Amazon first introduced Alexa to us through its original Echo smart speaker in late 2014. To this day, if you're looking for the best Alexa speaker, you're probably going to look first at the company's Echo line of smart speakers. In fact, Amazon recently announced updates to its entire Echo product line, and we will be covering and reviewing each of these new speakers shortly. There are also many great Alexa-enabled speakers are made by other companies such as Bose, Sonos, and Ultimate Ears that you may wish to consider. This guide will help you make the best purchase decision as you consider what the best Alexa speaker for your household is.

Best Alexa Speaker from Amazon

  1. Amazon Echo (3rd Gen) — _Best Overall Alexa Speaker: The third iteration of the original Echo has a fuller sound signature and updated styling at an affordable price point.
  2. Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen)Best Value Alexa Speaker: The best bang-for-your-buck Echo.
  3. Amazon Echo Show 8Best Smart Screen Alexa Speaker: an eight-inch touchscreen with physical privacy controls to help you manage your smart home.
  4. Amazon Echo StudioBest Sounding Alexa Speaker: Big, dynamic, room-filling sound.
  5. Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition (3rd Gen) — _Best Alexa Speaker for Kids: Fun colors, Amazon Kids+ content, and parental controls make this an excellent purchase for your kiddos.
  6. Amazon Echo FlexBest Alexa Speaker for Transitional Spaces: Plug this utilitarian smart speaker into any wall outlet to enjoy Alexa in places regular Echo speakers can't go.

Best Third-Party Alexa Speaker

  1. Sonos One (Gen 2)Best Third-Party Alexa Speaker: The Sonos One supports multiple voice assistants, sounds great, and works seamlessly with the Sonos ecosystem of products.
  2. Sonos MoveBest Sounding Portable Third-Party Alexa Speaker: Take this smart speaker anywhere without worrying about the elements.
  3. Ultimate Ears BLASTBest Weatherproof Third-Party Alexa Speaker: With IP67 water and dust-resistance rating, 12 hours of battery life, and the ability to pair with up to 8 other BLAST speakers, this is the Alexa speaker to get for your next BBQ.
  4. Sonos Beam Sound BarBest Third-Party Soundbar with an Alexa Speaker: This is a fantastic three-in-one product that functions as a TV soundbar, a Fire TV device, and an Alexa speaker.
  5. Bose Home Speaker 500Best Third-Party Alexa Speaker with a Mini Screen: Not only will this speaker provide you with impressive sound, but it has a small display for things like album artwork.
  6. Facebook Portal MiniBest Third-Party Smart Screen Alexa Speaker: Easily video chat with your loved ones and Facebook friends through Portal, and control the device with your voice through Alexa.

Amazon Echo familySource: Android Central

What is the best Alexa speaker you can buy today?

Amazon itself produces the majority of Alexa speakers in the form of the Echo line of smart speakers and smart screen devices like the Echo Show. However, there are several impressive third-party options that you may wish to consider (some of which are compatible with more than one smart voice assistant).

Our top pick is the Amazon Echo (3rd Gen). The standard-bearer for the Echo line, the 3rd Gen was retooled with an enhanced sound profile and restyled with a softer look to become the goldilocks of Echo smart speakers. It also happens to be just the right size to fill most rooms with great sound, without standing out too much or looking like just another piece of techno-junk. There is a new fourth-generation Echo coming soon, and once we have the opportunity to review it we will update this list and our top pick(s) accordingly.

Amazon also has a popular line of smart screen Alexa speakers known as the Echo Show devices. Out of these, our favorite is the middle-child Echo Show 8. It has the benefits of a reasonably large screen, loud speakers, and built-in privacy controls not found on the larger Echo Show (2nd Gen).

As for the best third-party Alexa speaker, our favorite right now is the Sonos One (Gen 2). The size and form factor is close to what you'd get in an Amazon Echo (3rd Gen) with a more traditional speaker look. The sound quality surpasses that of most of the Echo speakers, and it can also work with other smart voice assistants.

