Best Alexa speakers 2019: the best Alexa-enabled smart speakers

Best Alexa Speaker Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best Amazon Alexa speakers you can buy in 2019.

Thanks to the arrival of a number of voice assistants, backed by big-hitters such as Amazon, Apple and Google, wireless speakers have never been smarter.

Amazon Alexa has led the way, 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 and Echo Plus, which one is right for you? Allow us to run through our pick of the best Alexa speakers.

Best smart speaker under £50

1. Amazon Echo Dot (3rd generation)

For not a lot of money you get a whole load of smart voice functionality and decent sound.

SPECIFICATIONS

Virtual assistant: Alexa | Wi-fi: Yes | Bluetooth: Yes | Outputs: 3.5mm | Dimensions (hwd): 4.3 x 9.9 x 9.9cm | Weight: 300g

Reasons to Buy
Clear, solid sound
Budget price
Improves Alexa skills
Reasons to Avoid
Alexa intelligence is limited

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.

Read the full review: Amazon Echo Dot 3 review

best Alexa speakers

2. Amazon Echo Plus

Less a smart speaker, now more a speaker with smart features

SPECIFICATIONS

Virtual assistant: Alexa | Wi-fi: Yes | Bluetooth 4.0: Yes | Inputs: 3.5mm stereo | Amplifier: n/a | Dimensions: 14.8 x 9.9 x 9.9cm

Reasons to Buy
Fine balance, detail and timing
Pairs with other Amazon products
Lots of smart features
Reasons to Avoid
Nothing at this price

The Echo Plus saw Amazon go from smart speaker to music speaker, with a speaker that delivered 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.

Read the full review: Amazon Echo Plus (2nd Gen)

best Alexa speakers

3. Sonos One

A typically excellent Sonos smart speaker with Alexa and Google voice control.

SPECIFICATIONS

Virtual assistant: Alexa, Google Assistant | Wi-fi: Yes | Bluetooth: No | Outputs: N/A | Dimensions (hwd): 16.1 x 11.7 x 12cm | Weight: 1.85kg

Reasons to Buy
Stylish and unobtrusive
Solid, sophisticated sound
Alexa well integrated
Reasons to Avoid
Lacks full Alexa control
No hi-res audio

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. This is now the best Google speaker on the market.

Read the full review: Sonos One

best Alexa speakers

4. Ultimate Ears Megablast

A fun and energetic portable speaker with nicely controlled performance.

SPECIFICATIONS

Virtual assistant: Alexa | Wi-fi: Yes | Bluetooth: Yes | Battery life: 16hrs | Dimensions: 23.7 x 8.8cm | Inputs: Micro USB

Reasons to Buy
Dynamic, detailed sound
Goes really very loud
Excellent build and design
Reasons to Avoid
Presentation is slightly lean
Not fully featured just yet

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.

Read the full review: Ultimate Ears Megablast

best Alexa speakers

5. Audio Pro Addon C5A

A class-leading wireless speaker with Alexa is a winning combination.

SPECIFICATIONS

Virtual assistant: Alexa | Wi-fi: Yes | Bluetooth 4.0: Yes | Inputs: Ethernet, 3.5mm stereo, RCA | Amplifier: 40W digital Class D | Audio formats: MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC, Apple Lossless | Dimensions: 13 x 25 x 15cm

Reasons to Buy
Detailed, dynamic sound
Brilliant sense of timing
Alexa voice control
Reasons to Avoid
Nothing at this price

The Audio Pro Addon C5A is almost identical to the Addon C5, which was our wireless speaker Product of the Year in 2017. So adding Alexa voice control to an Award-winning speaker is the icing on the cake.

Available for the price of an Addon C5 plus the cost of an Amazon Echo product bolt-on, 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 multiroom system.

Read the full review: Audio Pro Addon C5A

best Alexa speakers

6. Amazon Echo 2

Smart, affordable and a very sympathetic listener.

SPECIFICATIONS

Virtual assistant: Alexa | Wi-fi: Yes | Bluetooth: Yes | Outputs: 3.5mm | Dimensions (hwd): 14.8 x 8.8 x 8.8cm | Weight: 821g

Reasons to Buy
Alexa voice control
Improved hearing commands
Affordable
Reasons to Avoid
Average sound quality

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 the best Alexa speaker by sound quality. 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.

Read the full review: Amazon Echo 2

7. Amazon Echo Spot

This Alexa speaker with a screen is worth considering

SPECIFICATIONS

Virtual assistant: Alexa | Wi-fi: Yes | Bluetooth 4.0: Yes | Inputs: 3.5mm stereo | Amplifier: 2W | Screen: 6.3cm LCD screen, 480 x 480 resolution | Dimensions: 9.7 x 10.4 x 9.7cm

Reasons to Buy
Sharp screen
Good range of features
Neat design
Reasons to Avoid
Divisive camera
Sound quality could be improved
Needs more video content

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. 

A smart, solid design, the Spot has three buttons, two for volume and one to toggle the microphone on and off. You can use that mic to make voice calls to an Alexa-enabled speaker, too. The camera, which is placed unobtrusively in the middle of the outer ring, has a similar toggle, but that’s located deeper into the Spot’s settings. 

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.

Read the full review: Amazon Echo Spot

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