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Smart speakers: the 10 best Alexa speakers

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Alexa speakers conquer the market. You can read which model you are best served with in our list of the best.

1st place: Echo Show (2nd generation)

Echo Show (2nd Gen.) Stay connected through Alexa, Black
Echo Show (2nd Gen.) Stay connected through Alexa, Black

  • Stream music and books in clear stereo sound via premium speakers with Dolby processing. You can watch videos, films and series on the brilliant 10-inch HD display – in a new design with a fabric cover.
  • Talk to anyone who has Echo Spot, Echo Show, the Alexa app or Skype via video call.
  • Ask Alexa and use Amazon Music to display lyrics and album art. Displays the weather forecast, calendar, to-do lists and your favorite playlists. Watch the news or movies and series with Prime Video.

The Echo Show from Amazon earned first place in our list today. In order to avoid any misunderstandings, it should be mentioned at this point that we are explicitly referring to the second generation of the Echo Show series in our first place. Just like its predecessor, the Echo Show of the following series also combines the visual with the auditory component. In essence, this means nothing else than that the smart speaker comes with an integrated screen, which makes the speaker particularly user-friendly. Compared to its predecessor, the corresponding screen now measures 10 instead of 7 inches and also impresses with its higher resolution. In the case of the second Echo Show, the speakers were also incorporated into the sides of the speaker.

There is little to complain about when it comes to the sound. Overall, the sound presents itself in a clear, intense quality. Only in terms of balance is there still some room for improvement, so for some users the bass might seem a bit too dominant. The bottom line is that the Echo Show, which is also in the listening price segment, offers you the best sound image of the entire Echo series in our opinion.

Let’s come back to the aforementioned screen. The screen not only helps you to set up and adjust the speaker, it also has a built-in camera. Therefore, with the current Echo Show model, you have the option of using the loudspeaker for video calls – but there is a big one here. So that the project can be put into practice, your conversation partner also needs a representative of the Echo series with a built-in screen or the Alexa app.

Speaking of Alexa – how does the clever voice assistant, which is an essential prerequisite for our selection, do in the case of the Echo Show? Fortunately, Alexa reacts reliably to your commands and, thanks to the existing screen, often underpins her answers with suitable accompanying images. The voice control works precisely, and your virtual assistant is also able to learn new skills with continuous use.

2nd place: Echo Dot (3rd generation)

Echo Dot (3rd Gen.) intelligent loudspeaker with Alexa, anthracite fabric
Echo Dot (3rd Gen.) intelligent loudspeaker with Alexa, anthracite fabric

  • Our most popular smart loudspeaker – Now with a new fabric design and improved loudspeaker for a fuller, more powerful sound.
  • Control music playback with voice commands – stream songs from Amazon Music, Spotify, TuneIn and more. You can also listen to audiobooks from Audible.
  • Fuller, better sound – Connect the device to a second Echo Dot (3rd Gen.) for full stereo sound. Fill your home with music with compatible Echo devices in different rooms.

For the second tier of our selection, let’s look at the next model in the Echo range. So much in advance: The third generation Echo Dot will not be the last in-house Amazon product that we will present to you in today’s post. Compared to the Echo Show, the Echo Dot differs significantly at first glance. In this case, you are looking for a screen. Overall, the smart speaker has a much more compact, but aesthetically pleasing design. Those of you who do not want to lose sight of your own budget when buying their smart loudspeaker will be particularly pleased with the comparatively low purchase price of the Echo Dot. This is usually well below the estimated amount that is required for the Echo Show.

 

The Echo Dot is available in different optical versions, so you have a wide range of different colors to choose from when choosing the fabric cover for the speaker. Compared to its predecessors, the third generation series looks much more elegant.

But what does the Echo Dot have in terms of content? In view of its small size, the device provides you with an astonishingly powerful sound image. However, the sound capacity of a model of this size is naturally limited, so you shouldn’t expect real miracles from the small speaker. However, it is possible to couple the Echo Dot to the Echo Sub, which means that there are no limits to booming music sessions. Of course, you can also connect the speaker to subwoofers from other manufacturers, provided they are Bluetooth-enabled or have the appropriate inputs for the audio cable. If you are looking for a satisfactory entry-level model at an affordable price, you can use the third generation Echo Dot without hesitation.