Without further adieu, here is our detailed list of the best Alexa speakers that you can buy.


Best Alexa Speaker from Amazon

Best Third-Party Alexa Speaker

Best Alexa Speaker from Amazon

Amazon Echo 3rd GenSource: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central

1. Amazon Echo (3rd Gen) Best Overall Alexa Speaker

Bottom line: The third generation of this smart speaker does a great job carrying the banner of its original Echo namesake. This version offers much better sound quality than the more ubiquitous Echo Dot, at a price less than half that of the Echo Studio, or even the Sonos One. It also has a soft, inviting design available in multiple colors. Note: prices and options below are for the all-new Echo (4th Gen), as the Echo (3rd Gen) is no longer available for purchase as new.

Dimensions: 5.8 x 3.9 x 3.9 inches | Weight: 27.5 oz | Speakers: .8-inch tweeter and 3-inch woofer | Portable: 🚫 | Weather-Resistance: 🚫 | Privacy Features: Physical mute button with red LED indicator light

Color Vendor
Charcoal $100 at Amazon
Glacier White $100 at Amazon
Twilight Blue $100 at Amazon

Pros

  • Improved sound over previous versions
  • Updated and upgraded styling
  • Several fantastic color options
  • Maintains classic UI elements like tactile buttons, light ring, and 3.5 mm audio output

Cons

  • No built-in Zigbee smart hub like Echo Plus or Echo Studio
  • No display

The Amazon Echo is the speaker that started it all. This is the third iteration of Amazon's classic smart speaker, and generation three is by far the best we've seen.

The company borrowed heavily from its Echo Plus (2nd Gen), taking just about everything over to the flagship Echo except the Plus's Zigbee smart hub. Amazon might argue that the Zigbee hub is not necessary any longer, what with its Certifed for Humans initiative to make setting up smart home products a breeze with Alexa speakers.

Amazon seriously upgraded the sound quality for this model, with the Echo delivering 360-degree audio that's powered by Dolby. It's loud, booming, and makes everything from music to podcasts sound outstanding. You can fine-tune the audio with the available EQ settings from the Alexa app, and you can also pair two of these Echo speakers together for stereo sound or connect them to a Fire TV.

We also love the fabric design, responsive microphones for Alexa voice commands, and playback controls on the top of the device. This is a voice-first product, but it's good to know there are still tactile and visual cues to help you control this Alexa speaker.

Best Overall Alexa Speaker: Amazon Echo (3rd Gen)

If you want a great overall Alexa speaker, the Echo (3rd Gen) is compelling. It sounds fantastic and has a pretty solid price to boot.

Note: Amazon recently introduced the Echo (4th Gen), which is now available for pre-order. We will update our top pick and this list when we get our hands on the new speaker.

Amazon Echo (4th Gen)

Amazon's new spherical 4th Gen Echo has a more inviting design, improved speakers, and adds the Echo Plus's Zigbee smart hub and Sidewalk capabilities.


Amazon Echo Dot 3rd GenSource: Android Central

2. Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen) Best Value Alexa Speaker

Bottom line: The Echo Dot (3rd Gen) is Amazon's most popular Alexa speaker due to its affordable price, and the fact that it can do everything that the larger, more expensive Echo speakers can do. The only downside is that the audio quality, while improved, doesn't measure up to the others.

Dimensions: 3.9 x 3.9 x 1.7 inches | Weight: 10.6 oz | Speakers: 1.6-inch speaker | Portable: 🚫 | Weather-Resistance: 🚫 | Privacy Features: Physical mute button with red LED indicator light

Color Vendor
Charcoal $30 at Amazon
Heather Gray $30 at Amazon
Plum $30 at Amazon
Sandstone $30 at Amazon

Pros

  • Most affordable true Echo speaker
  • Multiple color options
  • Most of the benefits of the larger Echo (3rd Gen) in a smaller package
  • Much louder than previous generations

Cons

  • Sound quality isn't all that great
  • No display unless you get the Echo Dot with Clock
  • No longer has a USB port

There is a reason that the Echo Dot is the most popular Alexa speaker, and it's not just about the price. Sure, if you're just starting out with smart speakers and Alexa devices in general, it makes sense to get something relatively inexpensive. However, the reason customers have fallen in love with the Echo Dot is because of how simple it is to use and how useful it is in their lives.

