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List of brands we tested in this review.
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enter value/s in increments of 1 between 45 and 1299
Standard speakers are used to play audio via Bluetooth, WiFi, physical cable etc from an external device. Smart speakers deliver additional features such as online information (weather, music, news and so on) and the ability to control other smart devices, via voice commands such as "OK Google," "Alexa" and "hey Siri."
Bluetooth is a very simple connection in most cases because it's direct from one device to another. While the claimed range is usually limited to around 10m our testers found the figure to be much larger, in straight line tests achieving up to 30m as well as in tests where there were obstructions such as a brick wall or solid core doors where our tester comfortably played music more than 10m from the device.
Wi-Fi connectivity allows you to connect a number of devices over a wireless network. It can also stream an uncompressed audio file which may help deliver better sound quality for some high-end speakers, although the improved quality may not be evident with most wireless speakers.
The big advantage with Wi-Fi over Bluetooth is the range, with Wi-Fi networks often able to project well over 30 metres.
The digital assistant included with the smart speaker.
We test based on our listening panel's appraisal of two pieces of music (classical, rock/pop and electronic). The speaker is positioned about two metres away from the listener, with the panel assessing overall quality.
enter value/s in increments of i between 19 and 90
Battery time (hours)
How long does the battery last?
enter value/s in increments of i between 5 and 28
A Similar model is identical in most aspects except for a few. This means that a majority of its test results are identical so you can reasonably expect to get the same results from the model we tested, but for those aspects which aren't identical, we'll note these as "Not Tested" in the Compare tables.
A Tested model refers to a model that is still current and available in the Australian market. You should be able to order this model through your local retailer, or find it online.
These models can't be found in retailers or online or are no longer manufactured. You may still find these models on second hand websites, or in second hand dealers. Test methods may change over time, so criteria which can't be directly compared will contain an N/A.
An Identical model is exactly that. Performance characteristics will be identical and the only difference will be something trivial such as colour, which won't have an impact on performance.
These are models we haven't yet tested but that are available.
Included in this review
- Overall score
- Annual running cost
- Buy now
- Listening score
- Ease of use
- Power consumption score
- Battery time (hours)
- Good points
- Bad points
- Personal assistant
- Apple AirPlay
- Chromecast support
- Auxiliary input
- Speaker grouping
- Music service support
- Video services supported
- News and weather briefings
- Smart LED integration
- Smart switch integration
- Set alarms
- Create shopping and to-do lists
- Calendar support
- Voice purchasing
- Mute microphone
- Battery life indicator
- USB can charge other devices
- Carry handle
- Carry bag
- Multi-user support
- Dust/water resistant
- Other controls
- What data is stored
- Can stored data be easily deleted
- Where is data processed
- Apps available
- Cord length cm
- Dimensions (mm, HxWxD)
- Weight (kg)