3rd place: The price-performance winner: Echo Plus (2nd generation)

If you check out our regular leaderboards more often, you already know that we are presenting you the winner in the “Value for money” category at this point. That title goes to the second generation Echo Plus today. Although the smart speaker is significantly more expensive than the Echo Dot, in our opinion it offers the better cost-benefit factor.

The Echo Plus has a compact, round design and, thanks to its design, is a harmonious addition to any modern facility. In addition, this model can be perfectly integrated into any smart home, as long as the other devices are ZigBee-compatible. Networking with the Hue lamps from Philips, for example, works without any problems. You can control the loudspeaker in the usual way via the voice assistant Alexa. In the smart home network, for example, linked devices can be called up and conveniently controlled. The sound of the Echo Plus meets all current requirements, but of course the sound only comes into its own in combination with a smart subwoofer.

In terms of user-friendliness, the Amazon speaker shows its uncomplicated side. Both the initial setup and the everyday handling go without complications and do not present any problems worth mentioning, even to newcomers.

4th place: Sonos One

Sonos One Smart Speaker 2-Room Set, black - Intelligent WLAN speakers with Alexa voice control & AirPlay - Two multiroom speakers for unlimited music streaming
Sonos One Smart Speaker 2-Room Set, black – Intelligent WLAN speakers with Alexa voice control & AirPlay – Two multiroom speakers for unlimited music streaming

  • The Sonos Smart Speaker One combine rich, room-filling sound with the innovative Alexa voice control – stream music with just your voice or use apps such as news, traffic & smart home
  • The sound system for the whole apartment: The two multiroom speakers can be connected to each Sonos speaker via WLAN / Both speakers in the same room produce great stereo sound
  • Whether while cooking, showering or falling asleep: Songs can be easily selected, skipped, repeated or paused with the Alexa voice control as well as via the app – throughout the house

The Sonos Play: 1 was already completely convincing at the time. In addition to its networkable properties, the smart, WLAN-enabled loudspeaker also impressed with its balanced sound, and its compatibility with various music streaming services ultimately refined the overall picture. At first glance, the Sonos One doesn’t seem to be very different from its predecessor. However, the new, integrated voice control via Alexa ensured that the Sonos series made a significant leap forward in the smart device segment.

 

The device from the Californian manufacturer looks like the Play: 1 like one egg to the next. Changes in the design can therefore be identified more in detail. The loudspeaker comes in a uniform color scheme, the manual keypad on the top has given way to a touch element. The microphones that allow you to communicate with Alexa can also be completely switched off if necessary.

If you want to use the speaker to its full extent, you first have to prepare for a short familiarization process. With the help of the existing Trueplay, the loudspeaker analyzes its surroundings and adapts the sound image to the individual circumstances. Once the speaker is connected to a device and fully set up, you can devote yourself to the task of putting the speaker through its paces.

Voice control via Alexa works reliably in most cases. However, it can happen that the voice assistant refuses to work if the background noise is too loud. In terms of sound, however, you can’t blame the Sonos One. The sound is rich and warm and pleases with its harmonious balance. With the help of the room correction already mentioned, the already strong sound is even further refined. In combination with other Sonos One speakers, a wireless stereo system is created within a very short time, which takes your listening pleasure to the next level.

5th place: Libratone ZIPP 2

Libratone ZIPP 2 Smart Wireless large speaker (Alexa integration, AirPlay 2, MultiRoom, 360 ° sound, WiFi, Bluetooth, Spotify Connect, 12 hour battery) frosty gray
Libratone ZIPP 2 Smart Wireless large speaker (Alexa integration, AirPlay 2, MultiRoom, 360 ° sound, WiFi, Bluetooth, Spotify Connect, 12 hour battery) frosty gray

  • The ZIPP 2’s battery lasts even longer – for up to 12 hours of music. And thanks to its cordless design and convenient loop, you can take it with you wherever you go
  • Improved 360 FullRoom Sound: The clever acoustic design has been further optimized to ensure the best sound in every direction – regardless of placement or position
  • The Alexa voice control works via 6 built-in microphones and far-field voice recognition. You can choose your music, check the weather, control your smart home devices and much more

The loudspeakers presented so far are particularly suitable for constant use in the home. However, we don’t want to ignore those of you who prefer to use your speaker on the go, or to transport it easily. If you belong to the aforementioned clientele, the Libratone ZIPP 2 is recommended to you. The Alexa-compatible loudspeaker from a Danish manufacturer is available in two versions. In addition to the standard loudspeaker, the ZIPP 2 is also available in a mini version. The compact speaker is significantly smaller than its larger counterpart and is therefore even better suited to be taken with you on trips without any problems. From a technical point of view, both the Libratone ZIPP 2 and the Libratone Zipp Mini 2 cover all common standards, that a smart speaker of the current generation should master. This applies not only to the extensive connection options for the loudspeakers, but also to the sound image. This knows how to completely convince in practical use, even if we do not want to withhold from you that the smaller version of the Libratone ZIPP 2 does not quite come close to the booming intensity of larger models in the low frequency range.