The Echo Dot is insanely affordable, and the 3rd Gen model we have right now is better than ever. Its built-in speaker is louder and more clear than any Echo Dot before it. The new fabric design comes in four great colors (Charcoal, Heather Gray, Sandstone, and Plum), which is much better than the plain black or white that was offered in the hard plastic versions of previous generations.

Ultimately though, what makes this little device such a great value for the price is that it performs all of the same Alexa commands found on the more expensive speakers. You've got the same tactile buttons at the top of the device and the same light ring as on the Echo (3rd Gen) and Echo Studio; the only thing you might be sacrificing is better overall sound.

A pro tip when shopping for Echo Dots is to keep an eye out for bundles. Whether you're buying more than one Echo Dot at once or pairing it with something like the Amazon Smart Plug or Fire TV, you can usually find some sort of promo to save you a bit of coin.

Best Value Alexa Speaker: Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen)

The Echo Dot (3rd Gen) is the best value Alexa speaker that you can buy. It's compact, looks great, and has an excellent price.

Note: Amazon recently introduced the Echo Dot (4th Gen), which is now available for pre-order. We will update this list when we get our hands on the new speaker.

Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen)

Amazon's new Echo Dot is round, has a larger, more powerful speaker than the previous generation, and looks great.


Amazon Echo Show 8 on a tableSource: Andrew Martonik / Android Central

3. Amazon Echo Show 8 Best Smart Screen Alexa Speaker

Bottom line: Amazon was one of the first companies in the smart screen speaker space with the original Echo Show, but the Echo Show 8 is far and away the best version so far. Its screen is large, its speaker loud, and it features physical mute and camera shutters.

Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.4 x 3.9 inches | Weight: 36.6 oz | Speakers: 2 x 2-inch @ 10W per channel | Portable: 🚫 | Weather-Resistance: 🚫 | Privacy Features: Physical camera cover and mute button with red LED indicator light

Color Vendor
Charcoal $105 at Amazon
Sandstone $105 at Amazon

Pros

  • Perfect size for countertop viewing
  • Physical cover/off switch to turn off microphones and camera
  • Similar screen and speaker specs to larger Echo Show (2nd Gen)

Cons

  • Doesn't support Dolby audio
  • If you want to adjust the viewing angle, you'll need to purchase a stand accessory

Sitting in between the 10.1-inch Echo Show (2nd Gen) and 5-inch Show 5 is the 8-inch Echo Show 8 Alexa speaker with a smart screen. This is Amazon's middle-of-the-road smart display, and for some buyers, it just may be the perfect one.

The Echo Show 8 comes equipped with an 8-inch display with a crisp 1280x800 resolution matching that of the 10.1-inch Echo Show (2nd Gen), and besting it with a higher PPI resolution. You get two 2-inch speakers that kick out 10W of power per channel (only slightly smaller than the twin 2.2-inch speakers in the larger Show), along with a 1MP camera for video chats. When you want some added privacy, there's a physical shutter that goes over the camera — as things should be.

For the price, the Show 8 is pretty great. It's larger and sounds better than the Show 5, but is considerably more affordable than the flagship Echo Show. This is a device that won't hog all of your desktop or kitchen counter space but will be a valuable visual/voice assistant.

Amazon recently announced a new addition to the Echo Show lineup in the form of the Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen). Once that device is available, we'll evaluate it against the Echo Show 8 to make our determination for the best smart screen Alexa speaker.

Best Smart Screen Alexa Speaker: Amazon Echo Show 8

We love the Echo Show 8. The display looks great, it sounds pretty good, and the price is perfect. What's not to like?


