There can be a natural gravity towards smart speakers if you’re shopping for home audio in 2022. Voice and casting controls are inherently useful — even Sonos has its own voice assistant, now — and companies like Amazon and Google offer low-cost speakers that punch above their weight to get you in the door of their smart home ecosystems. Yes, plenty of audiophile speakers still omit smart functions, but even prestige labels like Bang & Olufsen are implementing tech such as AirPlay and Google Cast.
There are, however, drawbacks to smart speakers, and sometimes, a straightforward Bluetooth speaker may be the better option. Here’s why.