The best speakers with Alexa: 11 top options with the smart assistant built in

Our pick of the Echo and third-party speakers with Alexa inside

The best Alexa-enabled speakers
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If you're looking for a top speaker with Alexa inside, you have plenty to choose from. In addition to Amazon's growing array of Echo smart speakers, there are now tons of third-party options with Alexa built inside, from brands like Sonos, Bose, and Marshall.

Why get an Alexa speaker that isn't from Amazon? Simply put, these audio brands provide something Amazon can't - high-level sound quality - and you still get the smarts of the voice assistant.

Read this: Best Amazon Echo deals

However, it's important to be aware that the Alexa you get differs ever so slightly from Amazon speakers. For example, an Alexa skill like Apple Music is currently only available for Amazon Alexa speakers, not third-party ones.

To help you when buying, we've rounded up 11 smart speakers with Alexa built inside - read on to discover which is best for your home.

Best Amazon Echo speakers

In this section are the official, Amazon-branded devices where Alexa is onboard.

The best speakers with Alexa built-in

Amazon Echo

Buy now: Amazon | $99.99

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 of Alexa's features. But heads up, a third-gen Echo speaker is inbound.

Read our full Amazon Echo review.

The best speakers with Alexa built-in

Amazon Echo Dot

Buy now: Amazon | $49.99

The Dot is a scaled-down version of the Echo, redesigned with a fabric case that looks a great deal classier – 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 – 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.

Check out our full Echo Dot review.

The best speakers with Alexa built-in

Amazon Echo Show

Buy now: Amazon | $229.99

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’t just have a new shell, either, it now acts 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’s 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. If you want something a little bigger, there's a new 8-inch model coming very soon.

Read our full Amazon Echo Show review.

The best Amazon Alexa built-in speakers

Amazon Echo Show 5

Buy now: Amazon | $89.99

The Echo Show 5 is the newest addition to the Echo family – and brings the benefits of a smart display Alexa speaker in a more discreet package. Just the size of an average smartphone, the Show 5 boasts a 5.5-inch screen, which now has on-screen controls for smart home devices.

Sound is much deeper and louder than the Amazon Echo, Plus, or Spot – although someway short of room-filling sound. Unlike the bigger Show there's no Zigbee hub built in, so you can't connect smart home devices directly.

Read more in our Amazon Echo Show 5 review.

The best speakers with Alexa built-in

Amazon Echo Plus

Buy now: Amazon | $149.99

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 through a hub.

But now you get Dolby speakers, a temperature sensor, security sensors, and a fancy new fabric cover, plus some 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.

New speakers incoming...

Amazon recently held its annual devices event, where it announced a bevy of new Alexa speakers set to roll out before the holidays. Rest assured we'll be testing these as soon as we can get our hands on them, but here are the new Echo speakers you need to know about:

Third-party Alexa speakers

You don't need an Echo speaker to get Alexa; there is also an ever-growing list of third-party Alexa speakers.

The best speakers with Alexa built-in

Sonos One

Buy now: Amazon | $199.99

Sonos and Alexa teamed up for the launch of the Sonos One, which adds voice-activated Alexa control into the mix (and the option of Google Assistant if you'd prefer). It's pretty much a fully-fledged Alexa speaker – with just a handful of features such as shopping and Drop In missing. Otherwise, it sounds great, looks good, and is platform agnostic – and that's a potent mix.

Check our full Sonos One review.

The best speakers with Alexa built-in

Sonos Beam

Buy now: Amazon | $399.99

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 favorite 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.

The best Amazon Alexa built-in speakers

Bose Home Speaker 500

Buy now: Amazon | $399.99

Bose has finally made an entrance in smart speakers - and it's landed with a resounding thud. The Home Speaker 500 puts Alexa (and now Google Assistant) 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 is also onboard to help you ping across tunes from your iOS device without having to connect over Bluetooth.

Check out our full Bose Home Speaker 500 review.

The best speakers with Alexa built-in

Triby IO Smart Speaker

Buy now: Amazon | From $169

The Triby IO picks up from where the original Triby left off – with VoIP calls, an E Ink display, and stereo sound – 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.

The best speakers with Alexa built-in

Marshall Stanmore II Voice

Buy now: Amazon | $399

A classic look combined with new-school smarts, the Marshall Stanmore II Voice is an ideal choice for those who want a smart speaker that doesn't actually look like one.

The downside to this look is that it doesn’t make it the most naturally usable smart speaker, which is doubly true when you also take into account its size, but the sound rivals the best in the space. If musical talent is your priority and you’ve got the cash to spend, you won’t find many better options than this Marshall speaker.

Read our complete Marshall Stanmore II Voice review.

The best speakers with Alexa built-in

Libratone Zipp 2

Buy now: Amazon | $299

Thanks to its portability, the Libratone Zipp 2 offers something that no other speaker on this list can. With Alexa, AirPlay 2, and ample sound quality, it's hard to find many faults with this option - unless, of course, you have a fear of zips.

The price is a bit of a drawback, since the sound isn't as strong as other third-party speakers, and it's not quite as portable as the Zipp Mini 2, but this is still one of the top speakers you can buy with Alexa housed inside.

Read our full Libratone Zipp 2 review.

TAGGED    amazon    speakers    buyers guides

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