Amazon first introduced Alexa to us through its original Echo smart speaker in late 2014. To this day, if you’re looking for the best Alexa speaker, you’re probably going to look first at the company’s Echo line of smart speakers. In fact, Amazon recently announced updates to its entire Echo product line, and we will be covering and reviewing each of these new speakers shortly. There are also many great Alexa-enabled speakers are made by other companies such as Bose, Sonos, and Ultimate Ears that you may wish to consider. This guide will help you make the best purchase decision as you consider the best Alexa speaker for your household.
Best Alexa Speaker from Amazon
Amazon Echo (4th Gen) — Best Overall Alexa Speaker: The fourth iteration of the original Echo gets a spherical redesign with better speakers and a built-in Zigbee smart hub.
Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen) — Best Value Alexa Speaker: The best bang-for-your-buck Echo now available in two flavors: with clock and without.
Amazon Echo Show 8 — Best Smart Screen Alexa Speaker: an eight-inch touchscreen with physical privacy controls to help you manage your smart home.
Amazon Echo Studio — Best Sounding Alexa Speaker: Big, dynamic, room-filling sound.
Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition (4th Gen) — _Best Alexa Speaker for Kids: Fun animal designs, Amazon Kids+ content, and parental controls make this an excellent purchase for your kiddos.
Amazon Echo Flex — Best Alexa Speaker for Transitional Spaces: Plug this utilitarian smart speaker into any wall outlet to enjoy Alexa in places regular Echo speakers can’t go.
Best Third-Party Alexa Speaker
Sonos One (Gen 2) — Best Third-Party Alexa Speaker: The Sonos One supports multiple voice assistants, sounds great, and works seamlessly with the Sonos ecosystem of products.
Sonos Move — Best Sounding Portable Third-Party Alexa Speaker: Take this smart speaker anywhere without worrying about the elements.
Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST — Best Weatherproof Third-Party Alexa Speaker: With IP67 water and dust-resistance rating, 16 hours of battery life, and the ability to pair with up to 8 other BLAST speakers, this is the Alexa speaker to get for your next BBQ.
Sonos Beam Sound Bar — Best Third-Party Soundbar with an Alexa Speaker: This is a fantastic three-in-one product that functions as a TV soundbar, a Fire TV device, and an Alexa speaker.
Bose Home Speaker 500 — Best Third-Party Alexa Speaker with a Mini Screen: Not only will this speaker provide you with impressive sound, but it has a small display for things like album artwork.
Facebook Portal Mini — Best Third-Party Smart Screen Alexa Speaker: Easily video chat with your loved ones and Facebook friends through Portal, and control the device with your voice through Alexa.
What is the best Alexa speaker you can buy today?
Amazon itself produces the majority of Alexa speakers in the form of the Echo line of smart speakers and smart screen devices like the Echo Show. However, there are several impressive third-party options that you may wish to consider (some of which are compatible with more than one smart voice assistant).
Our top pick is the Amazon Echo (4th Gen). The standard-bearer for the Echo line, the fourth generation has been completely redesigned with even better speakers, a rounded look, and a built-in Zigbee smart hub to become the goldilocks of Echo smart speakers. It also happens to be just the right size to fill most rooms with great sound without standing out too much or looking like just another piece of techno-junk.
Amazon also has a popular line of smart screen Alexa speakers known as the Echo Show devices. Out of these, our favorite is the middle-child Echo Show 8. It has the benefits of a reasonably large screen, loudspeakers, and built-in privacy controls not found on the larger Echo Show (2nd Gen).
As for the best third-party Alexa speaker, our favorite right now is the Sonos One (Gen 2). The size and form factor is close to what you’d get in an Amazon Echo (3rd Gen) with a more traditional speaker look. The sound quality surpasses most of the Echo speakers, and it can also work with other smart voice assistants.
Without further adieu, here is our detailed list of the best Alexa speakers that you can buy.