Amazon Echo StudioSource: Daniel Bader / Android Central

4. Amazon Echo Studio Best Sounding Alexa Speaker

Bottom line: The Echo Studio is Amazon's answer to the audiophile's dream Alexa speaker. It is capable of filling a room with dynamic sound and can be paired with a second Studio or Fire TV for real surround sound. It also comes equipped with a Zigbee hub.

Dimensions: 8.1 x 6.9 inches | Weight: 7.7 lbs | Speakers: 1-inch tweeter, 3 2-inch speakers, and a 5.25-inch woofer | Portable: 🚫 | Weather-Resistance: 🚫 | Privacy Features: Physical mute button with red LED indicator light

Color Vendor
Charcoal $200 at Amazon

Pros

  • Amazing HD-quality audio
  • Dynamic and room-filling sound
  • Built-in Zigbee smart home hub
  • Physical microphone mute switch
  • Can be paired with another Studio or Fire TV for surround sound

Cons

  • Most expensive Amazon Alexa speaker
  • 3D music and Dolby Atmos support may not be to everyone's liking

If you want an Echo speaker that'll make your music sound as good as can be, the Echo Studio fits the bill perfectly. This is Amazon's premier Echo speaker in regards to sound quality, featuring an array of five speakers that kick out impressive bass, midrange, and highs.

Dolby's Atmos technology is included to round out the listening experience, along with a feature that allows the Studio to sense the room it's in and adapt its speakers accordingly for the best experience.

The Echo Studio also has smarts over some of its siblings, thanks to the built-in Zigbee hub that allows supported smart home devices to connect directly to the Studio rather than another hub you need to place somewhere in your home.

Best Sounding Alexa Speaker: Amazon Echo Studio

Amazon's Echo Studio sounds phenomenal. It has five speakers, Dolby Atmos support, and more for incredibly-sounding tunes.


Echo Dot Kids Edition lifestyle 1Source: Ara Wagoner / Android Central

5. Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition (3rd Gen) Best Alexa Speaker for Kids

Bottom line: An Alexa speaker can be a great addition to any kid's room, but before you give your child a smart speaker, you'll want to make sure it's safe and appropriate for them. The Echo Dot Kids Edition comes in fun kid colors with built-in parent controls, as well as age-appropriate content. Note: prices and options below are for the all-new Echo Dot Kids Edition (4th Gen), as the Echo Dot Kids Edition (3rd Gen) is no longer available for purchase as new.

Dimensions: 3.9 x 3.9 x 1.7 inches | Weight: 10.6 oz | Speakers: 1.6-inch speaker | Portable: 🚫 | Weather-Resistance: 🚫 | Privacy Features: Physical mute button with red LED indicator light

Color Vendor
Kids Tiger $60 at Amazon
Kids Panda $60 at Amazon

Pros

  • Fun, kid-friendly colors
  • Two-year worry-free guarantee
  • One-year subscription to Amazon Kids+
  • Strong parental controls

Cons

  • More expensive than regular Echo Dot
  • Amazon Kids+ can be purchased for any Amazon Alexa Speaker
  • Kids may quickly grow out of the need for this speaker

Amazon has an Echo Dot that is made especially for kids, and it was most recently updated to be based on the third-generation Echo Dot with its better-sounding speaker and nicer fabric-based design. Of course, this being for kids, it comes in two colorful new hues, including a rainbow and an Alexa-friendly blue. Plus, each unit comes with one year of Amazon Kids+.

That's the part that justifies its price tag, which is a bit more than the Echo Dot at retail. Amazon Kids+ gives you (and your kid) access to a whole bunch of kid-friendly content, including books, music, audiobooks, podcasts, games, and more.

Plus, parents get access to the Amazon Parent Dashboard, which lets you set how long the kid can use any of this newfangled tech. It'll also block non-kid-friendly content, shut off the Echo Dot at bedtime, and teach your kids to remember to say please and thank-you to not-quite-sentient tech (we have a feeling that'll be more important than we realize).