 

In terms of compatibility, however, you have a wide range to choose from. You have the option of connecting the Libratone ZIPP 2 to the desired device using an audio cable. There is also the option of connecting the smart speaker to a playback source via Bluetooth. If you are now wondering whether your preferred music service is supported by the smart speakers, we can tell you at this point that this is very likely the case. The Libratone ZIPP 2 can be used with practically all current music streaming services, including of course the flagships Spotify and Airplay 2. In terms of price, the Libratone ZIPP 2 is in the upper category. However, if you have a limited budget available, we recommend waiting for appropriate offers. Sometimes the Libratone Speaker is available for half of its original purchase price, so keep your eyes open. The mini version is significantly cheaper than its big brother, regardless of such limited-time offers.

6th place: Sonos Move

The cozy get-together with friends at the lake or in the park is of course enhanced by the harmonious accompanying music. A speaker that is used for such excursions must of course meet certain requirements. With the Sonos Move you get a smart speaker that is particularly committed to outdoor robustness. But how does the use of the loudspeaker look in reality? It should be mentioned particularly positively at this point that the Sonos Move scores with waterproof properties. This resistance, promised by the manufacturer, not only relates to the cool water, but also to dust and hard impacts. This is made possible by the rubberized cover, which is firmly integrated on the lower part of the smart speaker.

Although the Sonos Move is the perfect companion for mild summer evenings, the speaker is not really compact. On the one hand, the speaker has a proud weight of around three kilograms, but the dimensions of the model, which are 16 x 24 x 12.5 centimeters in detail, do not make the Sonos Move a handy product. The recessed grip, which was attached by the manufacturer to the back of the speaker, makes it noticeably easier to take the speaker with you. The rather large case of the smart speaker does not only have disadvantages. Due to the generous design, the loudspeaker is capable of sound performance that comparable smaller models cannot easily handle. The model was equipped with a tweeter, a woofer and a waveguide. The integrated microphones are not only used for voice control, but also enable the smart loudspeaker to adapt its sound to the prevailing environment. Setting up the speaker is child’s play.

As we all know, sockets in nature or at swimming lakes are usually few and far between. In this case, the integrated battery of the speaker is used, which supplies the device with juice for up to ten hours in active operation. Thanks to the USB port on the back of the Sonos Move, you can even convert the speaker into a power bank for cell phones and the like, if necessary.

The sound of the Sonos Move knows how to please with its powerful intensity. While the highs and mids are played clearly and balanced, the bass impresses with its powerful character. Even if we have mainly focused on outdoor use in our previous review, the Sonos Move naturally also shines in every household. Accordingly, with the Smart Speaker you get a reliable, high-quality product that, thanks to its properties, also justifies the purchase price that should not be despised.

7th place: Echo Studio

We introduce: Echo Studio - Smart high fidelity loudspeaker with 3D audio and Alexa
We introduce: Echo Studio – Smart high fidelity loudspeaker with 3D audio and Alexa

  • Immersive sound – 5 speakers for powerful bass, dynamic mids and crystal clear highs. Dolby Atmos processing gives your music space, clarity and depth.
  • Always ready – Alexa can play music, read the messages, and answer questions.
  • Voice control your music – Stream songs from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer and more. Amazon Music HD gives you access to 50 million songs in HD as well as an ever-growing selection of music mastered in 3D.

The Amazon Echo Studio takes on a major criticism of the in-house series of the online shipping giant. Accordingly, many of the series were accused of being unable to create a satisfactory sound image without the help of external amplifiers. The Echo Studio successfully declares war on this point of criticism with five integrated speakers. The built-in woofer, which has an amplifier output of an impressive 330 watts, takes the familiar bass image of the Echo series to a whole new level. But the overall sound can also convince with its powerful, differentiated character. Should you decide to buy two Echo Studios at the same time, you can connect the boxes to Fire TV and sweeten your TV evenings at home with a harmonious stereo sound. Like the models of the Echo series already presented, the Echo Studio can also be connected to ZigBee-enabled devices. This means that the speaker can be easily integrated into your smart home. 

