If you're looking for a top Amazon Alexa speaker, you're spoiled for choice. In addition to Amazon's huge array of Echo smart speakers, there are now many third-party speakers with Alexa built in from brands like Sonos, Bose and Marshall.
These brands provide experiences Amazon can't, such as better sound quality. But it's not even just about speakers; Alexa is appearing in everything from lamps, light switches, smoke alarms and headphones, making the voice assistant more accessible than ever before.
Read this: The best smart speakers of 2019
It's key to remember that we're not just talking about Alexa integrations i.e. smart tech that can be controlled by Alexa. We're talking about baked-in Alexa here ‚Äď devices that have the digital assistant built into their very fabric. There's already a bunch of them available, so read on for our pick of the best Alexa devices you can buy now (and others coming soon)‚Ä¶
Best Amazon Echo speakers
These are the official, Amazon-branded devices where Alexa is on-board.
The second generation of the standard Amazon Echo is smaller, cheaper, and for our money, better looking. It works with Amazon Prime Music, Spotify and most other services (even Apple Music) for steaming music via voice, TuneIn radio, on-demand information such as news, weather and traffic, as well as smart home control.
This second-generation speaker offers the most balanced and cost effective way to make the most of all its features,
Read our full Amazon Echo review.
The Dot is a scaled-down version of the Echo, redesigned with a fabric case that looks a great deal classier ‚Äď plus a new beefier speaker, which means you might actually use it as a radio.
The Echo Dot is a lot smaller and cheaper than a standard Amazon Echo speaker ‚Äď like a little smart puck. It's less than $50 and, while you get all of Alexa's features, the audio quality from this diminutive little Echo isn't really up to playing music.
You can use the 3.5mm jack to hook it up to an existing speaker system, but the Echo Dot is really about getting Alexa into more places in your home.
The original Echo Show was never a looker, so thankfully it's had a design update. It now boasts a 10-inch touchscreen, up from 7 inches, which is pin sharp and responsive.
The new model doesn‚Äôt just boast a new shell, either, with it now acting as a Zigbee hub, just like the Echo Plus. This means compatible devices can be hooked up directly, without the needs for hubs and third-party apps.
There‚Äôs also Dolby stereo sound, Skype for video calls, support for live TV through Prime Video and even the ability to play back TV recordings when paired with the new Fire TV Recast.
Read our full Amazon Echo Show review.
The Amazon Echo Plus is closer to the standard Echo smart speaker, but with bigger sound and added smarts. The Zigbee hub is still present, so you can add compatible smart home devices (like Philips Hue) without any added bridges, hubs or apps. It's still lacking support for Z-Wave devices, which have to be added the old fashioned way, by setting them up and adding them manually.
But now you get Dolby speakers, a temperature sensor, security sensors and a fancy new fabric cover, and even offline voice controls. If you're purposefully buying this device to get started on a smart home, it's a recommended option.
Check out the full Echo Plus review.
The Amazon Echo Spot is a tiny-screened smart speaker, with a nifty 480x480 display for visual skills and added information. It's well suited as a bedside or desktop clock, but given that it's a fully-featured Echo speaker, it can be used in any room of the home.
Aside from more richly answering queries, the screen can also be used for viewing camera feeds, watching Amazon Prime Video (though why you'd want to is lost on us) and using recipe cards.
Read our Amazon Echo Spot review.
Amazon's Echo range doesn't just use Alexa as a catch-all to simplify your queries ‚Äď it also has a dedicated device for those looking for fashion advice.
The Look houses a depth-sensing camera and built-in LED lighting to take photos or video of you for a 'lookbook'. It will then use its magic algorithms to compare your outfits and tell you what looks best. Or, if you want a second opinion, you can ask the Amazon community. The Look also works as a normal Echo speaker, answering your queries and controlling your smart home device. Just be warned that the speaker is pretty poor; this isn't an Echo you'll want to listen to music on.
Read our Amazon Echo Look review here.
Big savings on Alexa compatible devices
Amazon Dash Wand
Unlike the first iteration of the Amazon Dash, the new Wand offers Alexa's smarts to help you confirm purchases once you've scanned the barcode. Previously, you'd have to pull out your smartphone or laptop in order to wrap things up.