Best Alexa Speaker from Amazon
- 1. Amazon Echo (4th Gen) ($100)
- 2. Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen) (From $50)
- 3. Amazon Echo Show 8 ($80)
- 4. Amazon Echo Studio ($200)
- 5. Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition (4thGen) ($60)
- 6. Amazon Echo Flex ($25)
Best Third-Party Alexa Speaker
- 1. Sonos One (Gen 2) ($199)
- 2. Sonos Move ($399)
- 3. Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST (From $143)
- 4. Sonos Beam ($299)
- 5. Bose Home Speaker 500 ($395)
- 6. Facebook Portal Mini (From $96)
Best Alexa Speaker from Amazon
1. Amazon Echo (4th Gen) Best Overall Alexa Speaker
Bottom line: The fourth generation of this smart speaker does a great job carrying the banner of its original Echo namesake. This redesigned version offers much better sound quality than the more ubiquitous Echo Dot at a price less than half that of the Echo Studio or even the Sonos One. It also has a soft, spherical, inviting design available in multiple colors (including our favorite, Twilight Blue).
Dimensions: 5.7×5.7×5.2 inches | Weight: 34.2 oz | Speakers: dual front-firing 8-inch tweeters and 3-inch woofer | Portable: 🚫 | Weather-Resistance: 🚫 | Privacy Features: Physical mute button with red LED indicator light
|Charcoal||$100 at Amazon|
|Glacier White||$100 at Amazon|
|Twilight Blue||$100 at Amazon|
|Product Red||$100 at Amazon|
- An extra tweeter for improved sound over previous versions
- All-new spherical design
- Made with recycled materials
- Built-in Zigbee hub
- AZ1 Neural Edge processor
- Maintains classic UI elements
- No display
- Inconsistent button response
The Amazon Echo is the smart speaker that started it all. This is the fourth iteration of Amazon’s classic smart speaker, and according to our Amazon Echo (4th Gen) review, generation four is far and away the best we’ve ever seen.
The biggest change that most people will notice is that Amazon has done away with the traditional cylindrical design and morphed the new generation of Echos to a spherical shape. Pick whatever metaphor you wish — shotput, bowling ball, astronaut helmet, all apply equally here. However, combined with the new placement of the light ring at the bottom of the device, this thing looks like an objet d’art rather than a typical piece of tech.
Amazon seriously upgraded the sound quality for this model as well, with the Echo delivering 360-degree audio that’s powered by Dolby. It added a second 0.8-inch front-firing tweeter to its already-capable array of a tweeter and a 3-inch woofer, which makes so much of a difference. It now truly competes on a level playing field with speakers twice as expensive, such as the Sonos One (also on our list below). As with previous generations, you can fine-tune the audio with the available EQ settings from the Alexa app. You can also pair two of these Echo speakers together for stereo sound or connect them to a Fire TV.
Like the Echo Plus and Echo Studio before it, this fourth-generation Echo has a built-in Zigbee hub to help it better communicate with and control various smart home devices. It’s also powered by Amazon’s new AZ1 Neural Edge processor, which promises speech processing that is twice as fast as before, all while using 85% less memory. The Echo 4th Gen is one of Amazon’s first Climate Pledge Friendly certified products, made with 50% recycled plastics,100% recycled fabrics, and 100% recycled die-cast aluminum. Plus, 99% of the packaging is recyclable. It will consume less power than ever with a new low power mode, and a new energy dashboard in the Alexa app can help you monitor your device’s energy usage.
We also love the fabric design, responsive microphones for Alexa voice commands, and playback and mute controls on the top of the device. This is a voice-first product, but it’s good to know there are still tactile and visual cues to help you control this Alexa speaker.
Best Overall Alexa Speaker
Amazon Echo (4th Gen)
$70 at Amazon
$70 at Best Buy
Amazon’s new spherical 4th Gen Echo has a more inviting design, improved speakers, and adds the Echo Plus’s Zigbee smart hub and Sidewalk capabilities.
2. Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen) Best Value Alexa Speaker
Bottom line: The Echo Dot (4th Gen) is Amazon’s most popular Alexa speaker due to its affordable price and the fact that it can do just about everything that the larger, more expensive Echo speakers can do. The only downside is that the audio quality, while improved, doesn’t measure up to the larger device. The upside is that you can purchase two Echo Dots for the price of one Echo, or choose an Echo Dot with Clock.
