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Monday, September 20, 2021

When to upgrade to a bigger smart speaker – CNET

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Chris Monroe/CNET

Smart speakers are now a common household item. A 2020 National Public Radio survey estimated that 60 million Americans over 18 own at least one smart speaker. By household, that number is expected to reach 75% of American households by 2025

When you’re shopping for a smart speaker, you likely have three main things in mind: size, price, and audio quality. The requirements for each of those things vary by person and situation. Your budget, space needs, and your sound quality requirements will all factor in. Just as important, your needs may change over time and so your smart speaker may need to change, too. 

If you think it may be time to upgrade to a bigger smart speaker, but aren’t sure what your options are, here you’ll find the various options available right now to help you make an easy transition.  

Do I need a bigger smart speaker?

Before you start looking into options, let’s talk about why you might need a bigger smart speaker. Here are some common reasons you might consider going bigger. 

  • You moved to a larger home or relocated your smart speaker to a larger room.
  • You’re looking for additional features and think bigger might be better. 
  • You’re pairing the smart speaker with a stereo and want a bigger sound and better sound quality.

If you have a smaller smart speaker like the Echo Dot or the Nest Mini, you already know those devices are great for things like smart home device control, small space music playback and the standard array of virtual assistant tasks. But one area where they don’t quite meet the mark of bigger smart speakers is room-filling audio performance. 

Regardless of your situation, if the need is bigger sound and better sound quality, it might be time to upgrade. With so many options, deciding where to begin can be daunting. I reviewed our list of the best smart speakers of 2021 and picked out the bigger ones to give you some options. 

The takeaway on upgrading to a bigger smart speaker

There’s nothing wrong with updating your home technology as life and needs change. A smart speaker is a helpful addition to the home, but to make it worth its cost, it needs to be suited for your individual needs. That may mean selling or donating your smaller smart speaker and upgrading to a larger one. Consider the Amazon Echo Studio, the Sonos One or the Google Nest Audio. 

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