Best Alexa Speaker for Kids: Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition (3rd Gen)

Need an Echo for your kids? The Echo Dot Kids Edition has a fun design and helpful tools that parents and kids alike will love.

Note: Amazon recently introduced the Echo Dot Kids Edition (4th Gen), which is now available for pre-order. We will update this list when we get our hands on the new speaker.

Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition (4th Gen)

Amazon's new Echo Dot is round, has a larger, more powerful speaker than the previous generation, and just generally looks great.


Echo Flex in garageSource: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central

6. Amazon Echo Flex Best Alexa Speaker for Transitional Spaces

Bottom line: The Echo Flex resembles a smart plug, but is actually an Alexa speaker that you can plug into any standard outlet. This makes it the perfect Echo for those spaces where a traditional smart speaker won't fit in, like a garage, utility room, bathroom, or even a long hallway.

Dimensions: 2.8 x 2.6 x 2.0 inches | Weight: 5.3 oz | Speakers: .6-inch mini speaker | Portable: 🚫 | Weather-Resistance: 🚫 | Privacy Features: Physical mute button with red LED indicator light

Color Vendor
White $25 at Amazon

Pros

  • The cheapest Echo device available
  • Built-in USB-A port to charge other devices
  • Available nightlight, smart clock, motion-sensor, and speaker attachments
  • Can fit into any standard wall outlet

Cons

  • Available attachments cost as much as the device itself
  • The speaker isn't very good
  • It takes up an available outlet without offering smart plug passthrough

Though it may not look like much, the Amazon Echo Flex is low-key one of the most important and useful devices Amazon has produced in the past few years. In Amazon's never-ending quest to make Alexa as ubiquitous as possible, this device does more to further that goal than any other in recent memory.

What do we mean by that? Well, while other Alexa speakers are beloved because they sound great and give you immediate voice access to the smart assistant, they can't be placed everywhere. There are many areas of the home where having hands-free Alexa access is not only welcomed, it's practically required. Imagine handling raw meat in the kitchen, or changing the oil in the garage, or folding laundry in the utility room, or ... you know... in the bathroom. These are all instances where you might want to ask Alexa to do something for you, but you can't or don't want to touch a device.

The other thing that makes this product so important is its price. It retails at $25 but can regularly be found on sale, so you can affordably place these in all the nooks and crannies of your house that you wish.

Finally, the Echo Flex has a built-in USB port on the bottom of the device, which you can use to charge your smartphone or another mobile device. Alternatively, you can purchase one of several third-party, made for Amazon attachments such as a nightlight, smart clock, a motion-sensor, or a better speaker. These make the Echo Flex even more flexible as an Alexa speaker!

Best Alexa Speaker for Transitional Spaces: Amazon Echo Flex

The Amazon Echo Flex is an Alexa speaker that can plug into any standard outlet and is perfect for transitional or workspaces like utility rooms, hallways, bathrooms, or garages.


Best Third-Party Alexa Speakers

Sonos One lifestyleSource: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central

1. Sonos One (Gen 2) Best Third-Party Alexa Speaker

Bottom line: The Sonos One is our favorite third-party Alexa speaker because it looks great, sounds even better, and fits within the well-established and easy-to-use Sonos audio ecosystem. It's also one of the most affordable Sonos smart speakers around.

Dimensions: 4.72 x 4.72 x 6.34 inches | Weight: 4.08 lbs | Speakers: Two Class-D digital amps, one tweeter, one mid-woofer | Portable: 🚫 | Weather-Resistance: 🚫 | Privacy Features: Microphone mute button

Color Vendor
Black $199 at Amazon
White $199 at Amazon

Pros

  • Better sound profile than most Echo devices
  • Works great with Alexa and the Google Assistant
  • Sonos offers more content partnerships and services than you can get with an Echo device alone

Cons

  • Doesn't support Bluetooth audio
  • More than twice as much as a comparable Echo device

Sonos has earned its reputation as the premier smart speaker manufacturer. Over the years, the company has built up an entire ecosystem of products that work seamlessly with each other and make for a satisfying home audio experience.

