With the Apple HomePod discontinued, it’s interesting to consider what could replace this flagship speaker. While the HomePod Mini is an obvious contender, it doesn’t quite match up with the kind of sound quality that can fill a big room or double up as a home theatre system.
So I went on the hunt for other viable options, and here’s my roundup of the best HomePod alternatives you’ve got to check out.
How to choose the best smart speaker
Before we look at the best speakers, let’s consider how to pick one that best suits your needs. Here are a few points to keep in mind:
- Compatibility with the devices you want to use it with, such as your smartphone, tablet, TV, etc.
- Compatibility with the streaming services you use, such as Apple Music, Spotify, etc.
- The trade-off between sound quality and price
- Voice assistant support such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
- Bonus features such as water resistance, build quality, etc.
I’ve tried to discuss each of these factors for my choices below. Keep reading to find the best one for you.
Best alternatives to Apple HomePod
1. Sonos One 2nd Gen – Editor’s Choice
This is my favorite HomePod alternative because of the sheer value it offers. It has the convenience of both Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can use whichever you like.
It boasts a booming sound that fills the room loud and clear. You can take this to the next level by connecting two Sonos speakers for spectacular stereo output.
I tried playing different music genres, from pop and rock to jazz and classic, and everything sounded amazing. It’s also got Apple’s AirPlay 2, so you can control it with your iPhone, iPad, etc.
As for design, the Sonos One fits well in any room and is easy to use. On the device’s top, you’ll see a power-indicator LED and a small light that turns on whenever your voice assistant is listening. The company promises that the speakers cannot listen to you when this light is not illuminated.
I must make a special mention of the Sonos S2 app and its ‘room groups’ feature for wireless speaker systems. If you have set up multiple connected speakers, the Sonos S2 app remembers which ones are frequently grouped.
So, you can get certain areas in your home playing music a lot more quickly than usual without needing to group the speakers repeatedly.
Lastly, what makes this the best smart speaker that tops my list is the reasonable price given the quality and features. I’m sure you won’t regret investing in one of these. It’s available in white and black color options.
- Both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
- Feature-rich accompanying app
- Great sound quality
- Setup takes a bit of time
2. Amazon Echo Studio – Best for Alexa
Amazon popularized the voice-controlled smart speaker trend, and the Echo Studio is the top choice in its lineup.
It’s the biggest Echo device and boasts the best sound with support for 3D formats like Dolby Atmos.
It boasts powerful bass and crisp highs that automatically adapt to any room. It senses the acoustics of your space, fine-tuning playback for an optimal sound that’s got clarity and depth.
I especially recommend this speaker for those who have an Amazon Fire TV device. It will easily pair wirelessly to uplift your movie-watching sessions with cinematic audio.
However, one thing to note is that the Echo Studio is quite a tall speaker and takes up more space than other similar devices. So, you’ll likely need a stand or some cabinet space to stow it in. However, it also needs ample space around it to make the most of the directional sound.
Of course, the Echo Studio supports a wide variety of streaming music services and can easily double up as a home theatre system too.
Moreover, it’s also a ZigBee hub, meaning that it’s equipped to connect to thousands of smart home products. And with Alexa, you can seamlessly control your devices and do all the usual stuff like set timer and alarms, get facts and trivia, etc.
The price tag of $199 is attractive for the booming sound quality and a multitude of features.
- Supports 3D sound formats
- Best sound quality
- Extensive range of features
- Quite big, so it needs a dedicated spot
3. Google Nest Audio – Best for Google Assistant
This one’s a smart speaker that’s not really for audiophiles but for those looking for a simple and effective voice assistant system optimized for the Google ecosystem. You can make calls, set reminders, ask questions, and more.
Of course, it also supports stereo and multiroom playback. Then, there’s Chromecast (or Google TV) integration.
The sound quality is good for the size, and various media such as podcasts and different music genres perform well on it. However, there’s not much customization available with the Google Home app offering a rather basic equalizer.
Notable features include Media EQ and Ambient IQ. Media EQ dynamically changes your speaker’s sound depending on the type of media you’re listening to. And Ambient IQ adjusts the volume of podcasts and audiobooks according to the environment you’re in so that the spoken words are easier to hear.
The Google Nest Audio has quite a unique design that’s different from other Nest speakers. The top of the speaker is invisibly divided into three touch-sensitive panels. The top and bottom segments are for volume control, while the middle segment lets you control music playback.
