice assistant availability.

Product availability may vary by country.

RELATED PRODUCTS

Bose Home Speaker 500

$599.95

Best-in-class, wall-to-wall stereo sound. Built-in voice control.

  • Triple Black
  • Luxe Silver
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth®
  • Voice command

Bose Portable Home Speaker

$499.95

A home speaker, a portable speaker and a voice-controlled speaker, all in one.

  • Triple Black
  • Luxe Silver
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth®
  • Battery
  • Voice command

Bose Home Speaker 300

$399.95

Compact smart speaker with powerful bass. Built-in voice control.

  • Triple Black
  • Luxe Silver
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth®
  • Voice command