The Sonos One (Gen 2) might be thought of as the Sonos smart speaker for everyone, because it has a stylish yet subtle profile, and fits in just about anywhere. While you can get most of the functionality and all of the sound in the less expensive Sonos One SL, this is the cheapest Sonos smart speaker that you can control with your voice, including through Alexa or the Google Assistant. It also works via Apple's AirPlay 2 wireless protocol.

Once you connect your Sonos One to your Amazon Alexa account, you can control your smart home, play music or audiobooks, and ask Alexa all manner of trivia, just as you would on an Amazon Echo device. Aside from the sound quality, the main difference here to an Echo is the speaker ecosystem that you buy into. And while there's nothing wrong with an Echo, a whole lot of folks really love their Sonos setups.

Best Third-Party Alexa Speaker: Sonos One (Gen 2)

The Sonos One is great for pairing and putting all around your home. It supports every major music service, as well as Alexa and Google Assistant.


Sonos Move standing up outsideSource: Daniel Bader / Android Central

2. Sonos Move Best Sounding Portable Third-Party Alexa Speaker

Bottom line: If you want to take your music with you and control your speaker via Alexa, you can't find a better balance of sound, battery life, and water resistance than is available from the Sonos Move.

Dimensions: 9.44 x 6.29 x 4.96 inches | Weight: 6.61 lbs | Speakers: Two Class-D digital amps, one tweeter, one mid-woofer | Portable: ✔️ | Weather-Resistance: ✔️ IP56 | Privacy Features: Microphone mute button

Color Vendor
Black $399 at Amazon
White $399 at Amazon

Pros

  • The first truly portable Sonos device
  • Arguably the best sounding portable Alexa speaker
  • Solid 10-hour battery life
  • IP56 water and dust resistance
  • Handles Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Cons

  • Not the best microphone array
  • Pretty heavy and bulk for a portable
  • Comes in your favorite color, as long as it's black
  • Pricey, especially for a portable

Amazon hasn't made a portable Alexa speaker since the Amazon Tap, and that wasn't hands-free (or very good, for that matter). Other manufacturers have made the best Bluetooth speakers with Alexa functionality for years, but we now finally have the one we've been waiting for in the Move from Sonos.

With the Sonos Move, we finally have a Sonos-quality Alexa speaker that is portable, yet also still works with the Sonos ecosystem. It also makes a great home speaker for when you're not on the go, which is more than can be said for some of the other portable Bluetooth Alexa speakers we've seen.

If you're a true audiophile and you need something portable, or if you just really love the Sonos ecosystem, the Move is a must-buy. It's big, it's heavy, and it sounds absolutely amazing. And with a recent update, you now get 11 hours of battery life before needing to dock it again.

Best Sounding Portable Third-Party Alexa Speaker: Sonos Move

The Sonos Move is bigger and better sounding than our top overall pick (the Sonos One), and it's portable and weather-resistant to boot. It just happens to cost nearly twice as much as the One.


Ultimate Ears Blast lifestyleSource: Ultimate Ears

3. Ultimate Ears BLAST Best Weatherproof Third-Party Alexa Speaker

Bottom line: The Ultimate Ears BLAST is the ultimate weatherproof Alexa speaker that you'll want to bring with you to your next BBQ event, beach party, or backyard get-together.

Dimensions: 2.68 x 7.4 x 7.4 inches | Weight: 2.49 lbs | Speakers: Two 35mm active drivers and two 81mm x 39mm passive radiators | Portable: ✔️ | Weather-Resistance: ✔️ IP67 | Privacy Features: Microphone mute button

Color Vendor
Blue $103 at Amazon

Pros

  • IP67 water and dust resistance
  • Lightweight and portable
  • 12-hour battery life
  • Can be paired with up to 8 other Blast or Megablast speakers

Cons

  • Not as rich-sounding as the Sonos Move
  • Voice control can be slow
  • Reported issues with maintaining connections

Ultimate Ears is one of the names at the forefront of portable, durable, and rugged Bluetooth speakers. The BLAST line is one of its most popular because it's affordable, sounds great, and has fantastic battery life.

