The Four Best Smart Speakers For Your TV

Photo of living room with smart speaker and smart tv

If you are like me, the ultimate goal of owning a smart home comes down to two things: An excellent smart speaker to make my TV sound amazing and the ability to ask my home everyday questions that come to mind. If this sounds like you, you need to look for a fantastic smart speaker you can buy.

In this article, we plan to dig through a list of four smart speakers you can purchase today. Based on our findings, these are the best-of-the-best, so let’s get started. 

The Best Smart Speakers for TV

  1. Roku Smart Soundbar – the best overall
  2. Sonos Beam – great for movies
  3. Bose Smart Soundbar 300 – great sounding
  4. Nebula Soundbar –  great for FireTVs

Roku Smart Soundbar – The Best Overall

Roku is better known for the production of TV boxes. With widespread support and reasonable prices, Roku has cornered the world on streaming-based boxes. With that in mind, it’s pretty surprising to see them on a top list for the best soundbar for your smart TV. 

Our selection came from the excellent sound quality. Roku also includes a setting to quiet your commercials and provides a voice-controlled remote. The setup is also straightforward, coming from Roku’s emphasis as one of the world’s largest TV equipment producers. 

If that’s not enough, Roku’s TV box is part of the soundbar. That means the HDMI port in the back goes into the HDMI-in port on the back of your TV. Audio goes out of the TV based on your preference, but this reduces the amount of cable work needed. 

ProsCons
It has excellent sound quality.It is easy to sync Bluetooth headphones to the TV component of the box.
You are getting Roku's TV box included.It lacks the more detailed controls of the Roku Ultra.
It works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.You may not want to have the included TV box.
The price is incredibly reasonable with all of the included featuresIt doesn't produce a tremendous amount of noise compared to modern TVs
It has a voice-controlled remote.
Best Smart Speakers For Your TV Reviews

Sonos Beam – Great for Movies

As one of the more expensive items on this list, the Sonos Beam shows it off through simplicity and sound quality. This sound quality comes with a voice boost, which is incredibly helpful when watching movies with poor sound balancing.

Much like the Roku, you can choose to integrate it with Alexa or Google. The sleek appearance also means that it is compact enough to fit into almost any environment. Alexa is also part of the device. 

You can connect everything using two cables, but there are no in-box instructions for people who are not tech-savvy. Sonos still has high confidence in their product, offering a 100-day return policy with included delivery charges. 

ProsCons
Excellent sound quality, especially for moviesGoogle Assistant support turning into a shadowy promise, made in whispers
It has an ethernet cable if you don't like WiFiAlexa commands only work if your TV has HDMI-ARC port
It's incredibly compact.Bass lacks detail
It is the most suitable for your Alexa-based smart home.No auxiliary input
Best Smart Speakers For Your TV Reviews

Bose Smart Soundbar 300 – Amazing Sound

Bose is one of the few producers of speakers that understand the need for a complete experience. The back has connections for additional speakers (including a subwoofer), which you know will improve your experience if you want to play music. Bose is the ultimate in sound production, especially when it comes to surroundings. 

Bose also has a music app that syncs up with other services. Supported services include Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music. Bose’s app also syncs well with the rest of Bose’s lineup, making them suitable for people who like music in every room in their house.

Its significant drawbacks come from the inconvenience. The device sometimes forgets when the TV is off or on, resulting in the need to reset the entire system occasionally. The device also requires an ARC HDMI cable which is not with the box. 

Bose is the king of sound, but they have to work out a few kinks for smart speakers.  Still, this is a fun toy to have when enjoying the full experience of movies in your living room. So if you want the best sounding smart speakers, Bose has you covered.

ProsCons
If your ultimate priority is the sound qualityIt has some Bluetooth syncing issues
If you have multiple music streaming servicesIt is missing some necessary components
A stylish addition in any homeIt isn't as easy to set up as others
If you have numerous other Bose products
Best Smart Speakers For Your TV Reviews

Nebula Soundbar –  Great for Fire TV Lovers

If you have a Fire TV (or want one), your best bet is to purchase something that supports your unique needs. Given that FireTVs aren’t as popular as other smart equivalents, that limits your selection. Thankfully, the Nebula Soundbar (Fire TV edition) has you covered. 

