Once upon a time, speakers were only useful for playing music. But thanks to the rise of voice assistants, they are now more capable than ever and make a great addition to any modern home.
Amazon is well known for the Alexa voice assistant, which powers its range of Echo smart speakers. With an Alexa-enabled speaker, you can play music, listen to audiobooks, check the weather and news, make and receive phone calls, send messages, ask virtually any question, update your calendar, order groceries, control smart home devices and so on much more using just your voice.
Since launching its first Alexa-compatible smart speaker in 2014, Amazon has continued to create an entire line of Echo devices. There really is an Echo device for everyone, from budget models like the Echo Dot to more powerful speakers like the Echo Studio.
In addition to Amazon’s Echo range, many other brands have launched smart speakers that support Alexa. These include companies like Sonos, Audio Pro, Bluesound, and Braun. So, if you’re looking for an Alexa speaker and aren’t keen on Amazon’s Echo devices, you’re not limited in your choice.
Considering that Alexa is one of the most advanced voice assistants available today, many speaker manufacturers have integrated this technology into their devices. Therefore, many of the latest smart speakers support Alexa. With loads of Alexa-enabled speakers to choose from, it can be difficult to make an informed decision.
But don’t worry, as we’ve spent the past few weeks testing the latest Alexa speakers from Amazon and other manufacturers to find our favorite.
Amazon Echo (4th generation)
The fourth generation Echo is Amazon’s flagship smart speaker. Compared to the cylinder form factor of previous Echo generations, the new Echo has a completely different look with a globe-like design. It’s a decent size and looks elegant, with color choices including Glacier White, Twilight Blue, and Charcoal.
In addition to a revamped design, the new Echo sports a better sound experience than previous models. With an Amazon Music HD account, you can use HD audio on this speaker for superior sound quality. Another cool feature is a built-in ZigBee smartphone hub, which makes the Echo compatible with a wide range of connected devices. And there’s a dedicated microphone mute button, which adds an extra layer of privacy to the speaker.
Buy Now £ 89.99, Amazon
Amazon Echo Dot (4th generation)
For anyone who wants an Alexa speaker at an affordable price, there is no better option than the Echo Dot. Costing under £ 30, the Echo Dot offers the full Alexa experience but in a smaller form factor and for less money than the standard Echo (despite looking very similar).
Featuring the same globe design as the 4th generation Echo and a flat base, it fits on a bookcase, desk or any other surface without taking up much space. Volume buttons and other controls are conveniently located on the top of the speaker and are tactile to use.
Despite its compact size, the Echo Dot reaches surprisingly high volume levels and is a bargain. You can get the Echo Dot in various colors, including Glacier White, Twilight Blue, and Charcoal.
Buy Now £ 49.99, Amazon
Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd generation)
The Echo Show 10 Second Generation is an Alexa smart speaker with a 10.1 inch touchscreen display and stereo speakers, making it an ideal gadget for movie lovers. The touchscreen is responsive and delivers HD images.
Thanks to an integrated 13 megapixel camera, the Echo Show 10 allows you to make and receive video calls. And if you go on vacation or go out to run an errand, you can remotely access your device’s camera to make sure everything is okay at home. When you are not using the camera, you can close it using a sliding cover.
The Echo Show 8’s large, clear display makes it perfect as a digital photo frame and for accessing recipes in the kitchen. Two colors available: Glacier White fabric and Charcoal fabric. Something to keep in mind is that the Echo Show 10 is a bulky device, so it’s probably not ideal if you don’t have a lot of shelf space.
Buy Now £ 240.00, AO
Amazon Echo Show 5
The Echo Show 10 won’t be for everyone due to its high weight and size. But luckily, Amazon offers a smaller smart display called the Echo Show 5.
With an adequately sized 5.5-inch display, you can watch movies on streaming services like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. There’s also a built-in 2-megapixel camera for video calling, and like the Echo Show 10, you can cover the camera when it’s not in use. Thanks to its compact design, the Echo Show 5 fits easily on a nightstand or sideboard.
You can get the Echo Show 5 in Glacier White, Deep Sea Blue, and Charcoal. At just £ 39, it’s a steal.
