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- Sonos/Business Insider
- There are plenty of Alexa-based speakers out there, and that list is only growing, but they’re not all created equal, so we did the research to find the best Alexa speakers on the market.
- We think the Sonos One offers the best cross-section of Alexa intelligence and excellent sound quality.
The Amazon Echo was a ground-breaking speaker. It was the first to introduce the world to the concept of a smart speaker, and although many were a little confused about the point of a smart speaker when the Echo first came out, the idea quickly caught on and created a whole new category.
Although the Amazon Echo is a very smart speaker, the fact is that it’s not always the best choice for those who want a smart speaker with excellent sound quality – even though it has improved markedly in the past few years.
Luckily, Amazon has partnered with dozens of companies over the past few years to put Alexa in third-party speakers. These days, there is a ton of choice when it comes to buying speakers with Amazon’s digital assistant built right in.
There are, of course, a number of things to keep in mind when buying a new smart speaker. For starters, you’ll want to consider the form-factor that you’re looking for. There are plenty of standard-sized smart speakers designed for desktop use, but there are also other speaker form-factors with Alexa onboard, like sound bars, for example. You’ll also want to think about whether or not you want a speaker that can be portable, and if you do, you’ll need to look into battery life.
We’ve done the research for you to find the best Alexa speakers you can buy from a variety of top brands. We’ll continue to add more as Alexa makes her way onto other excellent speakers.
Here are the best Alexa speakers you can buy:
- Best Alexa speaker overall: Sonos One
- Best portable Alexa speaker: UE Megablast
- Best stylish Alexa speaker: Cavalier Maverick
- Best Alexa sound bar: Sonos Beam
- Best cheap Alexa speaker: Eufy Genie
- Best Alexa speaker with an alarm clock: iHome iAVS16
Update on 02/13/2019 by Kylie Joyner: Added the Cavalier Maverick based on testing. Updated prices.
Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.
The best Alexa speaker overall
Why you’ll love it: The Sonos One is well-designed, super-smart, and sounds awesome – easily making it the best Alexa-enabled speaker that isn’t an Amazon Echo.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: The Sonos One is the best smart speaker out there today. The device works with Alexa, to be sure, plus it’s getting Google Assistant support before the end of the year, and it works with Apple’s AirPlay 2 for the iPhone users out there. In other words, while you may buy the speaker for its Alexa support, you’ll be getting a ton of other smart features, too.
You can ask Alexa questions, have her play music, set reminders, buy items on Amazon, check your shipments, control your compatible smart home gadgets, and more on the Sonos One.
Smart features aside, the Sonos One is also an excellent-sounding speaker. It boasts plenty of volume without distorting, plus you’ll get plenty of bass response for a speaker this size and price, so if bass is important to you, this is the speaker to get. That doesn’t mean it does away with the high-end response, either. There’s plenty of clarity in the high end, helping things like cymbals shimmer, and vocals cut through a mix.
That doesn’t mean it’s perfect, though. Disadvantages of the speaker include the fact that Sonos has yet to push the Google Assistant update to the speaker, and that the app is a little buggy. The speaker is also a little more expensive than some of the other speakers on this list.
Pros: Great sound quality, tons of smart features, well-designed
Cons: A little expensive, buggy app
The best portable Alexa speaker
- Ultimate Ears
Why you’ll love it: The UE Megablast sounds good and has a nice design, plus it’s one of the only portable speakers with Alexa.
If you’re looking for something a little more portable, then the UE Megablast speaker is the way to go. The speaker has consistently rated among the best portable speakers out there, and the fact that it boasts Alexa support is really the icing on the cake.
You can ask Alexa questions, have her play music, set reminders, buy items on Amazon, check your shipments, control your compatible smart home gadgets, and more on the UE Megablast.
There are a few things that make this such a great speaker. For starters, it’s got a nice design and comes in a range of different colors. On top of that, however, the speaker also sounds great, offering plenty of bass response and a nice, cutting sound to seriously deliver the music no matter where you are.
There’s also the fact that the speaker is well-built for portable use. For example, it offers a hefty 12 hours of battery life, plus it’s nice and water-resistant with a rating of IP67. That makes it great for taking to the beach without having to worry about it getting too wet.
There, of course, a few downsides to the speaker. For starters, while the Alexa integration is pretty good, it doesn’t work all that well when you’re not connected to Wi-Fi, and its Wi-Fi connection isn’t always the best. Still, despite the downsides, it’s gotten some pretty sweet reviews. Pocket-Lint and PCMag both scored it 4/5, which is pretty impressive.
Pros: Good battery life, nice sound quality, relatively durable
Cons: Some Wi-Fi issues, Alexa doesn’t work all that well when not on Wi-Fi
The best stylish Alexa speaker
Why you’ll love it: The Cavalier Maverick is a portable speaker with Alexa onboard, plus, it has a super stylish exterior, its own charging base, and a carrying case.
Whether you’re looking for an Alexa-enabled speaker to use at home or one that can travel, the Cavalier Maverick delivers on both fronts – and unlike most speakers, this is one that you’ll want to show off, thanks to its visually appealing design.
Its hipster vibe is just present enough that you may be convinced to do away with your record player to save a little space, but subtle enough to go with any room’s style if hipster isn’t your thing. It comes in two different color schemes: black and silver, and indigo and tan, which allows it to mesh well with any space.
