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Best Alexa speakers

There's more than just Amazon's Echo devices.

Published onJanuary 17, 2024

The Best
Amazon Echo Dot (5th Gen)
MSRP: $49.99
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Small footprint is easy to fit on a shelf or table
Alexa voice recognition is good
Sound at low volume
Alexa Skills
High volume sounds blown out
Data collection/privacy concerns
Poor additional connection options
No battery, short power cord
Best sound
Sonos Era 300
MSRP: $449.00
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Surround sound and Dolby Atmos
Sonos Trueplay
Smart assistants
Bluetooth and WiFi
Glitchy features
Privacy concerns
Best portability
Sonos Move 2
MSRP: $449.00
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Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AirPlay 2 connectivity
Battery life
Decent sound quality
Alexa, Sonos VoiceControl, Siri
Can add more speakers
Needs additional accessories
Privacy lacking
No Google Assistant
No speakerphone
Bang for your buck
Amazon Echo Pop
MSRP: $39.99
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Modern design
Alexa integration
Not very loud
No 3.5mm or Bluetooth connectivity
Must stay connected to power
Best bass
Bose Home Speaker 500
Check price
Sounds great, even at high volumes
Alexa and Google Assistant built in
Streaming service integration
Good design
Microphone can be muted
Convoluted setup
Long updates which can fail
Privacy concerns, as with any smart speaker

Alexa speakers, developed by Amazon, are a type of smart speaker designed to interact seamlessly with the Alexa virtual assistant. They are a practical choice for those who value convenience by integrating all their smart home devices. Alexa enables users to play music, set alarms, control smart home gadgets, and access various other Alexa skills using voice commands. Aside from Amazon’s own Echo range of speakers, this list extends to a variety of third-party speakers that are also compatible with Alexa. Here are the best Alexa speakers to add to your smart home ecosystem.

Editor’s note: this list was published on January 17, 2024, and is the first version of the article. Updates will follow as the market changes.

Best Alexa speaker overall: Amazon Echo Dot (5th Gen)

The Amazon Echo Dot (5th Gen) sits on a reflective black surface with its LED light turned.
The LED light will pulse as Alexa awaits your commands.

If you are curious about getting into smart home stuff and want to test the waters with an Alexa speaker that won’t break the bank and can do it all, from music speaker to kitchen timer to trivia searcher, look no further than the Echo Dot (5th Gen).

This Alexa speaker has a compact, spherical design with a single speaker under the fabric at the front and a power port on the back for the included AC adapter. The speaker is fairly directional, so be careful where you aim it, and it sounds best at low to medium levels for music.

The Echo Dot primarily functions over Wi-Fi, but it also supports Bluetooth audio streaming if you feel like playing something directly from your phone and works with various music streaming services, such as Spotify and Amazon Music. However, it only supports the SBC audio codec.

Amazon Echo Dot (5th Gen)Amazon Echo Dot (5th Gen)
Amazon Echo Dot (5th Gen)
Affordable • Alexa voice assistant • Decent sound quality
MSRP: $49.99
Alexa and voice controlled audio, for cheap.

If you are worried about a corporation like Amazon listening to everything you say inside your home, there’s a microphone mute button on the speaker to silence it when not in use. Still, be aware that it will save everything you ask it when that’s not enabled. Additionally, if you are looking for a speaker with a 3.5mm output jack, you might want to pick up the previous Echo Dot (4th Gen) ($179 at Amazon) or consider other options on this list.

Best sound quality Alexa speaker: Sonos Era 300

Sonos Era 300 on a wooden table.

The Sonos Era 300 is a high-end speaker designed for an immersive audio experience. It is a surround sound speaker compatible with Dolby Atmos and uses its six drivers to project sound in every direction, meaning it sounds great no matter where you are in the room.

You can set it up with Amazon Alexa or Siri. It also has its own proprietary assistant, Sonos Voice Control, which performs certain functions that Alexa can’t, such as grouping and ungrouping Sonos devices and directing your Sonos ecosystem to play sound in different rooms.

The Sonos Era 300 uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity and is compatible with almost all music streaming services. It also has a 3.5mm auxiliary input port. Users can control the speaker via the Sonos app, touch controls, or voice commands through Alexa. The speaker also has a mic mute switch on the back that should help with privacy concerns.