Dimensions: 3.9×3.9×3.5 inches | Weight: 12 oz | Speakers: 1.6-inch front-firing speaker | Portable: 🚫 | Weather-Resistance: 🚫 | Privacy Features: Physical mute button with red LED indicator light | Special Features: LED clock model also available
|Charcoal||$50 at Amazon|
|Glacier White||$50 at Amazon|
|Twilight Blue||$50 at Amazon|
|Glacier White (with LED clock)||$60 at Amazon|
|Twilight Blue (with LED clock)||$60 at Amazon|
- Most affordable true Echo speaker
- Multiple color options
- Most of the benefits of the larger Echo (4th Gen) in a smaller package
- Front-firing speaker sounds much better than previous generations
- LED clock model available for $10 more
- No display unless you get the Echo Dot with Clock
- New position of light ring may be harder to see for some
- Takes up more space than previous dots
There is a reason that the Echo Dot is the most popular Alexa speaker, and it’s not just about the price. Sure, if you’re just starting with smart speakers and Alexa devices in general, it makes sense to get something relatively inexpensive. However, customers have fallen in love with the Echo Dot because of how simple it is to use and how useful it is in their lives.
The Echo Dot is insanely affordable, and the 4th Gen model we have right now is better than ever. It sounds louder and more clear than any Echo Dot before it, thanks in part to the new rounded shape and front-firing orientation of the 1.6-inch speaker. The new fabric design comes in three great colors (Charcoal, Glacier White, and Twilight Blue), which is much better than the plain black or white offered in the hard plastic versions of previous generations. You can go for the regular Dot or upgrade to a version with an LED capable of showing the time, temperature, and timers for just $10 more. Its new shape takes cues from the larger Echo (4th Gen), and it also sports the same climate-friendly benefits of its sibling device.
Ultimately though, what makes this little speaker such a great value for the price is that it performs all of the same Alexa commands found on the more expensive speakers. You’ve got the same tactile buttons at the top of the device and the same light ring at the bottom as on the Echo (4th Gen); the only things that you sacrifice here is the built-in Zigbee hub on the larger Echo and the overall sound quality (though you can stereo pair two Echo Dots together for the same price as the larger Echo).
A pro tip when shopping for Echo Dots is to keep an eye out for bundles. Whether you’re buying more than one Echo Dot at once or pairing it with something like a smart plug or Fire TV Stick, you can usually find some sort of promo to save you a bit of coin.
Best Value Alexa Speaker
Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen)
From $30 at Amazon
From $30 at Best Buy
Amazon’s new Echo Dot is round, has a larger, more powerful speaker than the previous generation, and looks great.
3. Amazon Echo Show 8 Best Smart Screen Alexa Speaker
Bottom line: Amazon was one of the first companies in the smart screen speaker space with the original Echo Show, but the Echo Show 8 is far and away the best version so far. Its screen is large, its speaker loud, and it features physical mute and camera shutters.
Dimensions: 7.9×5.4×3.9 inches | Weight: 36.6 oz | Speakers: 2×2-inch @ 10W per channel | Portable: 🚫 | Weather-Resistance: 🚫 | Privacy Features: Physical camera cover and mute button with red LED indicator light
|Charcoal||$80 at Amazon|
|Sandstone||$80 at Amazon|
- Perfect size for countertop viewing
- Physical cover/off switch to turn off microphones and camera
- Similar screen and speaker specs to larger Echo Show (2nd Gen)
- Doesn’t support Dolby audio
- If you want to adjust the viewing angle, you’ll need to purchase a stand accessory
Sitting in between the 10.1-inch Echo Show (2nd Gen) and 5-inch Show 5 is the 8-inch Echo Show 8 Alexa speaker with a smart screen. This is Amazon’s middle-of-the-road smart display, and for some buyers, it just may be the perfect one.