Below the panels are four LEDs to indicate Google Assistant activation, Bluetooth pairing mode, when you’re in a call, and more. When the microphone is muted, the four LEDs will appear amber until overridden by another function.
I especially appreciate this speaker from a smart home perspective because you can control almost everything with it. For instance, even when away from home, you can broadcast to it from your phone.
- Unique touch-sensitive design
- Google Assistant features
- Stylish look
- Affordable price
- Limited bass and volume output
4. Sonos Move – Battery Powered Smart Speaker
When I got my first smart speaker, I remember thinking that I’d prefer a portable battery-powered one since I like traveling often. If you’re like me, the Sonos Move is the perfect solution!
Battery and Sound
You can place it in its charging cradle for everyday indoor use, but simply grab it and go whenever you need to take it out. Enjoy up to 10 hours of Bluetooth playback with sublime sound thanks to the rechargeable battery. It’s also got automatic Trueplay tuning, which adjusts the sound according to what you’re listening to and the ambient environment.
Designed for adventures
This speaker is the perfect companion for your adventures or outdoor parties because it boasts an IP56 rating that can withstand humidity, rain, snow, dust, salt spray, UV rays, and extreme heat and cold. Simultaneously, there is no need to worry about the occasional drop or bump since the internal components are protected by a hard-wearing, shock-resistant case.
Lastly, it’s got Alexa and Google Assistant support, so you can use whichever you prefer. I appreciate how the setup is super quick, and you can control it with the Sonos app, Bluetooth, AirPlay 2, and your voice.
- Battery-powered and portable
- Both Alexa and Google Assistant
- IP56 rating
- Rugged design
- Sound quality could be better
5. Libratone Zipp 2 – Best Portable Speaker with AirPlay 2
Check out this battery-powered and easily portable smart speaker. Get up to 12 hours of playback on a single charge. And when you want the device to hush, just place your palm on the top of the speaker to turn down the volume when you’re making a call or talking to someone.
I was immediately sold on this smart speaker’s unique design. The rather futuristic cylindrical device comes in an attractive fabric cover with a stylish zip and a leather loop for holding or hanging. You can choose from four color options to match your style.
But of course, looks are not everything. This speaker’s sound quality is just as impressive, though it does come at a premium price point compared to competitors. It boasts Alexa and is easy to set up and control through the corresponding iOS (or Android) app. You can easily link it to your favorite streaming services such as Spotify and set up a favorites list and more.
Lastly, I love how the app offers a wide range of EQ adjustment options plus five settings to optimize the output according to where the device is positioned, such as on the floor or a table, outside, or indoors. You can also preset five Internet radio stations or playlists in the speaker to tune into with just a tap.
- Battery-powered and portable
- Multiple connectivity options
- Stylish look and color options
- Great full-bodied sound
- A bit pricey
- Companion app needs improvements
6. Bose Home Speaker 500 – Best Stereo Sound
Bose is one of the best-known and most respected names in the sound industry. Here is one of its premium speakers designed for true audiophiles who value sound quality over all else. Of course, it comes at a premium price tag too!
Best in class design and quality
The grille has been precisely crafted for both audio accuracy and a high-quality finish. It looks sleek and elegant, paired with the device’s elliptical shape and an anodized aluminum casing.
A small full-color screen on the front displays album artwork while you play music, and the brightness auto-adjusts to avoid blinding you in low-light environments.
Further, the speaker is optimized for voice control via Alexa or Google Assistant and has physical buttons for basic functionality. You can program six preset buttons to play your favorite playlist, radio station, or album with just a touch.
I was especially impressed by how the microphones can pick up voice from even a distance so you can easily interact with the speaker from across a room, even when music is playing.
I found it to be a great alternative to Apple’s HomePod because of the impressive sound quality that fills any room. The only drawbacks are the slightly tricky setup process and the higher price when compared to other speakers I tried. But it’s still cheaper than the original HomePod, so no complaints!
- Professional high-quality sound
- Sensitive microphones
- Full-color display panel
- Supports both Alexa and Google Assistant
- Elegant design
7. Bose Home Speaker 300 – Best Bass
Here’s a more affordable Bose speaker that boasts 360-degree deep bass and supports both Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant.
