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The best third-party Google Assistant speakers to spend your money on

Google Nest devices are great, but don't forget about third-party Google Assistant speakers. Here's the best of the rest.
By
March 29, 2021
Google Assistant speakers
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

If you’re on the hunt for Google Assistant speakers, it can be tempting to pick up a Google Nest product without a second thought. Why not turn to the company behind the software, right?

As appealing as that can be, you should certainly consider third-party options. They often go about design in very different ways — some speakers are small and portable, while others are booming in a way you could never achieve with a Nest Audio or Nest Hub Max.

The bottom line is that there’s plenty of variety if you opt for a third-party Google Assistant speaker. Here are some of the better ones we’ve found.

Best third-party Google Assistant speakers:

Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best Google Assistant speakers regularly as new ones launch.


1. Polk Assist

Polk Assist Google Assistant speaker

The Polk Assist supports both Bluetooth and Google Cast, and offers physical playback buttons on top, including the option to mute the microphone if you’re worried about privacy.

Those are relatively common features, but the Polk Assist produces crisp sound, even at higher volume levels. It looks nice too, even if it may not be sleekest speaker on this list.

It’s not the cheapest, either, although it won’t break the bank. The Assist is well worth its asking price.


2. Bose Portable Smart Speaker

Google Assistant speakers by Bose

Bose’s Google Assistant speaker is meant to live both around the house and on the road. It’s durable as well as IPX4 waterproof, engineered to withstand bumps, drops, sprays, and splashes.

The speaker offers 360-degree sound, and a battery that should be good for up to 12 hours of use. When you’re outside of Wi-Fi range and can’t use Google Assistant, you can switch to Bluetooth for phone- or tablet-based control.

The speaker comes in black or white, and in addition to Google Assistant, has Amazon Alexa as a voice control option.


3. Bose Home Speaker 500

If you’re alright with a stationary product, the Bose Home Speaker 500 delivers loud stereo sound, and even a built-in display so you can catch what’s playing at a glance. It won’t replace a Nest Hub by any means, but it’s going to sound worlds better.

The 500 supports not just Google Assistant but Amazon Alexa, Bluetooth, and Apple’s AirPlay 2 if you’re using an iPhone, iPad, or Mac app that doesn’t support Google Cast. Another perk is Bose SimpleSync, which makes it easier to link with another Bose device.


4. JBL Link Portable

JBL speakers

The JBL Link Portable is extremely flexible. It typically sits on a charging base, but you can snatch it up in a second when you want to head out or move to a different part of your home. The speaker offers up to eight hours of battery playback, and it’s IPx7 waterproof. You’ll be switching from Wi-Fi to Bluetooth when you’re outside of router range.

Audio generally sounds great, thanks to JBLs’ 360-degree Pro Sound tech. Once the battery runs low, you can simply pop the Link Portable back on its base to keep the music going.

It’s hard to argue against this speaker when looking at its price. It can be difficult to find these days, but it’s worth tracking down.


5. Sony XB402G wireless speaker

sony xb402g
Amazon

Sony is known for its awkward product names, and the XB402G does nothing to dispel that. Don’t let the name steer you away, though — this HomePod-esque Google Assistant speaker includes more than meets the eye.

Even with a synthetic fabric mesh, the XB402G sports an IP67 waterproof rating. The top features a rubberized panel with tactile buttons, and audio stems from a pair of angled 53mm speaker units, with dual passive radiators to improve bass. You can switch from Wi-Fi to Bluetooth outside of the house.

The XB402G is a proper party animal with a rounded design that fills your room with sound. It features LED strips and a strobe light for visual flair, and can run about 12 hours on a single battery charge.


6. Sonos One

Sonos One speaker image on white desk.

The Sonos One may be the gold standard for third-party smart speakers. It has excellent bass and fidelity, and on top of Google Assistant, you can also use Alexa or AirPlay 2. If you want even more power you can link it with other Sonos equipment, including the cheaper One SL, while Trueplay tuning automatically adjusts to surrounding acoustics. 

The Sonos One isn’t perfect, mind you. While it’s relatively compact, it’s meant to be stationary — Wi-Fi is your only connection option, and it has to be plugged into an outlet at all times to work.


7. Sonos Move

Sonos Move

Should you want both Sonos sound and Google Assistant in something portable, the Move is Sonos’ best battery-powered speaker. It carries an IP56 waterproof rating, and is even said to be drop-resistant and hardy against extreme heat and cold. Its battery is good for up to 11 hours of use. To top it up, you just sit the speaker on a wireless charging base.

Naturally the Move adds Bluetooth connectivity, though features like Assistant, Alexa, Trueplay, and AirPlay 2 are still dependent on Wi-Fi.


These are the best Google Assistant speakers, in our opinion, although there are certainly other good ones out there. We’ll update this post with new models as they hit the market.