Although its price point of $449 is on the higher side, the speaker’s build quality and audio performance justify the investment for those prioritizing sound quality and the ability to customize the sound signature in the app to your liking.

Sonos Era 300Sonos Era 300
Sonos Era 300
Dolby Atmos • Sound quality • Bluetooth, WiFi, and aux
MSRP: $449.00
The Sonos Era 300's funky design helps it to project high quality sound all around the room. It is compatible with Dolby Atmos, works with almost any streaming service, and its voice control functionality works very well. If you can afford it, this is a great speaker to add to your Sonos ecosystem.

Best portable Alexa speaker: Sonos Move 2

The Sonos Move 2 lays face down showing the connection ports, power button, and mic toggle.
Austin Kwok / SoundGuys
The Move 2 cleverly hides a handle lip towards the top of the speaker above the power button.

The Sonos Move 2 is a versatile and robust speaker that offers portability and quality sound within the home. Despite its IP56 rating, the weight and size make it more suitable for moving around the house rather than for outdoor adventures. Priced at $449, it’s also on the higher end for a portable speaker. Still, it justifies this with solid connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AirPlay 2, and compatibility with Alexa, Sonos VoiceControl, and Siri.

One of the key updates in the Sonos Move 2 is its improved battery life, offering up to 24 hours of playtime. This makes it more reliable for extended use without constant recharging in its included cradle. The default tuning of the stereo speaker sounds good for music and podcasts, and the Sonos app has an equalizer for more bass and treble. The Move 2 also supports Trueplay, using microphones to adjust the sound to your room, enhancing the audio experience.

Sonos Move 2Sonos Move 2
Sonos Move 2
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, AirPlay 2 connectivity • Battery life • Decent sound quality
MSRP: $449.00

If you are looking for a 3.5mm connection, you will need to buy the analog to USB-C adapter separately. Still, for those willing to invest, the Move 2 offers a robust and feature-rich audio experience for those who value talking to Alexa.

Best budget Alexa speaker: Amazon Echo Pop

Amazon Echo Pop on a table next to a plant.
Chase Bernath / SoundGuys
The Amazon Echo Pop is a great budget smart speaker.

The Amazon Echo Pop is an excellent budget-friendly smart speaker that combines modern design with full Alexa integration. Priced at an affordable $39.99, it’s a compact option suitable for discreet placement on desks, tables, or shelves.

Despite its small size, the Echo Pop impresses with its sound quality. The front-firing speaker angled slightly upward, provides a neutral sound profile without overemphasizing bass, mids, or highs, making it ideal for casual music or podcast listening in smaller spaces. It also includes additional smart home features like functioning as an Eero mesh Wi-Fi extender and compatibility with the Matter smart device standard.

However, the Echo Pop is not very loud and lacks the bass response to fill large rooms or power a party. The absence of Bluetooth connectivity, a 3.5mm audio input, and water resistance might be deal breakers for some. Additionally, it requires a constant power connection, using a proprietary cable instead of the more universal USB-C.

Yet, with its appealing form factor, decent sound quality, and the convenience of Alexa integration, the Amazon Echo Pop stands out as a value-for-money option for those seeking an affordable smart speaker solution.

Amazon Echo PopAmazon Echo Pop
Amazon Echo Pop
Affordable • Sleek design • Alexa Integration
MSRP: $39.99
A cheap and tiny Alexa smart speaker.
A great entry or extension to the Alexa smart home ecosystem. The Echo Pop has a sleek design with a front-firing speaker that sits nicely in an office or on a bedside table.

Best bass Alexa speaker: Bose Home Speaker 500

The Bose Home Speaker 500 sitting on an end table with a phone beside it, the speaker screen is showing that the speaker is playing Anti-Hero by Taylor Swift.
Sam Smart / SoundGuys
The Bose Home Speaker 500 sounds really good.

The Bose Home Speaker 500 works wirelessly over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth 4.2, with support for the SBC and AAC audio codecs, and it has a 3.5mm aux input. It has capacitive touch controls on the top of the speaker, which allow you to adjust volume, play and pause music, select presets, and more. It also has an LCD display on the front, showing the album artwork of what music you’re listening to.