The Echo Show 8 comes equipped with an 8-inch display with a crisp 1280×800 resolution matching that of the 10.1-inch Echo Show (2nd Gen), and besting it with a higher PPI resolution. You get two 2-inch speakers that kick out 10W of power per channel (only slightly smaller than the twin 2.2-inch speakers in the larger Show), along with a 1MP camera for video chats. When you want some added privacy, there’s a physical shutter that goes over the camera — as things should be.
For the price, the Show 8 is pretty great. When you pit the Echo Show 8 vs. the Echo Show 5, you see that it is larger and sounds better than the Show 5, but is considerably more affordable than the flagship Echo Show. This device won’t hog all of your desktop or kitchen counter space but will be a valuable visual/voice assistant.
Amazon recently announced a new addition to the Echo Show lineup in the form of the Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen). Once that device is available, we’ll evaluate it against the Echo Show 8 to determine the best smart screen Alexa speaker.
Best Smart Screen Alexa Speaker
Amazon Echo Show 8
$80 at Amazon
$80 at Best Buy
$90 at B&H
We love the Echo Show 8. The display looks great, it sounds pretty good, and the price is perfect. What’s not to like?
4. Amazon Echo Studio Best Sounding Alexa Speaker
Bottom line: The Echo Studio is Amazon’s answer to the audiophile’s dream Alexa speaker. It can fill a room with dynamic sound and be paired with a second Studio or Fire TV for real surround sound. It also comes equipped with a Zigbee hub.
Dimensions: 8.1×6.9 inches | Weight: 7.7 lbs | Speakers: 1-inch tweeter, 3 2-inch speakers, and a 5.25-inch woofer | Portable: 🚫 | Weather-Resistance: 🚫 | Privacy Features: Physical mute button with red LED indicator light
|Charcoal||$200 at Amazon|
- Amazing HD-quality audio
- Dynamic and room-filling sound
- Built-in Zigbee smart home hub
- Physical microphone mute switch
- Can be paired with another Studio or Fire TV for surround sound
- Most expensive Amazon Alexa speaker
- 3D music and Dolby Atmos support may not be to everyone’s liking
If you want an Echo speaker that’ll make your music sound as good as can be, this premium Alexa speaker fits the bill perfectly, at least according to our Echo Studio review. This is Amazon’s premier Echo speaker regarding sound quality, featuring an array of five speakers that kick out impressive bass, midrange, and highs.
Dolby’s Atmos technology is included to round out the listening experience, along with a feature that allows the Studio to sense the room it’s in and adapt its speakers accordingly for the best experience.
The Echo Studio also has smarts over some of its siblings, thanks to the built-in Zigbee hub that allows supported smart home devices to connect directly to the Studio rather than another hub you need to place somewhere in your home.
Best Sounding Alexa Speaker
Amazon Echo Studio
$200 at Amazon
$200 at Best Buy
$200 at B&H
Amazon’s Echo Studio sounds phenomenal. It has five speakers, Dolby Atmos support, and more for incredibly-sounding tunes.
5. Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition (4th Gen) Best Alexa Speaker for Kids
Bottom line: An Alexa speaker can be a great addition to any kid’s room, but before you give your child a smart speaker, you’ll want to make sure it’s safe and appropriate for them. The Echo Dot Kids Edition comes in fun kid designs and colors with built-in parent controls, as well as age-appropriate content.
Dimensions: 3.9×3.9×3.5 inches | Weight: 12 oz | Speakers: 1.6-inch front-firing speaker | Portable: 🚫 | Weather-Resistance: 🚫 | Privacy Features: Physical mute button with red LED indicator light | Special Features: Kid-friendly design with 1-year of Amazon Kids+ subscription included
|Kids Tiger||$60 at Amazon|
|Kids Panda||$60 at Amazon|
- Fun, kid-friendly colors and animal designs
- Two-year worry-free guarantee
- One-year subscription to Amazon Kids+
- Strong parental controls
- More expensive than regular Echo Dot
- Amazon Kids+ can be purchased for any Amazon Alexa Speaker
- Kids may quickly grow out of the need for this speaker
Amazon has an Echo Dot that is made especially for kids, and it was most recently updated to be based on the fourth-generation Echo Dot with its better-sounding front-firing speaker and spherical design. In our Echo Dot Kids Edition (4th Gen) review, we couldn’t help but gush over how cute the panda and tiger editions are. Plus, each unit comes with one year of Amazon Kids+.
