Amazon Alexa has led the way for smart products, finding its way on to a huge number of speakers and smart devices, making it arguably the best choice of voice assistant if you want to start controlling multiple devices around your home with your vocal cords.
With plenty of Alexa speakers to choose from, including Amazon's own, ever-growing, family of Alexa devices, led by the Echo Dot, Echo, Echo Plus, and more recent Echo Studio, which one is right for you? Do you want something small and discreet to kick-start a smart system, or do you want a proper wireless speaker with built-in smarts that sounds up to the job too?
Allow us to run through our pick of the best Alexa speakers you can buy.
Perhaps the smartest way to bring Amazon's Alexa voice assistant into your home, the latest generation of the Dot also doubles as a simple (and cheap) wireless speaker. The fabric-covered puck-shaped device looks smarter then previous versions and it's easy to get up and running, either over wi-fi or Bluetooth. And as a device for playing background music, there really is little to fault, especially at this price. It's the best Echo speaker if you're on a budget.
The Echo Plus saw Amazon go from smart speaker to music speaker, with a speaker that delivers an impressive sonic performance for the money - and at the time that was a first. Just under 10cm in width and standing almost 15cm tall, the Echo Plus’s cylindrical body does not quite offer room-filling sound, but certainly has the presence and power to make itself heard.
This is still a cheap-ish wireless speaker, far from ready to take over from your main system, but we’re now talking in terms of the best performances you can get for this kind of money. If you want the best of Alexa and good quality sound, the Echo Plus is a fine choice.
Arguably the best all-round smart speaker you can currently buy, the Sonos One sounds superb for the money and has all the functionality you're likely to need. There's Spotify and Tidal integration, the ability to chat with Alexa and Google Assistant, and the option to build a multi-room system around it using other Sonos speakers or AirPlay 2. Arguably the best Alexa speaker on the market.
If you want an Alexa-enabled speaker that combines sound and vision, then you'll want to give the Echo Show 5 a go. The 5.5in LCD touchscreen brings an added dimension- it's tilted, responsive and nice to use.
Sound quality is limited, given its size, but this is so much more than a standard wi-fi/Bluetooth speaker, allowing you to steam audio and video from compatible services with just a few simple spoken commands. It's still a pleasant and enjoyable listen, though, with a warm midrange that lends itself well to vocals and dialogue alike. For the money, it's a clever box of tricks that manages to merge the worlds of audio, video and virtual assistants in one easy-to-live-with package.
The Megablast is Ultimate Ears’ loudest and smartest speaker yet. With Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant built in, it can answer your questions as well as play all your favourite tunes.
More crucially, the Megablast joins the brand’s portfolio of five-star Bluetooth speakers that are simply fun to use and listen to. Good-looking and great-sounding, the Megablast is an absolute treat.
The Audio Pro Addon C5A is almost identical to the Addon C5, which was the What Hi-Fi? wireless speaker Product of the Year in 2017. So adding Alexa voice control to an Award-winning speaker is the icing on the cake.
It brings the whole package into one tidy, easy-to-set-up box. And with that same Award-winning sound, this is the ideal combination for those who want an excellent Alexa wireless speaker that can be expanded into a full-blown multi-room system.
Moving up a size (and price category), the Amazon Echo 2 does everything you'd reasonably expect of smart speaker at this level and is among the best Alexa speakers made by Amazon. There are lots of smart features you can play with and the speaker goes loud enough and sounds capable enough to fill small or medium-sized rooms without too much fuss.
The Echo Spot is a small, round speaker, that looks like a clock, with the built-in Alexa voice assistant features and functions of the other Echo devices. The differentiator here is that it comes with a screen (for information ‘at a glance’, according to Amazon) and a camera for video-chatting. As well as all the Alexa voice features, you get trending video news, access to Prime videos and YouTube.
The video and audio performance is impressive, allowing for the size and price, so while watching anything of any length might be excessive it's fine for quick videos and calls, and for using as a bedroom smart clock radio. For the money, it's a bit of a bargain and a tempting alternative to other Alexa speakers.