The speaker gets quite loud, even when the volume is only halfway up. It sounds really good, with a strong bass response and pleasant treble, making it suitable for both everyday use and parties. The speaker features a sleek design with an aluminum exterior that blends well into various home styles. The Bose Music app also enhances user experience by offering easy control over settings, including voice assistant preference, music streaming service integration, and sound adjustments.

Bose Home Speaker 500Bose Home Speaker 500
Bose Home Speaker 500
Loud sound • Good design • Helpful app
The Bose Home Speaker 500 brings room-filling sound to your smart home setup.
If you want an aesthetically pleasing smart speaker to bring you great sound and voice assistant support, the Bose Home Speaker 500 is a solid choice.

The Marshall Uxbridge Voice is the best-value Alexa speaker

Marshall Uxbridge Voice speaker on TV stand next to TV
The speaker has the same classic Marshall amp design as the other speakers in the lineup.

The Marshall Uxbridge Voice is a solid choice for those seeking a balance between sound quality and affordability in a smart speaker. Its compact design and iconic Marshall classic amp aesthetics, it fits seamlessly into various home settings, making it a functional and stylish addition.

In terms of performance, the Uxbridge Voice delivers good sound for its size, offering a satisfying listening experience. It’s compatible with Alexa or Google Assistant, depending on the model, allowing for easy control of music and smart home devices. The speaker’s effective microphones ensure voice commands are picked up accurately, even in noisy environments.

However, it uses Bluetooth 4.2 without high-quality codecs, which can impact the Bluetooth audio quality. The lack of a battery also means the speaker isn’t portable and needs to be plugged in at all times.

Overall, the Marshall Uxbridge Voice is an excellent choice for those who prioritize sound quality in a smart speaker and appreciate Marshall’s signature design. Its good sound, compact size, and smart features provide great value, especially for those already integrated into the Amazon ecosystem.

Marshall Uxbridge VoiceMarshall Uxbridge Voice
Marshall Uxbridge Voice
Good sound and size • Design • Alexa or Google compatible (depending on model)
MSRP: $219.99
A good sounding speaker with Alexa.
There are better sounding smart speakers, but they're going to cost you a lot more and they're huge. For the price and size, the Marshall Uxbridge Voice is a great choice if your prioritize sound quality. This version is compatible with Alexa but there is also one that is compatible with the Google Assistant.

The best Alexa speakers: Notable mentions

echo studio alexa speaker with light ring and control buttons
  • Amazon Echo Studio ($199 at Amazon): The Echo Studio brings high-quality, room-filling sound to the Alexa smart ecosystem. Despite the gimmicky 3D audio capabilities, the affordable price redeems the Echo Studio, making it one of the better high-end smart speakers around.
  • Sonos One (Gen 2) ($219 at Amazon): With both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa built-in, it’s almost guaranteed to satisfy anyone’s preferences. The speaker has great, app-adjustable sound, and you can also connect it to your home Sonos ecosystem for multiroom audio.
  • Sonos Beam ($420 on Amazon): Home theater nerds should look into the Sonos Beam. Like the Sonos One, the Beam supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. iPhone users benefit from AirPlay support and Trueplay room calibration, which analyzes the room and adjusts playback accordingly. While you can’t experience Dolby Atmos, the Sonos Beam supports PCM stereo, Dolby Digital, and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound audio.
  • Bose Home Speaker 300 ($299 on Amazon): The low-key design will look great in any living space. Users benefit from Bose’s Alexa smart speaker’s ability to emit 360° audio. iPhone users will rejoice in learning the speaker natively supports AirPlay 2 streaming, and Android users can choose between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless streaming. If you really want to kick it old school, you can even use the 3.5mm input.

What you should know about Alexa speakers

The Twilight blue Amazon Echo 4th gen with the LED light glowing blue on a white desk.
Many people avoid smart speakers out of concern that they are always listening.

When exploring the world of Alexa speakers and smart speakers in general, there are several key points to consider, especially for those new to this technology. Alexa speakers are smart devices that integrate Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant, offering a range of features and functionalities.

Device Compatibility and Setup:

  • Alexa speakers can connect to various smart home devices, allowing for voice-controlled operation of lights, thermostats, and more.
  • Setup typically involves connecting the speaker to a Wi-Fi network and linking it to the Amazon Alexa app on a smartphone or tablet.
  • Compatibility extends to many third-party speakers and devices, but checking specific models for Alexa support is important.