You can easily stream your favorite music and media via a Bluetooth connection, your home Wi-Fi network, Apple AirPlay 2, or Spotify Connect. However, it doesn’t support Chromecast.
It boasts multiple input options and different settings but remains easy to control and use. It features a simple set of touch controls that let you play/pause, adjust the volume, switch between auxiliary and Bluetooth inputs, and control the voice assistant.
There are also six preset buttons to which you can program any number of music streaming services.
It’s the most affordable smart speaker you can get with that signature Boss sound quality, despite the relatively smaller size.
Further, the Bose Music app does a great job helping you conveniently manage and stream multiple streaming services.
Go for it if the top-notch sound is your priority and you want just one speaker rather than a system of connected ones.
- Compact size yet impressive sound
- Supports both Alexa and Google Assistant
- AUX input
- No Chromecast
- Alexa is sometimes unresponsive
8. Bose Portable Speaker – Most Versatile and Lightweight
Don’t let the steep price of this smart speaker distract you from the value and versatility it offers.
Powerful yet portable
It boasts 360 degrees of deep, clear, lifelike sound with powerful bass. Moreover, it’s super lightweight at just 2 lbs, so you can take it wherever you go. The handle is sturdy and makes it convenient to carry anywhere.
Further, it runs on a rechargeable battery and, like others in the Boss speaker family, responds to Alexa or Google Assistant voice commands, touchpad input, and a well-designed accompanying app.
It boasts a battery life of up to 12 hours so that you can listen to music, podcasts, and more via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Airplay 2, and Spotify Connect.
This super portable speaker also features a water-resistant IPX4 rating to handle all of life’s bumps, drops, and splashes.
What I especially love about Bose speakers is the unbeatable performance they give when you have more than one from the family of devices. It connects beautifully with the Home Speaker 300 or 500 or even the smart sounder to offer booming multi-room audio.
The only drawback is the steep investment it requires. Moreover, for this battery-powered baby, you will have to splurge an extra $29 if you want the optional drop-and-go charging cradle.
- Super lightweight
- 12-hour battery life
- IPX4 rating
- Rugged design
- Bass performance could be better at high volumes
9. Ultimate Ears – Best Waterproof Smart Speaker
Meet your ultimate bath-time or poolside music companion. This speaker is IP67 rated and can be immersed in water up to 1 meter for 30 minutes. So you can use it carefree near water. The 12-hour battery backup will make sure it lasts throughout your parties or events.
I was pretty impressed by the 360-degree sound that was intense and clear, with my favorite kind of heart-pounding bass. It’s the ultimate blend of Bluetooth speaker and smart home speaker with Amazon Alexa.
As for the design, the tall cylindrical shape is sturdy and looks quite elegant. It can withstand the occasional drop or fall, which makes it great for families with young children. Take it along on picnics and road trips to enjoy your music on-the-go!
Further, you can keep your speaker updated with the latest features thanks to the Ultimate Ears app. But one weird quirk I found is that you have to flip it upside down when charging unless you splurge an extra $40 on a charging dock. Also, it has no indicator light to show you when Alexa is activated.
- Amazing sound quality
- Good battery life
- Sturdy build
- I can’t use it as a speakerphone.
- No Alexa activation indicator
- No aux connection
10. Bose Smart Soundbar – Best for home theatre
The Apple HomePod doubled up as a pretty good home theatre system too. But you can take it up a notch with this amazing soundbar from Bose.
Enjoy spacious sound, exceptional clarity, and thundering bass with this speaker specially designed to elevate your tv, movies, or gaming experience.
You can connect it to your TV via the included optical audio cable or an HDMI cable (to be bought separately). Then, just download the Bose Music app for step-by-step setup. However, there’s not much literature about this included with the speaker, which might make it difficult for users.
The wireless soundbar is just over 2″ tall, so it can easily be placed in front of your television set or mounted on a wall. It’ll look elegant in any space and offer you a rich listening experience.
Like other Boss speakers, it’s got Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant built-in for hands-free voice control. You can seamlessly pair any device to this wireless soundbar to stream your favorite music and media via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay 2, or Spotify Connect.
- High-quality sound
- Elegant design
- Alexa & Google Assistant
- Lack of literature on how to set up and operate the soundbar
Do you know of any other HomePod alternative that I’ve missed out on? Please share them in the comments below so I can add them to my list!
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