This article was last updated by Digital Trends’ editor John Velasco on 9/28/2020.
Our pick for the best Alexa speaker is the 3rd generation Amazon Echo, for many reasons. They include its affordable price, punchy audio performance, and its ability to control the smart home. In fact, you won’t find a better Alexa speaker that offers such a comprehensive package at a price point that doesn’t greatly impact the wallet.
If that doesn’t satisfy your needs, there are several third-party speakers that use Alexa. While some folks may be content to have Alexa confined to a tinier, more personal package, others may prefer something more robust. On top of that, there’s a range that covers the price gamut, so there’s one for any budget. Indeed, there’s a wide array of Alexa speakers to choose from. Here are the best.
The best Alexa speaker: Amazon Echo
Combining size and performance, the 3rd generation Amazon Echo is our pick for the best Alexa speaker. Music aficionados will appreciate the sound quality this sizable speaker is able to churn out in a package that’s not overpowering when it’s placed among other decor. While it shares a similar cylindrical design as its predecessors, this 3rd generation model blends into more areas because of its fabric covering. Plus, there are five different colors to choose from.
Over on the audio side, the Echo’s speakers are powered by Dolby with 360-degree audio, while delivering crisp vocals and punchier bass to please just about any music lover. You’re paying more for it over the smaller Echo Dot, but at $100, it’s a wonderful centerpiece. Throw in all of Alexa’s expertise and home control functions, you have an Alexa speaker that offers a lot without breaking the bank.
In its most recent fall event, the company introduced its newest line of Alexa-enabled speakers, including the latest iteration from this line — the Amazon Echo (4th Gen), which features a brand-new spherical design along with an upgraded performance that should give the Echo Studio a run for its money.
The best budget Alexa speaker: Amazon Echo Dot with Clock
If you’re looking for a general Alexa speaker that can be discrete wherever it’s placed, then you’ll want to check out the Amazon Echo Dot with Clock. However, you may want to position it in an area that offers a line of sight to it, because it proudly displays the time with its built-in LEDs.
Functionally, it doesn’t differ much from the previous model, but it still has all of Alexa’s features in a compact package. In addition to the time, it can display the temperature outside and countdown a timer. Priced at $60, it’s a small investment to quickly turn your home into a smart home.
Amazon also introduced the latest version of this speaker as well during its fall devices event, which includes the 4th Gen versions of the Echo Dot, Echo Dot with Clock, and the Kids Edition. They’re sporting a brand-new design language that gives them a spherical shape.
The best Alexa speaker for music: Amazon Echo Studio
Amazon’s premier Alexa speaker is the Echo Studio. Armed to the teeth with an impressive array of hardware, and featuring a total of five speakers powered by Dolby Atmos technology, it ensures audio performance is dynamic for just about any situation. What truly makes it unique is the ability to tune itself to adapt to any room by analyzing the acoustics of the room, delivering optimized audio for exceptional music playback.
Despite the speaker that’s packing so much heat, all of the hardware is packaged snuggly into its cylindrical shaped body — making it the perfect centerpiece to grace any entertainment center. Plus, you still get all the same rich smart home controls as any Alexa speaker. You’re paying a pretty penny for the Echo Studio, but you’re receiving a premium speaker in return.
The best portable Alexa speaker: Ultimate Ears Megablast
Sure, it may be a couple of years old now, but the Ultimate Ears Megablast is one of the few Alexa enabled speakers meant for the great outdoors.
This portable speaker is perfect for road trips and outdoor activities because it’s designed for water and drop protection. You can certainly take a dunk in a pool without a worry about damage, especially when its IP67 rating allows it to be submerged underwater for up to 30 minutes. Even though it’s largely meant to be a party speaker, you can still leverage all of Alexa’s abilities while you’re outside. That means you can still tell Alexa to turn off the lights in the kitchen from outside, or even turn on the lights outside when the sun goes down. It’s also accompanied by phenomenal audio as well, featuring 360-degree audio with low-frequency drivers and passive radiators to deliver superb bass.
The best stylish Alexa speaker: Marshall Uxbridge Voice
Speakers can look dull and bland. That’s not the case with the Marshall Uxbridge Voice, which features the distinctive aesthetics of Marshall’s guitar amps. For those who are particular about the look and design of their favorite gadgets, the Marshall Uxbridge Voice carries along a classic styling — without compromising on the sound. The contemporary design features metallic accents, the distinguishable Marshall name, and cloth grille.
Since it’s Alexa enabled, you’ll be able to command this smart speaker to do just about anything. There’s also the signature sound, which packs quite a punch in such a compact and stylish design. Your music deserves to be played from something attractive, and the Marshall Uxbridge Voice fits the bill.
The best Alexa Soundbar: Bose Soundbar 500
If you’re a home theater buff, then you know the value of a soundbar when it comes to completing the experience at home. The Bose Soundbar 500 has everything you need in a setup that’ll keep your connected gadgets talking to one another with Alexa’s help. Slim and sleek in design, you’ll find a spot somewhere in your entertainment center for it — while the clear and balanced tone with its audio performance will ensure that conversations between actors in your favorite flicks won’t be drowned out by the score.
With Alexa onboard, you won’t ever need to find the remote to adjust the volume. All you need to do is ask Alexa. Also, you can ask her to perform other smart home routines to get the mood ready for watching a movie. Yes, it’s up there in price, but what you pay does snag you exceptional audio quality.