Streaming Services Compatibility:

  • Alexa speakers support many major streaming services like Amazon Music, Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and SiriusXM. However, some services like YouTube Music are not natively supported on Alexa devices. This means you can’t use voice commands to play songs from YouTube Music directly on Alexa speakers.

Voice Commands and Skills:

  • Alexa responds to voice commands, allowing users to play music, set alarms, get weather updates, and more.
  • Alexa Skills adds extra functionalities like playing games, providing news updates, or controlling smart home devices.
  • The effectiveness of voice recognition can vary based on the speaker model and environmental factors.

Privacy Concerns:

  • Smart speakers, including those with Alexa, raise privacy concerns because they require access to voice data to function effectively.
  • Voice recordings are used to improve voice recognition algorithms. Users can review and delete these recordings through their Amazon account.
  • Many Alexa speakers come with mute options to disable the microphone for added privacy.

Audio Quality and Price:

  • Audio quality varies across different Alexa-enabled speakers, with higher-end models generally offering better sound.
  • Prices range from affordable options like the Amazon Echo Dot to more expensive models with superior sound quality.

Portability and Power:

  • Some Alexa speakers are designed for stationary use and require a constant power source.
  • Portable options are available, featuring rechargeable batteries for use on the go.

Integration with Other Systems:

  • Alexa speakers can often be integrated into existing multi-room audio systems or smart home setups, but you should confirm compatibility by device.

How we test Alexa speakers

Our approach to testing Alexa speakers is meticulous and user-focused. We evaluate each speaker on a range of criteria, including audio quality, ease of use, compatibility with smart devices, and the responsiveness of Alexa’s voice recognition. Our testing involves real-world scenarios – from playing various genres of music at different volumes to testing smart home integrations and voice command functionalities. We also assess build quality, portability, and battery life where applicable. For a detailed insight into our testing methodology, please visit our dedicated page on testing procedures.

How we choose the best Alexa speakers

Selecting the best Alexa speakers involves a comprehensive evaluation process. We consider a variety of factors, including user reviews, brand reputation, and price-to-performance ratio. Our experts conduct hands-on tests and compare features like sound quality, design, smart capabilities, and overall user experience. We also factor in different user needs, ensuring our recommendations cater to a wide range of preferences and requirements. We aim to provide well-rounded advice to help you find the Alexa speaker that best suits your lifestyle and needs.

Why you should trust SoundGuys

At SoundGuys, our commitment to unbiased, in-depth reviews is the foundation of our ethos. Our team consists of audio experts and technology enthusiasts who bring years of experience and a passion for accuracy to every review. We don’t accept sponsorships from manufacturers, nor are we incentivized to give a good review, ensuring our assessments are focused solely on the product’s merits based on our experience and testing data. Our rigorous testing procedures and critical analysis are designed to provide our readers with the most reliable and trustworthy information. For more about our ethical standards and commitment to impartiality, visit our Ethics page.

Frequently asked questions

The Amazon Echo Studio has the best speaker among Amazon Alexa devices. It offers a high-fidelity sound experience with impressive bass, crisp highs, and dynamic midranges. It suits audiophiles and those prioritizing superior sound quality in their smart speakers.

The Sonos Move 2 is one of the loudest Alexa-compatible speakers. It delivers powerful sound with a deep bass response and clear treble, making it ideal for outdoor use or in larger rooms. Its portability and durability also add to its appeal as a loud, versatile Alexa speaker.

The Echo 4th generation is typically more expensive due to its built-in Zigbee smart home hub. It also supports Dolby Audio, offering a more immersive sound experience than the Echo 5, which is a more compact, budget-friendly option.

Alexa is Amazon’s virtual assistant, similar to Siri or Google Assistant, which responds to voice commands and can perform various tasks. On the other hand, Echo refers to the range of smart speakers and displays developed by Amazon that house the Alexa assistant. Essentially, Alexa is the software, while Echo is the hardware.

There is no monthly charge for using an Amazon Echo device itself. However, to fully utilize its capabilities, such as music streaming or audiobook playback, you might need subscriptions to services like Amazon Prime, Amazon Music Unlimited, or Audible. These services have their own monthly charges, but they are not mandatory for operating Echo devices.

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