If you’re a fan of the highly capable Alexa voice assistant, the versatile app, and the easy connection with Amazon and smart home devices, then you definitely want a smart speaker with built-in Alexa capabilities. But which one? Amazon, of course, has its own line of Echo speakers that are designed for use with Alexa, but they aren't the only brand that supports Alexa for easy voice commands.
For this list, we focused on the best smart speakers you can find with Alexa built-in. These speakers allow you to make calls to your contacts, play music from your favorite streaming service, set up smart home routines, and even have Alexa help guard your home. Take a look!
Sonos One (Gen 2)
Best Alexa speaker for the smart home
- Alexa and Google Assistant support
- High-quality audio
- Sonos pairing support with other speakers
- Needs to be plugged in and connected to Wi-Fi to work
The Sonos One is an all-around incredible smart speaker, designed to sit on a shelf or counter and fill a room with sound. With the addition of Alexa, you can also tap into the voice assistant’s wide range of capabilities, like answering questions or scheduling reminders and timers. The speaker also works with Google Assistant, so there’s no need to pick a favorite unless you want to.
Like most smart speakers, the Sonos One does require a Wi-Fi connection for voice assistants to work, but it also supports Airplay 2 and other technologies, along with easy app controls if you don’t feel like using your voice. It can also link easily to another Sonos speaker or speaker system, allowing for innovative setups from being part of a home theater system to linking two speakers together for more stereo-like sound.
Amazon Echo (4th Gen)
Best Alexa speaker for Amazon fans
- Charming new spherical design
- Dazzling LED light ring
- Acts as an Amazon Sidewalk Bridge
- Great sounding audio
- Bass strains at highest volume
Amazon’s flagship Echo device doesn’t disappoint with its new orb-like design that still has great 360-degree sound for the size. The speaker works solely via the Alexa app, so you don’t have to worry about juggling apps to get what you want.
The rounded design is also in the speaker’s favor, making it easy to put anywhere and giving it graceful indicators like the LED base to show notifications and more. Amazon also has both a battery base accessory so that you don’t need to keep the speaker near an outlet and a wall mount if you don’t want to place the Echo on a counter — options that are rarely native to smart speakers.
Amazon Echo Studio
Best Alexa speaker for audiophiles
- Class-leading bass
- Slick and simple setup
- Dolby Atmos and 360 Reality Audio support
- Large, sprawling soundstage
- All the Alexa smarts
- Midrange occasionally muffled
- Brittle touch to lighter instruments
- 3D music still in limited supply
Those primarily interested in sound may already have invested in a high-quality audio system or started listening to more spatial audio songs: The Echo Studio is a great companion to this setup with its focus on music and a larger design featuring five internal speakers to cover bass, midrange, and highs more completely. The speaker also includes sensors that can adapt the audio to the nearby acoustics no matter where you decide to place the speaker.
For those who have a host of smart devices, the Studio is also one of the only Alexa speakers left that can support the older Zigbee smart protocol, which may be important for controlling certain devices in your home. This is also a good time to mention that Alexa allows you to choose a default music service to play from including Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, and more, which makes giving song-related commands a lot easier.
Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen)
Best Alexa smart display
- Smooth and quiet panning
- Effectively doubles as a security camera
- Incredible audio performance
- Flimsy-feeling plastic construction
The Echo Show line adds a touchscreen to the smart speaker, and that may be more useful than you’d expect. With the display, you can video chat with family, watch tutorials, stream shows, ask for visual information (anything from what a ripe melon looks like to this week’s weather forecast), and lots more. If that sounds like a good addition to Alexa to you, you may want an Echo Show. While the Echo Show 15 is the largest model, the wall mount design isn’t the best for audio, but the Show 10 includes a speaker base that can still produce 360-degree sound while offering display benefits.
Oh, and about those updates to the Echo Show design: The smart display now swivels on its base and has a feature that can track you and move to keep you centered in the camera during video conversations. This rotating feature is definitely not for everyone, but don’t let it put you off: It’s easy to put the display at the angle you like the most.
Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen)
Best budget Alexa speaker
- Charming new design
- Great audio quality for its size
- Alexa Guard protection
- Affordable cost
- LED clock should be default
Those who want to save some money and go smaller will appreciate the Echo Dot, Amazon’s pint-sized speaker option. The new design is a copy of the Echo 4th-gen speaker (mentioned above), but smaller. It can’t produce as much sound as the larger version, but it still makes an excellent little desktop companion and can take the place of an old radio or a bedside clock (with the version that includes an LED clock cleverly built into the fabric).
Like the larger version, Amazon can also sell the Echo Dot with a battery stand or wall mount. There’s also a kids' version available with a new skin and a free trial of Amazon’s kid-friendly program.
Bose Home Speaker 500
Best high-end Alexa speaker
- Expansive stereo sound
- Sleek, attractive design
- Choice of Alexa or Google Assistant
- Easy-to-use controls
- Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and line-in options
- AirPlay 2
- Some music services not supported
- Slightly awkward multiroom control
- No Chromecast option for Android
Those who want a little of everything may finally find their perfect solution in this Bose model. It’s a large speaker that produces seriously impressive sound and supports both Alexa and Google Assistant. There are also more sound options than most smart speakers with touch panel presets for your favorite music options and adjustments via the Bose Music app.
The speaker even has a little mini display that can display the current song and some album artwork, making it easy to show off at parties and other get-togethers. But all these features do come at a price, and it’s no surprise this is the priciest speaker on our list.
Are you looking for something a little more portable that still works with Alexa? Take a look at our current best picks for portable smart speakers. You’re likely to find some options that support the voice assistant.
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