You can pair your BLAST speaker with up to eight others and keep the party going all day long with its 12-hour battery life. The speaker has a 360-degree sound that comes across loud and clear. Not only can you pair other devices to it via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, but it comes with Alexa built-in so that whenever you're connected to a hotspot, you can request your favorite party playlist from Alexa.

When you bring your BLAST speaker indoors, it charges on a simple base that keeps in in an upright orientation. When settled this way, it makes a great Amazon Echo alternative!

Best Weatherproof Third-Party Alexa Speaker: Ultimate Ears BLAST

If you're going to be outside in the elements all day but still want Alexa access, the Ultimate Ears BLAST is the speaker you want with you.


Sonos BeamSource: Daniel Bader / Android Central

4. Sonos Beam Best Third-Party Soundbar with an Alexa Speaker

Bottom line: Sometimes, the best Alexa speaker option is multifunctional. The Sonos Beam gives you built-in Alexa access and smart home controls in a package built to enhance your TV viewing and listening experience.

Dimensions: 2.70 x 25.625 x 3.94 inches | Weight: 6.2 lbs | Speakers: One tweeter, three passive radiator, five Class-D digital amplifiers | Portable: 🚫 | Weather-Resistance: 🚫 | Privacy Features: Microphone mute button

Color Vendor
Black $399 at Amazon
White $399 at Amazon

Pros

  • Impressive sound for a relatively small device
  • Use Alexa to control your TV
  • Super-easy to set up
  • Enhances your TV viewing experience

Cons

  • Pricey compared to other speaker options
  • Can be a bit sensitive listening for Alexa voice commands

Not everyone who wants an Alexa speaker has the same needs. Some want a small smart speaker that gets out of the way, while others want something with room-filling sound. Some want a grab-and-go speaker they can take with them for hours at a time, while others are more anchored to a particular space. But one thing that most of us desire is better sound from our televisions. Thankfully, soundbars like the Sonos Beam give us this plus Alexa access.

The Sonos Beam has been available for a couple of years now, but we've yet to find another smart soundbar that can do what it does while sounding as great as it does. When connected to your TV, it enhances the sound to amplify the highs, mids, and lows that most built-in TV speakers muddle together.

The Alexa functionality goes beyond just asking the voice assistant trivia or using it to control your smart home. With the Sonos Beam, you can use Alexa to control your TV, which is a wonderful accessibility and convenience feature! Best of all, the Beam is extremely easy to set up, and it still functions as a fabulous Sonos smart speaker. If you can only get one Alexa speaker for your main TV room, this is probably the one you want to pick up.

Best Third-Party Soundbar with an Alexa Speaker: Sonos Beam

The Sonos Beam is a compact, powerful smart speaker that also happens to be a great TV soundbar.


Bose Home Speaker 500Source: Bose

5. Bose Home Speaker 500 Best Third-Party Alexa Speaker with a Mini Screen

Bottom line: The Bose Home Speaker 500 is the speaker giant's answer to the Amazon Echo Studio or the Sonos Five. It's a room-filling Alexa speaker with a small screen.

Dimensions: 8.0 x 6.7 x 4.3 inches | Weight: 4.65 lbs | Speakers: Two custom drivers | Portable: 🚫 | Weather-Resistance: 🚫 | Privacy Features: Microphone mute button

Color Vendor
Black $299 at Amazon
Silver $299 at Amazon

Pros

  • Noise-rejecting eight microphone array
  • Syncs with other Bose smart speakers via SimpleSync
  • Color LCD screen conveys information and album artwork
  • Compact, stylish design

Cons

  • Expensive compared to Echo speakers or Sonos One
  • Doesn't include a separate manual remote like other Bose models

The Bose Home Speaker 500 is another great option if you're an audiophile looking for a high-quality sounding Alexa speaker. Bose has earned a reputation for being one of the premier audio companies. If you already have other Bose products, or if you want something different than Amazon's or Sonos's devices, this is a great place to start.

