Ever since the first Echo speaker arrived in 2014, Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant has been a major player in the smart home space. As a result, many of the best Alexa speakers are also some of the best smart speakers, period.
What makes these speakers so great is not only the fact that they have excellent voice recognition and are easy to use, but they’re all extremely capable. Whether you’re using the flagship Amazon Echo, the entry-level Echo Flex or the top-shelf Echo Studio, these speakers can all tap into the ecosystem of skills (which are essentially voice-controlled apps) that enhance any Alexa speaker. There are thousands of these and you can use them to play games, help you cook food, control your smart home and more.
But on top of that, Amazon has also put a lot of work into making many of these speakers great for music as well. Of course, a $50 Echo Dot will never replace an audiophile system, but compared to similarly-priced speakers, the best Alexa speakers all sound excellent.
So without further ado, here is our list of the best Alexa speakers you can buy in 2021. If you like the convenience of an Alexa-enabled smart speaker but don’t want to buy anything Amazon-branded, we also rounded up some of the best Alexa speakers not made by Amazon at the bottom.
1. Amazon Echo
BEST ALEXA DEVICE OVERALL
If you want the Alexa speaker that offers the most bang for the buck, the Amazon Echo can do it all. Like the best Alexa speakers, the flagship Echo is voice-controlled, which means that you can manage your smart home devices and accessories that are connected via WiFi. And to make Alexa faster and easier to interact with, Amazon has also added a new AI-powered CPU.
This speaker also has a Zigbee hub built-in, which means that your existing smart home devices that don’t connect via WiFi don’t need additional hardware to link up with Alexa. But don’t forget this is also a speaker, and the Echo doesn’t disappoint on that front: the 4th-generation Echo is the best sounding one yet, and you can even pair it with a second Echo speaker for stereo sound.
2. Amazon Echo Dot
Thanks to its extremely accessible price point, Echo Dot is always one of Amazon’s top-selling smart speakers and, when you look at what this little thing can do, it’s easy to see why it’s one of the best Alexa speakers. Where the bigger Amazon Echo is great in your living room or home office, the fourth-generation Amazon Echo Dot thrives in your kitchen, entryway, or bedroom. While the Echo Dot doesn’t have a Zigbee hub, you can still control any WiFi-connected smart home devices, and can easily add items to your Whole Foods or Amazon Fresh cart to make grocery shopping a breeze.
And while the Echo Dot doesn’t pack quite the same audio punch as the bigger Echo, the redesigned drivers still offer a great sound for the speaker’s size. Also, if you want to save a few bucks and don’t mind a tiny bit of risk, you can also buy this smart speaker refurbished through Amazon Renewed for a solid speaker at an even more affordable price.
3. Amazon Echo Show 10
BEST ALEXA SMART HUB
If you want to combine all the benefits of the best Alexa speakers with visual feedback, the Amazon Echo Show 10 is the latest and greatest Amazon device to hit the market. This smart hub has a 10-inch display that keeps you updated on your calendar, weather, messages from family members and more. But even more useful is the fact that it has a webcam that you can use for video calls, and this speaker sits on a base that will swivel and follow you as you move around the room you’re in.
4. Amazon Echo Show 8
If you really want to put Alexa to work in your home, the Echo Show 8 adds a display into the mix to enhance Alexa’s abilities. This smart hub boasts an 8-inch screen, which can deliver calendar and transit reminders, play video and let you video chat. Like other Echo devices, you can control the Echo Show 8 the same way you would with any of the best Alexa speakers: with your voice. But the screen is what really sets the Echo Show 8 apart, and it’s especially useful for showing you security camera footage and a real-time picture of what your smart doorbell is seeing.
5. Amazon Echo Flex
BEST BUDGET ALEXA
Sometimes you need an Alexa speaker to orchestrate all those smart home devices you own with voice commands, but you don’t need all the bells and whistles of full-fledged Echo. That’s where the Echo Flex comes in. This budget-friendly Alexa speaker plugs into any outlet and can keep you updated with your most important updates and get messages to other members of your household through your series of Echo speakers. In addition, it features a USB outlet where you can connect night lights, motion sensors or charge your phone or tablet.
6. Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen)
ALSO CONSIDER BUDGET
If you’re looking for a decent Alexa speaker on the cheap, the third-generation Echo Dot will get the job done just fine. The speaker isn’t great, but it’s still an upgrade to the Echo Flex.