It's not the company's biggest product by any stretch, but it manages to simplify the company's online shopping process.
Other Amazon devices with Alexa
It's not just about smart speakers; Amazon has been busy building Alexa into other devices in its line up‚Ä¶
The Fire TV Cube blends a number of Amazon devices into one, for a truly unique Alexa-based proposition. Firstly, it works as a streaming box, and like the Fire TV 4K has Alexa built-in for your queries while also supporting Netflix, Prime Video, HBO GO, Hulu, Sling, and PlayStation Vue (no YouTube, but there is a workaround).
However, the TV Cube goes one further by aping the Echo Show by using your TV screen to visually show things like weather forecasts and recipes ‚Äď as well as the standard audio feedback of a standard Echo device.
Check out our Amazon Fire TV Cube review.
The Fire TV Stick 4K gives you a more rudimentary way to turn your TV into an Alexa device. You instead need to use the Voice Remote to talk to Alexa, by pressing the microphone button at the top. Curiously, that means you don't need to use the "Alexa" wake-word, but it still operates as a fully-fledged smart speaker. It also does a good Amazon Echo Show impression, so you can get visual skills and ask for feeds from smart home cameras on your TV. Oh, and it's a great dongle too.
Be sure to read our Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K review.
$49.99 | Amazon
You can also get Alexa via the Amazon Fire 7 Tablet ‚Äď you can use the Alexa wake word to access skills and content via Amazon Prime Video, as well as your smart home. For many, cramming this functionality into a tablet makes more sense, and can make a decent starting point with Amazon's smart assistant. Amazon has also added Show Mode, so you can turn your tablet into a portable Echo Show.
Third-party Alexa speakers
You don't need an Echo speaker though ‚Äď there is also an ever-growing army of third-party Alexa speakers‚Ä¶
Sonos and Alexa teamed up for the launch of the Sonos One, which adds voice activated Alexa control into the mix. It's pretty much a fully-fledged Alexa speaker ‚Äď with just a handful of features such as shopping and Drop In missing from the Sonos.
Otherwise, it's a smart Sonos Play:1: great sounding and platform agnostic, and that's a potent mix.
Check our full Sonos One review.
Sonos and Alexa's team-ups don't just end at the Sonos One. There's also the Sonos Beam, a sound bar that packs in Alexa to boot. You'll be able to do all the things you can already do with Alexa, and thanks to HDMI-ARC support you'll also be able to control your TV.
Plus, it just sounds good, giving all your favourite movies and TV shows a decent boost in sound quality. If you want a smart sound bar that has excellent sound (thanks to its packaged-in subwoofer) for a more affordable price, check out the Polk Command Bar.
Check out our Sonos Beam review.
Bose has finally made an entrance in smart speakers - and it's landed with a resounding thump. The Home Speaker 500 puts Alexa on supersonic steroids, fusing Amazon's assistant with Bose's typically brilliant sound quality. It sounds far better than Amazon's own offerings - but that jump in quality comes at a price.
Bose's speaker is expensive - more expensive than the HomePod and the Sonos One - but in return you're getting outstanding sound, classy design, and - get this - a proprietary app we actually enjoy using. Apple AirPlay 2? That's incoming.
Check out our full Bose Home Speaker 500 review.
The Triby IO picks up from where the original Triby left off ‚Äď VoIP calls, an E Ink display and stereo sound ‚Äď but adds a new smart home management interface into the mix.
Triby IO takes smart home controls beyond just those of Alexa as well; using IFTTT you'll be able to automate actions, meaning you won't be relying on your smartphone or tablet to control your connected tech. Of course, all of the regular Alexa-based fun is on board too.
Check out our Triby IO Smart Speaker review.
Alexa-enabled lights and switches
C by GE LED table lamp
This smart lamp from GE is certainly a looker, but the most futuristic part is what you can't see: Amazon Alexa. It has an always-on microphone for voice commands to access the internet and control itself and other smart home gadgets, and of course, a small speaker so Alexa can reply. However, the word is that audio quality isn't aimed at replacing a proper speaker, so think Amazon Echo Dot inside a lamp.