As you might expect, this smart device has Alexa built right into the package. That means it syncs well with your Echo Show, Echo Dot, and Alexa tower. It is less friendly with other voice assistants and their devices like the Google Nest or Google Nest Mini.

What it has with the convenience it sacrifices in sound quality. This device lacks the quality we’ve come to expect from Bose-like speakers. Like the Roku, the Fire TV service is included and supports 4k televisions. 

There’s a lot of potential here, and it works pretty well as an overall package. With a few tweaks, this could be great competition for Roku. 

ProsCons
If you have an incredible love for Amazon Prime televisionSound quality isn't excellent compared to Bose or Roku
If you have a 4k television It isn't suitable for those who use Apple Music or smaller streaming services
If you need flexible connections (aux in, HDMI, and optical), this is greatIt isn't best for those who prefer Google's or Apple's smart home devices
Price is comparable to the Amazon Echo Studio
Best Smart Speakers For Your TV Reviews

What You Need To Know Before Selecting A Smart Speaker for your TV

Now that we’ve given you a list of options, it’s time to let you know why we picked them. Before you select a smart speaker, be sure that you do the research. In this section, we go over that research.

What is a Smart Speaker? 

A smart speaker is just like a standard speaker; only it has “smart features” that can refer to various things. These are voice-activated and typically listen for a keyword that allows it to respond to your inquiries. These requests include the definition of a word, a calculation, or a request to play your music. 

Smart speakers usually have support for both Alexa and Google Assistant. However, there are some (like the Nebula) that are more suited for individual service providers. 

What is an Ideal Size for a Smart Speaker?

There is no rule regarding the size of a smart speaker. The fourth generation of the latest Amazon Echo Dot is just under four feet for all dimensions.

The drawback of having a small speaker leads to a potential sound quality impact. You should measure a section for the smart speaker before making a purchase. If you wall-mounting the speaker (a popular design choice for homeowners), you do not need to worry about these measurements. 

How Do I Find Out The Sound Quality of a Smart Speaker?

If sound quality is of the utmost importance, you have two methods to determine the sound quality:

  • First, you can choose to test out your device to see about their claims. Bose and Sonos speakers typically have the highest claims on sound quality. If they don’t outperform your TV, see about return policies.
  • Second, if quality relates to loudness for you, take a look at these products’ decibel claims. Decibels (dB) refer to the level of noise produced by an item. With speakers, companies typically measure speaker sensitivity in watts. Typical speakers are nearby 85 dB.

Soundbars are known for excessive amounts of loudness. Bose has the highest possible emphasized quality on this list, and the included bass plug in the back if you want more noise. One example of non-TV smart speakers doing this is through the Google Home Max.

Why Do I Need Smart Speakers With Bluetooth? 

The general assumption is that when your speakers can connect to the WiFi, you don’t need an extra mode of connection. But if you have an excessive amount of devices on your network, expect a slowdown. Some networks claim to be able to handle 250 devices at once.

Those building the perfect smart home have this problem in droves. To avoid this problem, try and sync as many devices as you can up to alternative connections. Bluetooth (which is part of all of the speakers on this list) is one such example. 

Do I Need To Worry About Music Streaming Support With Smart Speakers?

Going back to Bluetooth, the addition of this feature emphasizes support on the device. That means regardless of what music service you prefer, you need to have a version of Bluetooth that is supported. If you purchased your phone in the past decade, this is not a problem.

For more enhanced features, you have to hope for one of two things:

  • Your smart speaker has support for your music services application. For example, many Roku devices support Spotify.
  • You have a music streaming service associated with your device’s hub (i.e., Amazon Music). This issue is more common if you use some of the smaller services. 

Bose tries to simplify that issue by providing a music-based application that you need to download. Still, smaller streaming services often struggle to find support in this area. 

How Can I Use a Smart Speaker in My Home?