That’s the part that justifies its price tag, which is a bit more than the Echo Dot at retail. Amazon Kids+ gives you (and your kid) access to a whole bunch of kid-friendly content, including books, music, audiobooks, podcasts, games, and more.
Plus, parents get access to the Amazon Parent Dashboard, which lets you set how long the kid can use any of this newfangled tech. It’ll also block non-kid-friendly content, shut off the Echo Dot at bedtime, and teach your kids to remember to say please and thank-you to not-quite-sentient tech (we have a feeling that’ll be more important than we realize).
Best Alexa Speaker for Kids
Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition (4th Gen)
$60 at Amazon
$60 at Best Buy
Amazon’s new Echo Dot is round, has a larger, more powerful speaker than the previous generation, and just generally looks great in its animal prints.
6. Amazon Echo Flex Best Alexa Speaker for Transitional Spaces
Bottom line: The Echo Flex resembles a smart plug but is actually an Alexa speaker that you can plug into any standard outlet. This makes it the perfect Echo for those spaces where a traditional smart speaker won’t fit in, like a garage, utility room, bathroom, or even a long hallway.
Dimensions: 2.8×2.6×2.0 inches | Weight: 5.3 oz | Speakers: .6-inch mini speaker | Portable: 🚫 | Weather-Resistance: 🚫 | Privacy Features: Physical mute button with red LED indicator light
|White||$25 at Amazon|
- The cheapest Echo device available
- Built-in USB-A port to charge other devices
- Available nightlight, smart clock, motion-sensor, and speaker attachments
- Can fit into any standard wall outlet
- Available attachments cost as much as the device itself
- The speaker isn’t very good
- It takes up an available outlet without offering smart plug passthrough
Though it may not look like much, this Alexa speaker is low-key one of the most important and useful devices Amazon has produced in the past few years — at least that’s what our own Jeramy Johnson said in his Amazon Echo Flex review. In Amazon’s never-ending quest to make Alexa as ubiquitous as possible, this device does more to further that goal than any other in recent memory.
What do we mean by that? Well, while other Alexa speakers are beloved because they sound great and give you immediate voice access to the smart assistant, they can’t be placed everywhere. There are many areas of the home where having hands-free Alexa access is not only welcomed, it’s practically required. Imagine handling raw meat in the kitchen, changing the oil in the garage, folding laundry in the utility room, or, you know… in the bathroom. These are all instances where you might want to ask Alexa to do something for you, but you can’t or don’t want to touch a device.
The other thing that makes this product so important is its price. It retails at $25 but can regularly be found on sale, so you can affordably place these in all the nooks and crannies of your house that you wish.
Finally, the Echo Flex has a built-in USB port on the bottom of the device, which you can use to charge your smartphone or another mobile device. Alternatively, you can purchase one of several third-party, made for Amazon attachments such as a nightlight, smart clock, a motion-sensor, or a better speaker. These make the Echo Flex even more flexible as an Alexa speaker!
Best Alexa Speaker for Transitional Spaces
Amazon Echo Flex
$10 at Amazon
$10 at Best Buy
$15 at B&H
The Amazon Echo Flex is an Alexa speaker that can plug into any standard outlet and is perfect for transitional or workspaces like utility rooms, hallways, bathrooms, or garages.
Best Third-Party Alexa Speakers
1. Sonos One (Gen 2) Best Third-Party Alexa Speaker
Bottom line: The Sonos One is our favorite third-party Alexa speaker because it looks great, sounds even better, and fits within the well-established and easy-to-use Sonos audio ecosystem. It’s also one of the most affordable Sonos smart speakers around.
