Alexa is one of the most popular voice-controlled assistants that can help you synchronize your smart home. But you don’t have to buy an Amazon Echo to get Alexa. There are lots of smart speakers on the market that either connect to Alexa or come with Alexa built-in.
All of the smart speakers on this list can control your smart home devices, make phone calls, and perform all the other tasks that Alexa can do.
Whether you’re looking for a smart speaker for your home entertainment system or one that you can carry to the beach, here are the best for you to choose from:
Best Smart Soundbar
- Sonos Beam ($400)
It’s a compact soundbar specially made to work with your TV. It can be used in conjunction with other speakers as well. You can join two other Sonos speakers, wirelessly. This connectivity makes it perfect for living rooms. The Sonos Beam can also connect with your Fire TV, so you can watch your favorite shows with the sound of your voice.
Speaking of voices, Sonos claims that their speaker was tuned by Oscar-winning sound engineers to clarify dialogue. The Beam comes with a Speech Enhancement feature on their app that boosts dialogue when characters are whispering.
Sonos released the Beam in June 2018.
Best Outdoor Smart Speaker
- Riva Concert ($200)
The Riva Concert looks like a Sonos One at first glance, but it functions better in open spaces. You can also pair this device with multiple Riva speakers.
You can make the Riva Concert portable with an optional battery pack for $50. That gives you 15 hours of battery life, so you can take it out all day. It is also splash resistant, so you can take it to the beach without worrying. This smart speaker also comes with Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, so you can play music from your smartphone or your computer.
Riva Audio released the Riva Concert in November 2018.
Best Smart Speakers for Audiophiles
- Marshall Stanmore II Voice ($400)
If you want a smart speaker that sounds good, you should probably look for a company that specialized in audio before smart speakers were even around. Marshall began by making amplifiers in 1962. Since then, their audio equipment has been used on stage by musicians like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Slash.
With their new smart speaker, you can have concert-quality sound in your house. This device doesn’t only look like it belongs backstage, it sounds like it too. The top of the device features controls for volume, treble, and bass. It also has far-field voice recognition, so you can tell Alexa to turn it up, even when you’re across the room.
Marshall released the Stanmore II Voice in December 2018.
- Sonos One – $200
If you want a smart speaker that sounds good for half the price of the Marshall, the Sonos One is an excellent choice. It has excellent audio and a compact design. It’s very convenient because it’s compatible with almost any environment that you prefer.
This Alexa-enabled smart speaker is suitable for those who want to have a home theater setup because it can connect to Sonos’ larger speakers as well as its TV soundbar. Or, you can pair it to another Sonos One and set them as right and left speakers for stereo sound.
Sonos released the Sonos One in October 2017.
If you’re looking for high-quality audio on a tight budget, the latest Echo Dot might be the best choice for you. Amazon listened to their customer reviews and made a big change with the new Echo Dot, especially when it comes to their speaker. This version has a much larger speaker that produces much better sounds, with stronger bass and better overall sound.
Amazon released the 3rd Generation Amazon Echo Dot in October 2018.
Best Portable Smart Speakers
- UE Megablast ($160)
If you want a portable speaker with Alexa capability, this is the choice for you. It’s consistently rated as one of the best portable speakers on the market. It produces excellent sounds and offers plenty of bass response. This little device provides a hefty 12 hours of battery life, and it’s also water-resistant, so you can bring it anywhere.
Ultimate Ears released UE Megablast in October 2017.
Best Cheap Smart Speakers
- Eufy Genie ($35)
If you’re looking for an Alexa speaker that fits your budget, then this might be the speaker for you. It has a built-in aux port, so you can connect it to your favorite speakers.
Eufy released the Genie in August 2017, as their version of Echo Dot.
Best Speaker for Bedroom
- iHome iAVS16 Bedside Speaker ($150)
The iHome iAVS16 Bedside Speaker offers plenty of features that are perfect for the morning and evening. It provides a weather report,
. It is a very stylish speaker that has a USB port on the back so that you can charge your phone and another device at night. There is also a series of buttons on top of it. One of those buttons can activate Alexa.
iHome released the iAVS16 Bedside Speaker in September 2017.
- Amazon Echo Spot ($130)
The Echo Spot looks like a cute desk clock, but it’s actually a powerful Alexa-powered speaker. It supports all the Alexa features that you would get with a larger model. It also has a 3.5mm output, so you could hook it up to louder and better speakers. If you love to wake up to a song, this is the perfect bed-side smart speaker for you.
Amazon released Amazon Echo Spot in September 2017.
Best Smart Speaker With a Display
- Echo Show (2nd Generation) ($230)
The Echo Show has a screen that lets you see what music you’re playing. You can also view the lyrics and start a little karaoke session with your friends. It has access to Amazon Prime videos and Alexa’s daily news briefing. Plus, you can make video and voice calls or connect to another Echo Show.
Amazon released the 2nd Generation Amazon Echo Show in September 2018.
Best Way to Make Any Speaker Smarter
- Amazon Echo Input ($35)
This smart device might look like a coaster, but it can turn your old speakers into smart ones. Simply connect your speaker to the Echo Input via the 3.5 mm audio cable or with Bluetooth, and you can now give Alexa commands to your speaker. This is a perfect option for anyone who already has a stereo system set up, but wants to add a smart assistant into the mix.
The Echo Input also has a smart feature that will turn off your speakers after they have gone unused for a period of time.
Amazon released the Amazon Echo Input in December 2018.
With all of the smart speakers on this list, you can control your smart home devices, make hands-free phone calls, and everything else that an Amazon Echo can do. But, unlike an Amazon Echo, these speakers offer better sound quality.
If you want to know all the cool things you can do with Alexa, check out our previous blog.