While we mention the best for TVs on this list, smart speakers do not have to be limited to your TV. There are many reasons to purchase smart speakers that we will list below:

  • To have music in every home of your house. 
  • The convenience of having a voice-activated system to control your home from any room in the house
  • To interact with devices in each room by using your voice, which is incredibly helpful for those who are mobility-disabled
  • If you don’t want to pay for a smart TV but still want devices that take voice commands

A smart speaker not only provides you some excellent sound quality potential, but it also gives you another source in which to control smart devices in your home. If your ultimate dream is to have a complete smart home, purchasing a smart speaker allows you to step closer to that ideal.

What is an Ideal Cost for Smart Speakers?

Depending on your priorities, you should expect one of two options:

  • Smart speakers which emphasize convenience are typically around $200 (Roku & Nebula)
  • Smart speakers that emphasize audio quality are usually closer to $400 (Bose & Sonos)

If both of those numbers sound out of your price bracket, Amazon and Google create smaller speakers you can use. Typically, you only need one set of smart speakers for your TV.

The Best Smart Speaker Brands

We’ve gone through a good variety of speakers in this section, but it’s important to remind ourselves of the brands behind them. Let’s check out some details behind the brands that may help you make a more informed decision:

  • Roku: Roku’s mission is to be the ultimate TV streaming platform that connects the world. They appeal to customers with their entertainment service potential and advertisers with their direct-target abilities.
  • Sonos: Sonos speakers exist to provide excellent in-home audio. As a result, they support more than 50 streaming services and have over 500 patents.
  • Bose: Bose is a company that has been around for quite some time. Their emphasis has always been on audio, giving them a unique angle on the world of smart speakers.
  • Anker: Anker is a lesser-known company best known for being in the general tech field. They are also known for chargers and other smart devices. Their audio brands include Soundcore and Nebula.

All of the companies above work well in making TV-centric smart speakers. You can supplement these with purchases from companies like Amazon, Google, or Apple for general speakers and hubs. 

Smart Speaker FAQs

Are Smart Speakers Constantly Learning?

Smart speakers are called this because they include Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple’s Siri. Much like those programs, they are listening for particular phrases that activate them. These phrases include “hey Google,” “Alexa,” or “Siri.” 

Given the privacy policies behind many of these companies, smart speakers aren’t the risk. If anything, you should hold your grievance with the larger companies that create the AI, using your data primarily for effective advertising. 

How Do You Set Up A Smart Speaker?

Most smart speakers follow these steps:

  1. Plugin the smart speaker and ensure your WiFi is enabled
  2. Download any applications associated with your smart speaker
  3. Ensure you have your preferred smart AI (Google, Apple, Amazon, etc.)
  4. Choose the “Add a device” feature available on these smart applications
  5. Look for your product, sometimes by manufacturer 
  6. Follow any on-screen prompts for syncing your device 

These same steps are typically just as simple if your speaker supports a streaming platform. In this case, ensure that your TV is set to the right HDMI channel as you are setting this up. The TV will typically display a code you can place in your smart application. Some also contain remotes. 

Do You Need A Smartphone to Set Up a Smart Speaker?

Yes, you need a smartphone with the right application. However, after you sync it, you can rely on voice commands through other smart devices. 

How Much Does Roku Cost Per Month?

With the smart speaker in mind, you do not have to pay any monthly amount to keep Roku active. Streaming services supported by Roku are an entirely different thing. For example, Netflix is just under $20 per month at the time of this writing. 

Smart Speaker for TV FAQs

Do Smart Speakers Listen Constantly?

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Wrap Up

Based on these findings, our favorite smart speaker returns to the Roku Smart Soundbar. As one of the most cost-effective options available, the number of features here is surprising. The inclusion of Roku’s streaming box being built-in turns this into a smart speaker and an entertainment center. 

If you would prefer something that emphasizes sound quality, Bose might be a better fit for you. Anker’s Nebula is more effective if you have a love for Amazon’s streaming services. With this list, there’s something that works for anyone. Always be sure to select something that works for your household.

If you enjoyed this article about the best smart speakers on the market, we encourage you to click the links on our site. By doing so, you allow us to create more high-quality affiliate content. If your goal is to look at smart Displays, check out one of our articles on Smart TVs.

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