8th place: Marshall Acton II

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Marshall Acton II Bluetooth Speaker - Black (EU)
Marshall Acton II Bluetooth Speaker – Black (EU)

  • Sound That You Bergeistert – Acton II is the smallest loudspeaker in the Marshall range, but produces a sound that is nothing short of great
  • Connect Wirelessly With Bluetooth 5.0 – Bluetooth 5.0 provides superior wireless sound with a range of up to 10 meters
  • Legendary Marshall design – This loudspeaker combines contemporary technology with the legendary Marshall design: powerful sound with a classic look

If we were to compile our list solely based on visual criteria, the Marshall Acton II would undoubtedly have the edge. The Alexa speaker impresses with its high-quality design, which comes along in the best retro style. Thanks to the multi-room function, the smart speaker can be connected to other products from the manufacturer, so nothing stands in the way of your home stereo system. In terms of sound, the Marshall Acton II particularly impresses with its powerful bass. Setting up the speaker also proves to be pleasantly easy. While the low frequencies fell, the speaker had some difficulties in the midrange. So some vocals sound a bit busy. The heights, on the other hand, are crystal clear. 

The speaker is connected to the device of your choice via Bluetooth or Airplay 2. However, you are looking in vain for manual connections for the connection. Unfortunately, the quality of the integrated microphones does not get beyond mediocre. So it regularly happens that the speaker simply “swallows” your voice commands or interprets them incorrectly. Loud and easily understandable information is therefore the top priority when using it.

9th place: Harman Kardon Allure Portable

Harman-Kardon Allure Portable PC Speakers
Harman-Kardon Allure Portable PC Speakers

  • Package weight: 3.5 kg
  • Package dimensions: 21.4 L x 27.8 H x 21.6 W (cm)
  • Color: Black

It continues with the Harman Kardon Allure. This is one of the first Alexa speakers that was not brought onto the market by Amazon itself. The company itself is owned by Samsung and has been committed to breaking into the smart speaker market for some time. To buy the Alexa speaker you have to dig deep into your pocket, the corresponding price can be compared with the sums you have to put on the table for the Echo Show and the Echo Dot. The battery life of this model averages a respectable 10 hours. We would also like to praise the Bluetooth compatibility of the speaker, and the speaker also supports Spotify.

 

However, there is a not to be despised shortcoming that we do not want to hide from you. As you know, Alexa compatibility is a central feature of our list today. The point of criticism that the control using the virtual language assistant does not always work is all the more serious at this point. This is mainly due to the unreliable speech recognition, which regularly causes frustrating situations. Given the high price, such defects are not acceptable in our opinion. The Haram Kardon Allure Portable also has plenty of room for improvement in terms of sound. The bottom line is that the quality of the tracks played can be described as solid, but the speaker from Harman Kardon doesn’t really come close to the sound level of other manufacturers. In addition, the handling of the loudspeaker could have been made more user-friendly. After a bit of getting used to, the operation of the smart speaker is easy.

10th place: Echo Sub

Echo Sub - powerful subwoofer for Echo - requires a compatible Echo device and music streaming service
Echo Sub – powerful subwoofer for Echo – requires a compatible Echo device and music streaming service

  • Echo Sub is a downfire subwoofer with 100 W of power and 15 cm woofers, which offers rich bass sound.
  • Pair the Echo Sub with the Echo or Echo Plus (sold separately) for a dynamic sound experience that fills the entire room.
  • Coupling with two of the same compatible Echo devices enables impressive stereo sound.

The tenth and final rank of our leaderboard is a small special case. At this point we would like to introduce you to one of the smart subwoofers already mentioned, which significantly enhance the sound image of your Echo speaker. However, this also means that you absolutely need another model from the manufacturer to use the Echo Sub which, in turn, serves as a sound source for the subwoofer. Most models from the Amazon Echo series have the reputation of not producing a penetrating, intense sound without the use of an external amplifier. The situation is different, however, if you connect your smart loudspeaker to a corresponding subwoofer. The basses in particular benefit from this extra portion of power. If you already have two identical smart speakers from the Echo series, the Echo Sub is able to convert the two speakers into a small 2.1 sound system.

Disclosure: Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.

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