Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa, has quickly become a household name thanks to the popularity of the Amazon Echo smart speaker.
Having Alexa built into your speaker allows you to play music or control the volume with your voice, along with managing other Amazon Echo accessories such as thermostats, lights and smart plugs.
However, Amazon’s own devices aren’t the only smart speakers to offer the intelligent assistant. Smart speakers from the likes of premium brands such as Bose and Sonos also use Alexa to give you these capabilities.
In this guide, we take a look at the best Alexa speakers and compare their design, price, sound quality and specs to help you decide which one you should buy.
For the best price possible, take a look at our pick of the best Amazon Echo deals, along with our round-up of the best smart speakers. And to find out more about Alexa, read our guide to the best Alexa-compatible devices.
Alexa-enabled speakers: which speakers are available?
While the Amazon Echo range may be the most well-known Alexa speakers, they are not the only ones on offer. A variety of audio-specialist brands such as Bose, Sonos, and Bose and Olufsen have all built Alexa into their smart speakers. These include:
- Amazon Echo
- Amazon Echo Dot
- Amazon Echo Spot
- Amazon Echo Studio
- Sonos Move
- Bose Home Speaker 500
- Bang and Olufsen Beosound A1
Best Alexa speakers to buy in 2021
Here is our pick of the best Alexa speakers including some Amazon Echo alternatives from premium brands Sonos, Bose, and Bang and Olufsen.
Now in its fourth generation, the Amazon Echo was the retailer’s first smart speaker. This latest iteration was released in October 2020 with a new spherical design. A new addition to this generation is a built-in smart hub so that you can have better control over your other smart home devices.
Amazon Echo Dot
The Echo Dot is Amazon’s cheapest smart speaker. The compact speaker is designed to give news, weather and traffic updates, answer questions and fulfil requests to play music and make calls. It is best suited to those who don’t want to spend too much or just want to dip their toes in smart home technology for the first time. Read the full Amazon Echo Dot review.
Amazon Echo Spot
If you’re the type of person that needs eight alarms to get up on time in the morning, the Echo Spot might be the Alexa device for you. At £119.99, it is a little more pricey than the standard Amazon Echo, but it does feature a screen that allows you to make video calls, display weather forecasts and show video from baby monitors or security cameras.
And, if you like the idea of seeing your notifications and updates, Amazon also sells bigger smart displays fitted with HD screens. To find out more, reading our Amazon Echo Show 8 review is a good place to start.
Amazon Echo Studio
The Echo Studio is designed to provide a more elevated music experience than that on the Amazon Echo or Echo Dot. Features include five speakers, Dolby Atmos technology and acoustics that will automatically adapt to the room the speaker is placed in. However, Alexa is still built-in so you can control the music with voice commands, as well as other smart home devices.
Bose Home Speaker 500
If you intend to use the smart speaker to listen to a lot of music, you may prefer to invest in a speaker made by a specialist brand like Bose. An eight-microphone array will make sure any voice commands are heard over the music no matter its volume.
This smart speaker has both Alexa and Google Assistant built-in, giving you a choice on which voice assistant you prefer. Designed to be portable, Sonos Move is weatherproof, drop-resistant and battery-powered for indoor and outdoor use. For something smaller, try the brand’s new Sonos Roam smart speaker.
Bang and Olufsen Beosound A1
The Bang and Olufsen Beosound A1 is a wireless, lightweight speaker with far-field microphone technology so that Alexa can be activated from up to five metres away. It has an IP67 rating proving it can stand being dropped into water up to a metre deep for up to half an hour and is safe from sand and dirt so that if you accidentally take it for a dip in the sea it should come out unscathed.