Dimensions: 4.72×4.72×6.34 inches | Weight: 4.08 lbs | Speakers: Two Class-D digital amps, one tweeter, one mid-woofer | Portable: 🚫 | Weather-Resistance: 🚫 | Privacy Features: Microphone mute button
|White||$199 at Amazon|
|Black||$199 at Amazon|
- Better sound profile than most Echo devices
- Works great with Alexa and the Google Assistant
- Sonos offers more content partnerships and services than you can get with an Echo device alone
- Doesn’t support Bluetooth audio
- More than twice as much as a comparable Echo device
Sonos has earned its reputation as the premier smart speaker manufacturer. Over the years, the company has built up an entire ecosystem of products that work seamlessly with each other and make for a satisfying home audio experience.
In our Sonos One review we described this device as the Sonos smart speaker for everyone because it has a stylish yet subtle profile and fits in just about anywhere. While you can get most of the functionality and all of the sound in the less expensive Sonos One SL, this is the cheapest Sonos smart speaker that you can control with your voice, including through Alexa or the Google Assistant. It also works via Apple’s AirPlay 2 wireless protocol.
Once you connect your Sonos One to your Amazon Alexa account, you can control your smart home, play music or audiobooks, and ask Alexa all manner of trivia, just as you would on any of the best Alexa devices. Aside from the sound quality, the main difference here to an Echo is the speaker ecosystem that you buy into. And while there’s nothing wrong with an Echo, a whole lot of folks really love their Sonos setups.
Best Third-Party Alexa Speaker
Sonos One (Gen 2)
$199 at Amazon
$200 at Best Buy
$199 at B&H
The Sonos One is great for pairing and putting all around your home. It supports every major music service, as well as Alexa and Google Assistant.
2. Sonos Move Best Sounding Portable Third-Party Alexa Speaker
Bottom line: If you want to take your music with you and control your speaker via Alexa, you can’t find a better balance of sound, battery life, and water resistance than is available from the Sonos Move.
Dimensions: 9.44×6.29×4.96 inches | Weight: 6.61 lbs | Speakers: Two Class-D digital amps, one tweeter, one mid-woofer | Portable: ✔️ | Weather-Resistance: ✔️ IP56 | Privacy Features: Microphone mute button
|White||$400 at Amazon|
- The first truly portable Sonos device
- Arguably the best sounding portable Alexa speaker
- Solid 10-hour battery life
- IP56 water and dust resistance
- Handles Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- Not the best microphone array
- Pretty heavy and bulk for a portable
- Comes in your favorite color, as long as it’s black
- Pricey, especially for a portable
Amazon hasn’t made a portable Alexa speaker since the Amazon Tap, which wasn’t hands-free (or very good, for that matter). Other manufacturers have made some of the best Bluetooth speakers with Alexa functionality for years, but we now finally have the one we’ve been waiting for in the Move from Sonos.
As described in our Sonos Move review, we finally have a Sonos-quality Alexa speaker that is portable yet also still works with the Sonos ecosystem. It also makes a great home speaker for when you’re not on the go, which is more than can be said for some of the other portable Bluetooth Alexa speakers we’ve seen.
If you’re a true audiophile and you need something portable, or if you just really love the Sonos ecosystem, the Move is a must-buy. It’s big, it’s heavy, and it sounds absolutely amazing. And with a recent update, you now get 11 hours of battery life before needing to dock it again.
Best Sounding Portable Third-Party Alexa Speaker
From $449 at Amazon
$400 at Best Buy
$399 at B&H
The Sonos Move is bigger and better sounding than our top overall pick (the Sonos One), and it’s portable and weather-resistant to boot. It just happens to cost nearly twice as much as the One.
3. Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST Best Weatherproof Third-Party Alexa Speaker
Bottom line: The Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST is the ultimate weatherproof Alexa speaker that you’ll want to bring with you to your next BBQ event, beach party, or backyard get-together.
