Smart speakers are a fantastic addition to any home – they can manage your schedule, set alarms, make calls and control your other internet-enabled products. We’ve got all the details on the best smart speakers with a screen.
Top smart speakers combine stylish design with a brainy AI helper and impressive sound quality. By choosing a smart speaker with a screen, you’ll be able to watch YouTube videos and access live feeds from your security camera.
In our guide on the best smart speakers with a screen, we cover popular picks from Amazon, Google and Bose. All of the smart speakers we’ve included in our roundup will let you control your schedule using voice commands.
See also: Best soundbars under £100
What is a smart speaker?
Unlike a regular Bluetooth speaker, a smart speaker can be controlled using voice commands. As these nifty speakers are internet-enabled, you can control them using your voice or directly from your smartphone or tablet running off the same home Wi-fi network.
Smart speakers are delightfully convenient, letting you set alarms, make calls and stream music completely hands-free. Popular picks have literally thousands of voice commands ready to try right out the box. In some cases, you’ll be able to download new voice commands based on the apps and services you use the most.
Buying a smart speaker means you’ll probably end up using one of three popular, powerful voice assistants – Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa or Apple’s Siri. Google Assistant is famously built into Google’s Home speakers, while Alexa lives in products making up the Echo range. Apple’s premium HomePod speaker is powered by the Siri voice assistant, although the HomePod doesn’t come with a display.
How much does a smart speaker with a screen cost?
Buying a smart speaker without a screen is a doddle if you’re a buyer on a budget – most Amazon and Google models come in at the £50-100 mark. But if you’re shopping for a smart speaker with a built-in display, expect to pay a little bit more for the convenience.
Unsurprisingly, the bigger the display, the more money you’ll have to part with. The Amazon Echo Show 5 has a 5.5-inch display and costs £79.99, while the chunkier Google Nest Hub (with 7-inch screen) costs over £100.
Smart speaker features to look out for
When it comes to shopping for a smart speaker, consider the following key features:
- Speaker size – If you’re just using the smart speaker for voice commands, you might not care about the size of the built-in speaker. But if you’re shopping for a smart speaker that serves up room-filling sound for parties, you’ll want a larger alternative.
- Screen size – A large display isn’t such a must-have if your smart speaker is going to live by your bed. If you’re planning on using your smart speaker to watch videos, you’ll obviously notice the benefits of a bigger screen.
- Voice assistant support – You might want to base your buying decision on which voice assistant you feel most comfortable with. If you’re already signed up with various Google apps, for example, picking a smart speaker that runs on Google Assistant will let you interact with those apps.
Below, we’ve got all the details on the best smart speakers with screens. All of our recommended models keep you in control of your schedule and your other smart home products.
The best smart speakers with a screen
The Amazon Echo Show is an intelligent, voice-activated speaker that runs on Amazon’s Alexa AI. It’s designed to sit in your kitchen as a cooking partner, your bedroom as an alarm clock or your living room as a music speaker and YouTube player.
This nifty smart speaker features a compact, 5.5-inch display. You can interact with it to plan the day ahead, control other smart products in your house or browse the web. The Amazon Echo Show 5 has the brains to check the weather forecast, show you live video from your internet-enabled security cameras and contact friends and family. It’s the ultimate entertainment hub, running film trailers and news broadcasts with a couple of taps or a simple voice command.
Video calling and messaging is also supported. You’ll be able to make hands-free calls to UK mobile and residential numbers, along with other Amazon Echo gadgets – handy if you want to make a house-wide announcement. Skype support is also built into the Echo Show.
When the Amazon Echo Show 5 isn’t being used, you can set it up so that it acts as a digital photo frame, cycling through your favourite snaps. To give you peace of mind, there’s a built-in cover that can obscure the camera when you’re not using it.
[amazon_link asins=’B07KD7TJD6′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’techt06-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’68098b8f-de2d-11e7-aa1c-07b24572e6d2′]
This smart speaker from Bose doesn’t come cheap, but you get plenty of bang for your buck. It’s a proven winner among audiophiles, serving up impressive stereo sound and partnering that with built-in Alexa voice assistant support.
