The best speakers with Alexa: Sound quality, portability and more

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 the best Alexa smart speaker, you have plenty to choose from. Third party Alexa speakers have often filled in the gaps not catered by Amazon's speakers, but there's now more official Amazon Echos than ever before, at great prices boasting excellent music quality and smart home tech.

The standard Amazon Echo, which has just been updated for 2020 in a new spherical form factor, is a great smarty speaker with a bunch of bonus smart home features, but there are also now multiple sized of the display-touting Echo Show.

Essential reading: The best smart speakers

The most popular Amazon Echo smart speaker is the Echo Dot, thanks to its insanely low price and this line has also been refreshed for 2020 in a new ball-esque shape.

A lot of third parties focussed on sound quality, which was a major flaw in the Echo line-up. But Amazon fixed that with the Echo Studio, which offers Sonos-esque sound quality at a very reasonable price. Pair two together and it's seriously good – and you'll still save money over single high-end speakers.


Best Amazon Echo speakers

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

amazon echo 4th generation

Amazon Echo (4th-gen)

Buy now: Amazon | $99.99

The latest Amazon Echo - 4th generation, if you're keeping count - was announced in September 2020 and looks a heck of a lot different to previous models.

The all new spherical Alexa smart speaker has a 3.0-inch woofer, dual-firing tweeters, Dolby stereo sound capabilities and can adapt its audio output to its surroundings.

With the AZ1 on board, Alexa is about to get a lot smarter. There will be a new, all-neural, speech recognition model that will process speech faster, making Alexa even more responsive.

Smart speaker showdown: Echo 4th-gen v Nest Audio

You can say, "Alexa, join our conversation" and you'll then be able to ditch the wake word and the voice assistants will be able to handle multiple participants in these more natural conversations.

As well as the usual Echo skills and smart home controls, the 4th-gen Echo also, like the Plus model (and some Show models), is able to act as a smart home hub, with Zigbee and Bluetooth Low Energy on board.

Check out our full Echo 4th-gen review.

new echo dot 4th-gen ball

Amazon Echo Dot (4th-gen)

Buy now: Amazon | $49.99

While the design of the new Echo Dot 2020 model features a 1.6-inch, front-firing speaker, which should help boost the slightly tinny Echo Dot sound we all know and love, all the other physical features stay the same.

There's also a new 2nd-gen Echo Dot with clock ($59.99) and the Echo Dot Kids Edition is also $59.99 and comes in the two animal faces.

Read our Amazon Echo Dot 2020 review.

Amazon Echo Dot

Amazon Echo Dot (3rd-gen)

Buy now: Amazon | $39.99

The 3rd-gen Dot is one of the cheapest tickets to the Alexa party.

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.

New echo show 10

Amazon Echo Show 10

Buy now: Amazon | $229.99

Amazon Alexa's flagship smart display got a big upgrade at Amazon's annual Devices and Services event in September 2020. The new Echo Show 10 not only boasts an improved HD display and a better speaker - featuring dual, front-firing tweeters and a powerful woofer - but it's also got some moves.

The Show 10 can pan, tilt, and zoom, keeping you in frame wherever you are in the room thanks to a silent brushless motor and a AZ1 neural processor that can recognize the form of a human body.

This means it will physically pan and digitally zoom to keep you in the frame of the camera while on a video call, or keep the screen in your vision if you're following a recipe while moving around the kitchen.

Hardware features include a 13 megapixel camera, the motorized automatic swivel and a manual tilt function, as well as radios for Zigbee, Bluetooth LE, and Amazon’s new Sidewalk network, making it a pretty comprehensive smart home hub.

Echo Show

Amazon Echo Show

Buy now: Amazon | $229.99

The original Echo Show was never a looker, so thankfully it got a design update in late 2019. 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.

Echo Show 5

Amazon Echo Show 5

Buy now: Amazon | $89.99

The Echo Show 5 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.

Audio is much deeper and louder than a Dot or a Spot – although someway short of room-filling sound. Unlike the bigger Show devices 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.

Amazon Echo Studio

Amazon Echo Studio

Buy now: Amazon | $199

The Studio is an impressive attempt to woo audiophiles, with a price tag that makes the Studio a serious threat to Sonos, the HomePod and other rivals.

While the sound quality isn't quite audiophile level, it's big and expansive – and sounds especially great when combined with Amazon Music's new UHD music subscription tier.

Amazon isn't only matching its high-end music rivals, but punching above some of them. Throw in that Zigbee radio and Alexa, and you've got the most impressive Echo speaker yet.

Check our full Echo Studio review.


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.

Sonos One

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.

Sonos Beam

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.

great marshall voice speaker with alexa

Marshall Uxbridge Voice

Buy Now: marshallheadphones.com | $199

A decent budget option, the latest (and smallest) Marshall smart speaker went live in 2020, with a Sonos One rivalling price-tag.

Designed to resemble the company's iconic amps, the Marshall Uxbridge Voice doesn't have the trademark vinyl covering of its more costlier siblings; instead it's a smooth finish alongside that all-familiar salt and pepper fret, with the Marshall logo front and centre.

Up top there are three rockers for physically customising the sound - volume, bass and treble and you can also tweak further using the useful, if somewhat basic, Marshall Voice app.

Once you've got it all synced up there's a wealth of wireless streaming options for you to make use of. The speaker itself is Bluetooth, as mentioned (4.2 if you're wondering) and is both Apple AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect compatible.

Read our complete Marshall Uxbridge Voice review.

Bose Home Speaker 500

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.

Marshall Stanmore II

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.

Libratone Zipp II

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.

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