Dimensions: 3.5×3.5×9.4 inches | Weight: 2.60 lbs | Speakers: Two 25mm tweeters, two 55mm active drivers and two 85 x 50mm passive radiators | Portable: ✔️ | Weather-Resistance: ✔️ IP67 | Privacy Features: Microphone mute button
|Graphite Black||$142 at Amazon|
- IP67 water and dust resistance
- Lightweight and portable
- 16-hour battery life
- Can be paired with up to 8 other Blast or Megablast speakers
- Not as rich-sounding as the Sonos Move
- Voice control can be slow
- Need to purchase recharging base separately
Ultimate Ears is one of the names at the forefront of portable, durable, and rugged Bluetooth speakers. The BLAST line is one of its most popular because it’s affordable, sounds great, and has fantastic battery life.
You can pair your MEGABLAST speaker with up to eight others and keep the party going all day long with its 16-hour battery life. The speaker has a 360-degree sound that comes across loud and clear. Not only can you pair other devices to it via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, but it comes with Alexa built-in so that whenever you’re connected to a hotspot, you can request your favorite party playlist from Alexa.
When you bring your MEGABLAST speaker indoors, it charges on a simple base that keeps it in an upright orientation, though not all configurations ship with this base charger. When settled this way, it makes a great Amazon Echo alternative!
Best Weatherproof Third-Party Alexa Speaker
Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST
$143 at Amazon
$250 at Best Buy
If you’re going to be outside in the elements all day but still want Alexa access, the Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST is the speaker you want with you.
4. Sonos Beam Best Third-Party Soundbar with an Alexa Speaker
Bottom line: Sometimes, the best Alexa speaker option is multifunctional. The Sonos Beam gives you built-in Alexa access and smart home controls in a package built to enhance your TV viewing and listening experience.
Dimensions: 2.70×25.625×3.94 inches | Weight: 6.2 lbs | Speakers: One tweeter, three passive radiator, five Class-D digital amplifiers | Portable: 🚫 | Weather-Resistance: 🚫 | Privacy Features: Microphone mute button
|Black||$395 at Amazon|
|White||$399 at Amazon|
- Impressive sound for a relatively small device
- Use Alexa to control your TV
- Super-easy to set up
- Enhances your TV viewing experience
- Pricey compared to other speaker options
- Can be a bit sensitive listening for Alexa voice commands
Not everyone who wants an Alexa speaker has the same needs. Some want a small smart speaker that gets out of the way, while others want something with room-filling sound. Some want a grab-and-go speaker to take with them for hours at a time, while others are more anchored to a particular space. But one thing that most of us desire is better sound from our televisions. Thankfully, soundbars like the Sonos Beam give us this plus Alexa access.
We conducted our Sonos Beam review a couple of years ago, but we’ve yet to find another smart soundbar that can do what it does while sounding as great as it does. When connected to your TV, it enhances the sound to amplify the highs, mids, and lows that most built-in TV speakers muddle together.
The Alexa functionality goes beyond just asking the voice assistant trivia or using it to control your smart home. With the Sonos Beam, you can use Alexa to control your TV, which is a wonderful accessibility and convenience feature! Best of all, the Beam is extremely easy to set up, and it still functions as a fabulous Sonos smart speaker. If you can only get one Alexa speaker for your main TV room, this is probably the one you want to pick up.
Best Third-Party Soundbar with an Alexa Speaker
From $395 at Amazon
$400 at Best Buy
$399 at B&H
The Sonos Beam is a compact, powerful smart speaker that also happens to be a great TV soundbar.
5. Bose Home Speaker 500 Best Third-Party Alexa Speaker with a Mini Screen
Bottom line: The Bose Home Speaker 500 is the speaker giant’s answer to the Amazon Echo Studio or the Sonos Five. It’s a room-filling Alexa speaker with a small screen.
Dimensions: 8.0×6.7×4.3 inches | Weight: 4.65 lbs | Speakers: Two custom drivers | Portable: 🚫 | Weather-Resistance: 🚫 | Privacy Features: Microphone mute button
|Black||$299 at Amazon|
|Silver||$299 at Amazon|
- Noise-rejecting eight microphone array
- Syncs with other Bose smart speakers via SimpleSync
- Color LCD screen conveys information and album artwork
- Compact, stylish design
- Expensive compared to Echo speakers or Sonos One
- Doesn’t include a separate manual remote like other Bose models
The Bose Home Speaker 500 is another great option if you’re an audiophile looking for a high-quality sounding Alexa speaker. Bose has earned a reputation for being one of the premier audio companies. If you already have other Bose products or want something different from Amazon’s or Sonos’s devices, this is a great place to start.
