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Third-party speakers with Alexa on board will typically sound better than similarly priced Amazon Echo offerings. However, it is important to note that they might not offer the exact same functionality as the retail giant's own Echo devices. Making calls is the most notable omission you need to know about — right now you can use this feature only on Amazon Echo hardware.

Some of the third-party options also lack support for Spotify for the time being, though the feature will likely arrive in the future via a firmware update. With Spotify being one of the most popular music-streaming services available today, we believe that this is an important factor to consider while shopping.

Learn More About Our Top Five Picks:

Best Overall

Amazon Echo Plus (2nd Gen) Speaker with Amazon Alexa
Amazon amazon.com
$149.99

Pros: Good audio quality, attractive design, smart hub functionality

Con: It lacks Bluetooth connectivity

Amazon's all-new Echo Plus is the best Alexa-powered speaker for most consumers today. It has elegant design with fabric finish, better sound than its predecessor, and, crucially, a reasonable price tag. There are three distinct finishes to pick from — charcoal, heather gray, and sandstone.

The second-generation Echo Plus is not only a great connected speaker, but it's also a capable smart home hub. It allows you to control a number of gadgets, which utilize the popular Zigbee smart home standard (typically, you need a separate hub for this functionality). Amazon will even give you a free Philips Hue bulb to try out the functionality when you purchase the speaker.

The improved audio quality of the latest Amazon Echo Plus comes courtesy of a 3-inch woofer, a 0.8-inch tweeter, and audio processing tuned by Dolby. The voice recognition of the Echo Plus is excellent, thanks to seven built-in microphones. We like that you can combine the Echo Plus speaker with an Echo Sub for a bigger sound. Amazon even offers a reasonably priced bundle package of two Echo Plus speakers and a woofer.

Reviewers from CNET and PC Magazine praised the latest Amazon Echo Plus for its upgraded sound and built-in smart home hub. However, they also noted that if sound quality is your main goal, you should opt for the Sonos One instead.

Best Budget Buy

Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Gen) Smart speaker
Amazon amazon.com
$49.99

Pros: Compact and stylish, good audio quality for its form factor

Con: It lacks smart hub functionality

The latest Amazon Echo Dot is our favorite budget-friendly pick worth your attention today. The compact gadget is more stylish than the previous two generations, thanks to its all-new fabric finish. The latter is available in a trio of colors, which include charcoal, heather gray, and sandstone.

Compared to its predecessors, the latest Amazon Echo Dot has superior audio quality, too. Powered by a single 1.6-inch audio driver, the speaker delivers a surprisingly powerful audio punch for a palm-sized gadget. We like that you can connect the device to your older speakers or home stereo via a standard audio output or Bluetooth.

The latest Echo Dot received high review scores from Digital Trends, The Verge, and Tom's Guide. Editors praised the gadget for its sleeker design and improved sound quality.

Best Splurge

Bose Home Speaker 500 with Amazon Alexa
Bose amazon.com
$399.00

Pros: Beautiful design and craftsmanship, excellent audio quality

Con: Expensive

The Bose Home Speaker 500 is the best splurgeworthy speaker powered by Amazon Alexa. Available in silver or black, it has a sleek design and build quality to match. Our favorite bit about the speaker is its built-in color screen, which shows the album artwork of the song that's playing or other essential info.

Despite its compact footprint, the Home Speaker 500 has a wide audio signature that's typical for a much larger speaker. Unsurprisingly, it sounds better than any Amazon Echo product. The ability of the speaker to hear voice commands is also exceptional, thanks to eight built-in microphones.

On top of the speaker, you will find handy playback controls, as well as six preset buttons you can customize to your liking. Controlling the settings of the speaker requires a mobile app.

Best Alexa-Powered Soundbar

Sonos Beam Soundbar with Amazon Alexa
Sonos amazon.com
$399.00

Pros: Elegant looks, excellent audio quality, easy installation

Con: Upgrading its sound is costly

The Sonos Beam is the best Alexa-powered soundbar we've tested to date. It has a beautiful design and top-notch audio quality. Like all Sonos products, the Beam is incredibly easy to install. Available in black or white, it can easily integrate into most types of home decor, too.

The Beam delivers a rich, deeply immersive audio experience for a compact soundbar. It will instantly upgrade the audio of any TV you connect it to. In case you a looking for an even bigger sound, you can connect with soundbar to a Sonos Sub, though the upgrade will cost you.

In addition to full Alexa compatibility, the Sonos Beam has Apple AirPlay support. You can make the Beam sound bar the centerpiece of a new Sonos multiroom audio system, or seamlessly integrate it into one you already have.

Review editors from Engadget and The Verge gave the Sonos Beam high marks for its great sound and seamless Alexa integration. They also noted that upgrading the sound of the speaker is indeed pricey.

Best Big Speaker With Amazon Alexa

Marshall Stanmore II  Voice Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa
Marshall amazon.com
$399.99

Pros: Gorgeous retro design, fantastic audio quality

Con: It's pricey

The Marshall Stanmore II Voice is our favorite full-size speaker with Amazon Alexa on board. It has a fantastic retro design that pays homage to the company's iconic guitar amps, superb craftsmanship with tremendous attention to detail (you'll love the volume, bass, and treble knobs!), and audio quality to match.