The C by GE has some decent smart lighting chops as well, and can be controlled via the GE Lighting app, as can the companion GE smart bulbs. Naturally, you'll be able to use the Alexa skill, too.
And that's not the limit for the C by GE range. The company has an Alexa enabled ceiling light in the pipeline as well.
Ecobee's smart thermostat already comes with Amazon Alexa voice controls built right in so it's no surprise to see its new Switch+ smart light switch follow suit. The Switch+ is part of Ecobee's vision of a "whole home voice" future, where Alexa isn't too far away to answer a question. It's one of the more expensive light switches out there, granted, but there are so many features here you'll soon wonder how you got by without it.
Kohler Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror
From $1,465.20, kohler.com
The Kohler Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror packs Alexa built-in, putting a smart speaker in the bathroom. That means music, control of your home and news bulletins, while you go about your morning ablutions. Aside from Alexa, there's 1000 lux LED lights and built-in speakers ‚Äď and it will also put you in control of Kohler's range of connected bathroom products, including smart fill taps that control temperature and bath fullness, and the smart toilet, which flushes via voice.
FirstAlert OneLink Safe & Sound
The Onelink Safe & Sound may be a smoke alarm, but it also doubles a smart speaker with Alexa built-in. That might sound weird ‚Äď and it's certainly unusual given the placement of our smoke alarms ‚Äď but it enables you to have Alexa in places your existing set up doesn't allow, thanks to the ceiling mounting. You will need to hardwire to take advantage of the full Alexa and smart speaker features, which may not be ideal for all users. It will detect smoke, heat and act as a CO alarm. It's also going to get AirPlay 2 support later this year.
Alexa-enabled car tech
This little in-car Alexa speaker tethers to your smartphone for a data connection and through your car's system as a microphone and speaker. This means you can play music, ask for turn-by-turn directions and control your smart home, all from inside your car. The new Garmin Speak Plus also packs a dash-cam with 1080p, 30fps video recording, which is recorded onto an included microSD card.
Read our full Garmin Speak Plus review.
Popular powerbank and charger maker Anker has an auto unit called Roav, and it has jumped into Alexa in-car tech with the Viva Pro. It works pretty simply. You connect it to your phone via Bluetooth and then connect your phone to your car via Bluetooth, CarPlay, Android Auto or headphone jack. You'll then get to use Alexa in your car, including getting navigation from Google Maps.
Check out our Roav Viva Pro review.
If you've got a Ford, you'll be able to use Alexa in your car. All you'll have to do is download the Ford+Alexa app from the App Store and Google Play and then connect it to AppLink. You will need to disable CarPlay and Android Auto to use Alexa though.
Once you do that though, you can get the ignition running in your car ‚Äď and get the heating on ‚Äď while you're finishing your breakfast in the kitchen and, when driving home, tell Alexa to switch the lights on and to get your robot vacuum cleaner up and running. Obviously, in the car she can do all the regular digital assistant stuff too, like directions, news headlines and traffic warnings.
And the rest...
Ain't it cute? The Anki Vector crams Alexa into a tiny robot, fits it with some wheels, a dollop of personality, and hopes you'll give it a loving home. While Anki has a proprietary voice digital assistant, the arrival of Alexa support has made this little robot markedly better - and the first smart home controller that moves of its own accord. As for the kids, they can play with their new robot friend using some of Vector's built-in games.
Read our full Anki Vector review.
Microsoft and Amazon have been working on getting Cortana and Alexa to play together for a while now, including a lengthy beta on select PCs. But now Alexa is available to all in the Windows Store.
You'll be able to use Alexa as you'd expect, except on your PC instead of in a speaker. There are some caveats though. Don't forget to read our guide to find out more.
You've been able to control your Xbox One with a voice assistant (first known as Xbox and then Cortana) since the console launched. However, now you can do it with Alexa. You can get Amazon's assistant to launch your games, stream some entertainment and even turn on your Xbox. You can even get it to record clips.