What makes this device stand out at first glance is its small, iPod-sized LCD screen on the front that displays fun and helpful information like album artwork. If you want to know what’s playing at a glance, or if you’re someone who enjoys a bit of visual stimulation to go along with your auditory processing, this device bundles those senses together in an attractive package.
The speaker works over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and is also compatible with the Google Assistant and Apple AirPlay 2. It features an array of eight microphones tuned to pick up your voice commands over loud noises in the environment and from the speaker itself. Inside are two custom drivers facing opposite directions to provide fuller sound coverage. In addition to your voice and the Bose app, you can control the speaker with capacitive buttons on the top, including presets for different playlists, services, or internet radio stations.
Best Third-Party Alexa Speaker with a Mini Screen
Bose Home Speaker 500
$299 at Amazon
$300 at Best Buy
$299 at Walmart
If you’re looking for an audiophile-level experience but don’t want a Sonos speaker, you’d do yourself a favor to check out the Bose Home Speaker 500.
6. Facebook Portal Mini Best Third-Party Smart Screen Alexa Speaker
Bottom line: Say what you will about Facebook, but the fact is that much of the world, and most of your family, is probably on it. That makes the Portal line of devices one of the best Alexa speakers for video chatting and staying in touch with loved ones.
Dimensions: 5.91×8.45×5.0 inches | Weight: 1.68 lbs | Speakers: Front stereo speaker and rear woofer | Portable: 🚫 | Weather-Resistance: 🚫 | Privacy Features: Physical camera cover and mute button with red LED indicator light
|Black||$96 at Amazon|
|White||$98 at Amazon|
- Fantastic video chatting experience
- Fun filters and effects
- Facial recognition features are useful
- Not the best sounding speaker
- Confusing breakdown of tasks between “Portal” and Alexa
- Not everyone wants a Facebook camera/microphone on in their homes
Before you get started with your objections, we get it. It’s Facebook. The social media giant hasn’t exactly endeared itself to us or done much to gain our collective trust these past few turbulent years, that’s very true. However, the simple fact remains that many of the people you know, including a fair number of your family members, are probably still active on the platform, and those same people may be resistant to try other platforms, services, or devices for staying in touch. We bit the bullet for you and evaluated the device with a full Facebook Portal review, and surprise — we actually liked it!
The main reason I keep my Facebook account active is that nearly all of my contacts have an account, and I know that I can reach them via Messenger chat, calls, or video whenever I want. That’s powerful, and it’s an advantage Facebook has leaned into with this device. My 90+-year-old grandmother is way more likely to video chat with me on one of these than the proprietary Amazon Echo Show’s video chat platform. She just is.
In addition to being a superior video chatting device to most other smart screen displays, the Facebook Portal has Alexa built-in. It thus is a great smart speaker for controlling your smart home gadgets or listening to Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, or iHeartRadio, among others.
Best Third-Party Smart Screen Alexa Speaker
Facebook Portal Mini
From $104 at Amazon
$65 at Best Buy
If you want a great video chatting device that happens to work with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, a Portal may be the answer to your dreams.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Jeramy Johnson is proud to help to Keep Austin Weird and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand. When he’s not writing about Amazon products and services, he’s defending his relationship with his side-chick Alexa to his family. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeramyutgw.
Joe Maring is Android Central’s News Editor and has had a love for anything with a screen and CPU since he can remember. He’s been talking/writing about Android in one form or another since 2012 and often does so while camping out at the nearest coffee shop. Have a tip? Send an email to [email protected]!
Daniel Bader is the Managing Editor of Android Central. As he’s writing this, a mountain of old Android phones is about to fall on his head, but his Great Dane will protect him. He drinks way too much coffee and sleeps too little. He wonders if there’s a correlation.