We love the sonic experience that the Marshall Stanmore II Voice offers. Its audio hardware includes one high-quality woofer and two tweeters. Combined, they deliver a room-filling audio that even discerning audiophiles will appreciate. You can tune the sound to your exact liking via the knobs on top of the speaker, or a mobile app with built-in presets.

Marshall has equipped the big speaker with an impressive set of connectivity features. They include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3.5-millimeter input, and an RCA connector.


More Great Options Worth Your Attention:

Best Sound Under $200

Sonos One Smart Speaker with Amazon Alexa
Sonos amazon.com
$199.00

Pros: Fantastic audio quality, sleek and compact design, easy setup

Con: It can't make voice calls

The Sonos One has a great design and exceptional audio quality that'll appeal to a broad range of music tastes. It's the best-sounding speaker with Amazon Alexa that a budget of $200 can buy. We give the Amazon Echo Plus an edge over the Sonos One as the best overall pick, thanks to its lower price and built-in smart home hub.

You can use the One smart speaker on its own, or easily incorporate it into an existing Sonos multiroom audio setup. In addition to Wi-Fi connectivity, the speaker also gives you the option to connect it to your home network via a wired Ethernet connection.

The audio hardware of the Sonos One speaker includes one woofer, one tweeter, a pair of high-quality amplifiers, and six microphones for hearing your voice commands. You can control the device with voice — via its touch-sensitive panel — or by using the Sonos app on your smartphone or tablet.

Available in black or white, the Sonos One speaker has a compact footprint, so you can easily find a spot for it in any room. There's also the option to mount the speaker on a wall — or on floor stands by Sonos.

The Sonos One received great reviews from the likes of CNET, The Verge, and Wirecutter. Testers agree that the speaker is among the best-sounding options with Amazon Alexa on board.

Best Pick With a Built-In Display

All-new Echo Show (2nd Gen) Smart Speaker
Amazon amazon.com
$229.99

Pros: Best-sounding Amazon Echo, the display adds a lot of additional functionality, built-in smart home hub

Con: Poor YouTube integration

Thanks to its vibrant 10.1-inch display, the Amazon Echo Show offers a whole new world of Alexa interactions. You can watch Prime Video content, music videos, and even live TV from Hulu. The gadget is also capable of making free video calls with Amazon Echo Show and Echo Spot speakers.

The second-generation Echo Show is also the best-sounding smart speaker Amazon makes. It packs a couple of 2-inch audio drivers and a passive bass radiator tuned by Dolby. Combined, the help the speaker deliver room-filling sound with impressive quality.

We like that, just like the Amazon Echo Plus, the Echo Show has a built-in Zigbee smart home hub. Coupled with the built-in display, the features make the device an incredibly versatile option for smart home newbies.

We only wish that the Echo Show offered a more robust YouTube viewing experience. For the time being, the popular streaming service is only available via a built-in web browser, not as a native app.

Best Under $20

Zolo Halo Smart Speaker by Anker
amazon.com
$19.99

Pros: Affordable price, great warranty

Con: It doesn't support voice calls

The Zolo Halo smart speaker by Anker offers access to Amazon Alexa, as well as a sweet 18-month warranty at a really attractive price point. The speaker will let you enjoy your favorite tunes via a single 1.7-inch audio driver with a broad frequency response.

You can connect up to six Zolo Halo speakers together for a multiroom audio experience — all you need to do the trick is a smartphone app. Bluetooth connectivity is also on board, in case you want to use the device as a regular wireless speaker.

Best for Powerful Bass

Harman Kardon Allure Smart Speaker
Harman Kardon amazon.com
$249.95

Pros: Seriously entertaining sound audio experience, cool design

Con: Some might find the looks of the speaker a tad too futuristic

The Harman Kardon Allure smart speaker delivers an entertaining 360-degree audio experience, courtesy of a 3.5-inch woofer and a trio of 1.5-inch midrange tweeters. In terms of sheer audio output and bass delivery, the Allure is truly in a league of its own.

The design of the speaker is cool, but some might find it to be a tad too futuristic. The Harman Kardon Allure has cool multicolor lighting, which you can customize via a smartphone app. In case you prefer a more discreet setup, you can also disable it.

Bluetooth connectivity is also part of the device's key features. This means that you can connect any of your favorite devices to the Allure and enjoy wireless tunes.

Best for Blending With Decor

Amazon Echo (2nd Generation) Smart Speaker
amazon.com
$119.99

Pros: Compact design, available in a multitude of home-friendly finishes

Con: It lacks smart hub functionality

The second-generation Amazon Echo has a more compact footprint than its predecessor. Available in distinct finishes that include fabric and wood options, the speaker is also a whole lot easier to integrate into your home decor than the outgoing model.

You can even change the decorative shell of the Echo if you decide to move it to another room, or to simply refresh its look. The swappable accessories are attractively priced between $20 and $30.

The audio quality of the Amazon Echo is good for its price range. The speaker's audio hardware consists of one 2.5-inch woofer and one 0.6-inch tweeter tuned by Dolby. Most importantly, thanks to seven built-in microphones, the latest Amazon Echo will hear your voice commands exceptionally well.

Read More:

Fun Alexa Skills You Need to Try on Your Smart Speaker

Top-Rated Smart Speakers for Your Home

Our Favorite Smart Home Products

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