I was able to test the Maverick for myself and immediately appreciated the craftsmanship. Genuine wood, distressed leather, metal, and custom knit fabric come together to form a speaker that lives up to the promise of “looking as good as it sounds.”
Once I downloaded the Cavalier app, I had the Maverick set up and connected to our Wi-Fi in less than 10 minutes. If you want to take advantage of the Alexa-enabled voice control feature, you’ll also need to download the Amazon Alexa app. Both apps are nicely laid out and easy to use.
The Maverick can easily be controlled via the Cavalier app, voice commands issued to Alexa, or with the smart button located on top of the speaker.
My favorite way to control the speaker was with Alexa, and as an Amazon Prime user, I could play songs right from my library. It’s also compatible with Pandora, Spotify, and iHeart Radio, in case you don’t use Prime Music. Thanks to the Spotify Connect integration, you can also control your music directly through the Spotify app if you so choose.
The Alexa-enabled voice control also came in handy when I wanted to know what the weather was, wanted to set a reminder, or wanted the latest news updates. This speaker is a great alternative to the Amazon Echo if you’re looking for something a little more stylish and that can travel with you throughout your home.
I was equally as impressed with the sound quality as I was with the design aesthetics. The sound is crisp and clear and easily filled our large living room. If you’re a fan of bass heavy music, you may find the bass a little lacking, but I personally had no issues with the sound. If you’re looking for an even more robust or whole-home sound experience, multiple Maverick speakers can be linked together, but the single speaker served our needs just fine.
As a Bluetooth speaker, the Maverick is also built to travel and comes with a sturdy carrying case for protection when you’re on the go. The battery life is decent, with up to nine hours of playing time.
The Maverick is definitely on the expensive side, but in my opinion, extras like the charging base, the carrying case, and the Alexa integration make this a worthwhile investment if you’re looking for a speaker that’s both extremely functional and pleasing to look at.
Pros: Aesthetically pleasing design, crafted with high-quality materials, clear and crisp sound quality, portable, features Alexa integration with voice control, comes with charging base and carrying case
Cons: Expensive, bass is lacking a bit
The best Alexa sound bar
Why you’ll love it: The Sonos Beam boasts that awesome Sonos sound, an excellent design, and Alexa support.
If you want Alexa in the living room, you don’t necessarily have to be limited to an Echo-sized device. Instead, you could go for a sound bar, like the Sonos Beam, which offers Alexa support, excellent speakers, and more.
There are plenty of things that make the Sonos Beam a great buy. For starters, like the Sonos One, it supports Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s AirPlay 2, and is getting Google Assistant support later in the year. On top of that, it boasts that awesome Sonos sound-quality. There’s plenty of low-end and tons of clarity in the high-end, making for a nice, crisp sound.
Of course, nothing’s perfect, and there are some downsides to the device. For starters, the Sonos Beam is pretty pricey, coming in at $399 for the sound bar alone, or more if you want rear speakers or a subwoofer, too. Despite that, however, the device has been getting excellent reviews. TechRadar scored it a massive 4.5, while WhatHiFi stepped things up to a whopping 5/5.
Pros: Excellent sound-quality, nicely, designed, very smart
The best budget Alexa speaker
Why you’ll love it: The Eufy Genie may not offer the best sound quality, but it still has all the smart features you’d expect from Alexa at a very affordable price.
Perhaps you’re simply looking to get the smarts of Alexa in your home but don’t care all that much about great sound quality because you have other speakers you listen to music on. If that’s the case, then the speaker to go for is the Eufy Genie.
In fact, even if you are an audiophile the Eufy Genie might be the way to go. That’s because of the fact that it has an aux port built right into it, so you can connect it your favorite great-sounding speakers to get a smart setup that also sounds amazing. Apart from that, you’ll enjoy all the benefits Alexa has to offer, including smart home control, music playing, and so on.
So what are the downsides to the device? Well, if you do use it as a standalone device, don’t expect it to sound great. On top of that, while it seems as though Eufy’s customer service seems to be pretty good, and many Amazon reviewers have been offered replacement devices, there may be some quality control issues.
Despite the issues, considering the fact that the Eufy Genie is so inexpensive, it’s well worth the cost for those want the intelligence Alexa has to offer.
Pros: Very inexpensive, all the perks Alexa has to offer, aux port for better speakers
Cons: Sound quality isn’t great, may be some quality control issues
The best Alexa speaker for your bedroom
Why you’ll love it: The iHome iAVS16 may not sound as great as the more expensive options, but it offers plenty of features for charging your device and showing the time at night.
While most of these speakers could work perfectly fine in your bedroom, if you want something to truly be helpful in the early morning and late evening, then the iHome iAVS16 is the device to buy. Not only does the speaker offer Alexa support, but it also has a digital clock, weather information, and more.
There are plenty of things that make this speaker worth buying. For example, it’s a pretty well-designed and stylish speaker, and it has a USB port on the back for charging your phone or another device at night. There’s also a series of buttons on the top of the speaker, including one that can activate Alexa.
Apart from the Alexa support, the speaker doesn’t sound bad, just don’t expect it to really compare to the Sonos speakers. On top of that, there seem to be a few bugs and glitches, according to some Amazon reviews.
Pros: Versatile, USB port for charging, inexpensive
Cons: A little buggy, sound-quality doesn’t compare to more expensive options