Buy Now £ 39.00, Amazon
Amazon Eco Studio
The Echo Studio is Amazon’s high-end smart speaker. With five built-in speakers and Dolby Atmos technology, it’s designed to fill the entire room with immersive sound. Echo Studio also supports the latest audio formats, such as spatial audio and Ultra HD.
In terms of design, the Echo Studio is basically tall and wide. And it’s also heavy to hold. You will definitely need a decent amount of storage space in a medium sized living room. This could be an easy trade-off for those who want the best sounding Echo speaker. At £ 190, it’s considerably more expensive than other Echo devices.
Buy Now £ 190.00, AO
Lavazza A Modo Mio Voce
If you are a fan of flashy kitchen gadgets, you will love Lavazza A Modo Mio Voicy. It is the first coffee machine to feature ready-to-use Alexa technology, which allows you to make a cup of coffee using your voice. All you have to say is “Alexa, make me some coffee” and Voicy will pour your favorite coffee. And when you run out of coffee capsules, you can buy more just by talking.
As a fully functional Alexa speaker, Voicy will also allow you to play music, call people, send messages, update your calendar, manage smart devices, and perform many other commands. Overall, Voicy is simple to set up and use and will look great in any modern kitchen.
Buy Now £ 199.00, Lavazza
I am one
Sonos One is a smart speaker that works with a range of voice services, including Amazon Alexa. To use Alexa on the Sonos One, simply download the Sonos app and enable its skill via the Alexa app.
Sonos One sports a compact design that fits easily on shelves, desks, kitchen worktops, and the like. At the top of the speaker are handy touch buttons to control volume, skip music, pause songs and perform other actions.
In terms of specs, it sports two Class D digital amplifiers, a single tweeter and a single mid-woofer. Overall, the Sonos One offers excellent sound quality for a speaker of its size. One notable downside is that the Sonos One doesn’t work as a Bluetooth speaker.
Buy now £ 199.00, Sonos
Audio Pro C5a
Audio Pro C5a is a multiroom speaker that provides voice control via Amazon Alexa. It looks and feels like a premium speaker with a smooth finish, aluminum controls and a practical leather handle.
Connecting a smartphone to the Audio Pro C5a is quick and easy thanks to a dedicated Bluetooth button. You can also connect devices to the Audio Pro C5a wirelessly via Wi-Fi. When it comes to audio quality, Audio Pro C5a sounds great. And thanks to multiroom capabilities, you can connect the C5a with other speakers to create the ultimate audio setup for your home. This speaker is available in three colors: black, gray and white.
Buy Now £ 199.00, Curry
Bluesound Pulse Flex 2i
The Pulse Flex 2i from Bluesound is a Bluetooth speaker with multi-room functionality and Alexa voice control. On its own, the Pulse Flex 2i is capable of delivering exceptional audio quality. But you can enjoy stereo sound by connecting the device to other Bluesound speakers.
It supports streaming services like Amazon Music HD, Spotify, Tidal, Deezer and many more. Design-wise, Pulse Flex 2i has a nice matte finish and is available in black or white. While the Pulse Flex 2i looks great and sounds great, it’s pretty expensive at £ 299.
Buy Now £ 299.00, Amazon
If you are looking for a high quality Alexa speaker and are not worried about the price, the Braun LE05 could be for you. At a mouth-watering £ 649 cost, it’s the most expensive speaker on this list. But for this huge price, you get a high-quality speaker that delivers powerful and dynamic audio performance.
In addition, Braun LE02 provides voice control via Amazon Alexa, multi-room and stereo audio, support for over 300 streaming platforms, a privacy button to mute the microphone, the ability to manage highs and lows via a companion app, a premium design and much more.
You can easily place the LE02 on a table or sideboard using ready-to-use metal stands, although the speaker will need a lot of space.
Buy Now £ 649.00, Braun
For most people, Amazon’s fourth generation Echo it will be the best Alexa speaker. Its sleek design, impressive performance, and affordable price make it an attractive option. If you’d rather opt for an Alexa-compatible smart speaker from another manufacturer, our pick would be I am one as it looks attractive and sounds impressive. But at £ 199, it’s a lot more expensive than the fourth-generation Amazon Echo.