7. Amazon Echo Dot with Clock
BEST ALEXA SPEAKER FOR BEDROOMS
If audio quality isn’t a huge priority and you don’t have a bunch of smart home devices around your house, then the Echo Dot with Clock is the best Alexa Accessory you can place in your bedroom for one very obvious reason: it keeps time. This Echo Dot with Clock does everything the standard Echo Dot can do, like lock the doors, set alarms and check your agenda for the next day. But the simple LED display can let you figure out what time it is in the morning without it yelling at you and waking everyone up.
8. Amazon Echo Studio
BEST FOR MUSIC LOVERS
The Echo Studio is the most technologically advanced Alexa speaker. Inside this bulky digital assistant are five individual speakers boasting Dolby Atmos technology. As a result, it delivers powerful bass, dynamic midrange sounds and crisp high notes. And the nicest part of the Echo Studio is the fact that it can sense the acoustics of whatever room its in and adjust its EQ for peak performance. But while the Echo Studio has all the same capabilities that the best Alexa speakers have, the size and price of this speaker mean its squarely targeted at audio enthusiasts who listen to a lot of music.
9. Amazon Echo Sub
FOR THE BASS LOVERS
While the Echo Studio provides a pretty full sound, some music just isn’t the same without that deep, thumping bass. The Echo Sub needs another Echo device to work — it works with Echo (2nd Gen) devices and up — but if you already have one, this subwoofer is a relatively cheap upgrade for a strong bass sound.
The Best Non-Amazon Alexa Speakers
1. Sonos One
For the best Alexa speakers not made by Amazon, we love the Sonos One smart speaker. You get a rich sound with clear highs and lows, WiFi and Ethernet connectivity and both Alexa and Google Assistant baked into the device for easy voice control. You can pair two Sonos Ones for a full stereo sound and even go one step farther and pair those with other Sonos products like the Sonos Beam smartbar.
2. Bose Home Speaker 500
The Bose Home Speaker 500 delivers the great Bose sound you know and love with the convenience of Alexa. It connects to your home WiFi network for easy streaming from Spotify Connect or Apple AirPlay2 and can also play music through Bluetooth.
3. Bose Portable Smart Speaker
BEST OUTDOOR ALEXA SPEAKER
The Bose Portable Smart Speaker may not be made by Amazon, but it’s one of the few WiFi Alexa speakers you can take outside. It’s also one of the best sounding thanks to Bose’s patented audio engineering. With 12 hours of battery life and IPX4 splash resistance, this speaker is equipped for any backyard function. And when you’re not within WiFi range, this speaker also has Bluetooth so you can keep the party going wherever you may be.
Read More: Best Portable Speakers
4. Sonos Move
ALSO CONSIDER OUTDOOR
Enjoy surprisingly great sound on the go with the Sonos Move. You get up to 11 hours of battery life, great drop survivability and IP56 weather resistance, which means it can keep out most dust and particles as well as heavy rain and snow. Plus, the sound is surprisingly rich for a portable speaker and Trueplay tuning adjusts the sound for your location and kind of music being played. Stream over WiFi when at home or through Bluetooth when out and about.
5. Yamaha Audio YAS-209BL Sound Bar
BEST SMART SOUNDBAR
No home entertainment system is complete without a great soundbar. If it has Alexa built in like the Yamaha Audio YAS-209BL Sound Bar, all the better. Play music, set alarms and timers, get great sound from your TV and control other devices with this WiFi- and Bluetooth-capable smart soundbar.
Read More: Best Wireless Soundbars
6. Marshall Uxbridge Home Voice Speaker
Get all the convenience of Alexa with the great, retro-inspired design of the Marshall Uxbridge Home Voice Speaker. Connect with WiFi, Airplay 2, Spotify Connect or Bluetooth for surprisingly great sound in a small package that will stand out in any space in a good way. This smart speaker also allows you to customize the sound to your liking through the rocker buttons on the top of the speaker. Up the bass or lower the treble for the perfect sound for you.
7. Denon Home 250 Wireless Speaker
GREAT ALEXA-COMPATIBLE SPEAKER
Some smart speakers, like the Denon Home 250 Wireless Speaker, don’t build Alexa in but instead make the speaker compatible with Alexa. That means you’ll be able to connect another Echo device to this speaker to control it instead of being able to control it directly. If you already own an Echo speaker, the Denon could be a great option not only for its Alexa compatibility but for its high fidelity sound in one speaker.