What makes this device stand out at first glance is its small, iPod-sized LCD screen on the front that displays fun and helpful information like album artwork. If you want to know what's playing at a quick glance, or if you're someone who enjoys a bit of visual stimulation to go along with your auditory processing, this device bundles those senses together in an attractive package.

The speaker works over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and is also compatible with the Google Assistant and Apple AirPlay 2. It features an array of eight microphones that are tuned to pick up your voice commands over loud noises in the environment and from the speaker itself. Inside are two custom drivers facing opposite directions to provide fuller sound coverage. In addition to your voice and the Bose app, you can control the speaker with capacitive buttons on the top, including presets for different playlists, services, or internet radio stations.

Best Third-Party Alexa Speaker with a Mini Screen: Bose Home Speaker 500

If you're looking for an audiophile-level experience but don't want a Sonos speaker, you'd do yourself a favor to check out the Bose Home Speaker 500.


Facebook PortalSource: Russell Holly / Android Central

6. Facebook Portal Mini Best Third-Party Smart Screen Alexa Speaker

Bottom line: Say what you will about Facebook, but the fact is that much of the world, and most of your family, is probably on it. That makes the Portal line of devices one of the best Alexa speakers for video chatting and staying in touch with loved ones.

Dimensions: 5.91 x 8.45 x 5.0 inches | Weight: 1.68 lbs | Speakers: Front stereo speaker and rear woofer | Portable: 🚫 | Weather-Resistance: 🚫 | Privacy Features: Physical camera cover and mute button with red LED indicator light

Color Vendor
White $120 at Amazon
Black $120 at Amazon

Pros

  • Fantastic video chatting experience
  • Fun filters and effects
  • Facial recognition features are useful

Cons

  • Not the best sounding speaker
  • Confusing breakdown of tasks between "Portal" and Alexa
  • Not everyone wants a Facebook camera/microphone on in their homes

Before you get started with your objections, we get it. It's Facebook. The social media giant hasn't exactly endeared itself to us or done much to gain our collective trust these past few turbulent years, that's very true. However, the simple fact remains that many of the people you know, including a fair number of your family members, are probably still active on the platform, and those same people may be resistant to try other platforms, services, or devices for staying in touch. Enter the Facebook Portal line of devices.

The main reason I keep my Facebook account active is that nearly all of my contacts have an account, and I know that I can reach them via Messenger chat, calls, or video whenever I want. That's powerful, and it's an advantage Facebook has leaned into with this device. My 90+-year-old grandmother is way more likely to video chat with me on one of these than the proprietary Amazon Echo Show's video chat platform. She just is.

In addition to being a superior video chatting device to most other smart screen displays, the Facebook Portal has Alexa built-in. It thus is a great smart speaker for controlling your smart home gadgets or listening to Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, or iHeartRadio, among others.

Best Third-Party Smart Screen Alexa Speaker: Facebook Portal Mini

If you want a great video chatting device that happens to work with Amazon's Alexa voice assistant, a Portal may be the answer to your dreams.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Jeramy Johnson is proud to help to Keep Austin Weird and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand. When he's not writing about Amazon products and services, he's defending his relationship with his side-chick Alexa to his family. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeramyutgw.

Joe Maring is Android Central's News Editor and has had a love for anything with a screen and CPU since he can remember. He's been talking/writing about Android in one form or another since 2012 and often does so while camping out at the nearest coffee shop. Have a tip? Send an email to joe.maring@futurenet.com!

Daniel Bader is the Managing Editor of Android Central. As he's writing this, a mountain of old Android phones is about to fall on his head, but his Great Dane will protect him. He drinks way too much coffee and sleeps too little. He wonders if there's a correlation.

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