Powered by Amazon’s voice-activated AI assistant, the Bose Home Speaker 500 can perform tasks with ease. It’s a great fit if you enjoy your music – you can manage your playlists and add songs to your library just by using simple voice commands. This Bose smart speaker will serve up wall-to-wall stereo sound that fills your living room without a problem.
Flaunting a classy aluminium shell, the Bose Home Speaker 500 can also be controlled with the free-to-download Bose Music app. From your smartphone or tablet, you’ll be able to flick through your music library. You can also jump between radio stations and tweak equaliser settings for a personalised listening experience. Album art will display automatically on the speaker’s mini display.
If you own more than one Bose speaker, you can pair the Home Speaker 500 with other models for a true surround-sound experience. A handy bonus if you’re planning a party.
There are a series of physical buttons on the top of this smart speaker that let you skip tracks and adjust the volume. You can save your most-loved radio stations with the 6 preset buttons.
[amazon_link asins=’B07GBR9HG4′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’techt06-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’68098b8f-de2d-11e7-aa1c-07b24572e6d2′]
With a 10-inch screen, the Echo Show smart speaker deserves a spot on your shortlist if you want a tablet-sized voice assistant. Available in either black or white, the Echo Show (2nd generation) lets you stream music and video from popular services including Amazon Music, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube.
You can call anyone directly from the Echo Show as long as you’re reaching out to a UK mobile or residential number. As this voice-activated speaker also plays nicely with Skype, you can try video-calling friends and family.
Amazon is confident that the Echo Show makes for a fantastic kitchen companion. As you can bring up videos with voice commands, you can interact with online recipes without having to take your hands out of the mixing bowl. The clock function also means you can use the Echo Show as a reliable kitchen timer.
If you’re concerned about privacy when it comes to using the Echo Show, don’t be. This powerful smart speaker has a dedicated microphone toggle than you can flick on or off at any time. Amazon has also added support for a voice command that lets you hear and delete stored voice recordings.
[amazon_link asins=’B0793G9T6T’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’techt06-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’68098b8f-de2d-11e7-aa1c-07b24572e6d2′]
Google’s answer to the Amazon Echo Show is the Nest Hub. Like its Alexa-powered rival, the Google Nest Hub has a touchscreen display and works as a digital photo frame and kitchen buddy. There’s no Alexa here – the Nest Hub runs on the tech giant’s Google Assistant helper instead.
If you already use Google apps and services, you’ll have no troubles getting to grips with Google Assistant on the Nest Hub.
With your Google account synced up, you can have the Nest Hub manage your schedule, let you know about important reminders and let you know what the traffic is looking like before you head off to work.
For users that manage snaps through Google Photos, the Nest Hub will automatically cycle through pictures when it’s not being used. This effectively transforms the Google Nest Hub into a sleek digital photo frame.
Google is confident that this smart speaker will fit in nicely in your kitchen. As it’s flaunting a 7-inch display, you’ll be able to navigate through recipes without having to actually touch the display. Using just your voice, you can load up a cooking tutorial on YouTube and follow along step by step.
[amazon_link asins=’B07SX33QTP’ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’techt06-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’68098b8f-de2d-11e7-aa1c-07b24572e6d2′]
This unique bedside gadget teams up with Amazon’s Echo Dot to form a stylish, voice-enabled alarm clock. Once you’ve purchased an Amazon Echo Dot smart hub (sold separately), you simply slot it into the iBox. Doing that adds an LED clock face and premium speakers to Amazon’s popular gadget.
Once you’ve got the iBox Roost set up in your bedroom, you can use the speaker to manage your daily alarms and set reminders.
As this alarm clock incorporates the Amazon Echo Dot, you get the same Alexa voice commands that you have access to on pricier Amazon alternatives such as the £220 Echo Show.
With built-in Wi-fi support, you can play your Spotify library through this alarm clock. It also supports internet radio stations, so you can save presets and cycle through them when you wake up.
Sticking your Echo Dot into the iBox dock gives the smart speaker some extra volume. If you need a loud alarm clock to convince you to leave bed, it’s a handy feature. The USB outlet worked into the design of the iBox will also charge your mobile while you sleep. It’s compatible with both Apple mobiles and Android handsets.
[amazon_link asins=’B07FNMGY89′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’techt06-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’68098b8f-de2d-11e7-aa1c-07b24572e6d2′]
Read next: The best GoPro alternatives under £50