Smart sound: The best Alexa speakers of 2024

Take command of your streaming music and even your smart home with speakers equipped with Amazon’s amazing voice assistant.

some of the best alexa speakers

by Chris Duffill |
Updated on

It’s hard to imagine a world without Amazon's helpful voice assistant – and, now that the technology is everywhere, we have the best Alexa speakers to choose from too. With the ability to set alarms, perform web searches, and much more, you can ask Alexa smart speakers questions like "What are the best speakers for my TV?" or "Will buying the best party speakers make me popular with the neighbours?".

Amazon’s own-brand devices are its Alexa-enabled Echo speakers; including the Dot, Show, and Studio. But did you know that other smart speaker brands also have Alexa officially integrated into their circuitry? So, if you’re listening to your little Echo Dot and find yourself longing for more power, bass and functionality, we’re here to help. There are some excellent Amazon products there, alongside Alexa speakers from many other brands.

Best Alexa speakers of 2024 at a glance:

• Best overall: Echo Studio with Dolby Atmos and Alexa – View at Amazon
• Best budget: Echo Dot (5th generation, 2022 release) – View at Amazon
• Best for music: Sonos One (Gen2) – View at Argos
• Best retro-style: Marshall Uxbridge – View at Smart Home Sounds

But there are a few things to look out for before you buy. If a speaker is labelled as ‘works with Alexa’ then this means it's compatible with your main fully-featured Alexa device, such as an Echo Studio. While you can ask a compatible device to do some very cool Alexa commands, it's not a true integration of Amazon's tech itself – it only passes your command on to the actual Alexa device in your home (if you have one). You'll also need to decide whether you need freedom from the mains with a rechargeable model. And, of course, select the right size Alexa speaker – both to fit into your space and for optimum sound quality. That said, other than pocket-sized models, many quality Alexa speakers can pack a big sonic punch into ever-smaller designs.

Thankfully, by getting one of the best Alexa speakers we've listed here, you’ll be all set for genuine Alexa-inside voice control with decent sound. As digital assistant technology becomes more ubiquitous, the question we're asking our smart speaker is "Alexa, what’s the best Alexa speakers of 2024?" Spoiler: the answers are right here.

The best Alexa speakers of 2024

All prices are correct at the time of writing. Prices, stock and deals are subject to change without notice.

Best overall

The concept of a smart speaker has developed into fully-featured multi-room audio solutions. The Echo Studio is probably one of the best we've seen – especially considering the addition of Dolby Atmos and 3D sound that projects in all directions. Pair up as many of these stylish little wonders as you like. Then put them into different zones in your home and wirelessly cast your music to them. Music aside for a moment, it's easy to forget this is a smart speaker. Home automation, web searches, reminders – you name it; Alexa is just a shout away. The bass is respectable for such a small speaker, but for bass addicts out there, the addition of an Echo Sub will give you that satisfying boost.

For us, it's the perfect mix of affordability, function and style. These won't fail to complement your home decor, no matter the colour scheme. Altogether, the Amazon Echo Studio takes the best overall Alexa speaker crown.

Pros

  • The modern and inconspicuous design will fit into all rooms and decors
  • The massive well-rounded three-dimensional sound is much larger than the sum of its parts
  • It's very easy to set up thanks to clear guided instructions

Cons

  • If you want more bass you'll need to get an Echo Sub

Best budget Alexa speaker

It would seem odd to have a list of recommendations with only one Amazon device – especially since Alexa is the company's own technology. But we wouldn't be listing it here if it wasn't the fantastic all-rounder that is it. At well under £60 (or less, if you keep an eye out for Amazon promotions) it's an absolute steal. Get as many of these and other Echo devices as you like, and they'll all talk to each other. Multi-room audio and voice control over your other compatible devices are within your reach, well inside the affordable price bracket.

What we like is the ease of setup via the Alexa app, plus the form factor. This little aptly-named Dot will sit on any shelf, unit or side table. There's even a version with an in-built LED clock if you want to use one of these in a bedroom or kitchen. Set alarms and timers, and ask it to play your favourite tunes. What the Echo Dot may lack in audio volume it more than makes up for in features and price. So much so it made our list of the best smart speakers of 2023. Buy one and you won't regret it.

Pros

  • The inconspicuous design may be compact, but it's still powerful enough for your music and more
  • Easy to set up and pairs easily with other devices via the Alexa app
  • The bass is surprisingly good for the size

Cons

  • Not for serious music listening – as the bass starts to crack at max volume

Best for music

Argos/Sonos

Sonos has been at the top of its game for a while now, and the second generation of its ever-popular Sonos One speaker is proving to be a popular choice for music lovers. And in our Sonos One review, we loved it too. Apart from being a worthy addition to any room, it integrates extremely well with music apps; Amazon Music, Audible, Pandora and Spotify to name a few.

It does indeed have Alexa built-in, but if you're partial to Google Assistant, it has that too. Far-field noise cancelling mics ensure you'll be well-heard too. But if you want to skip the small talk and use good old-fashioned manual controls, all of the buttons are easily accessed on the top panel. They're touch control too, so the top of this will be a breeze to keep clean. The Sonos App gives you the ability to manage all of your connected devices, such as the Sonos Roam multi-room speaker we looked at in our run-down of the best party speakers. You can also adjust the tone with the app for fine-tuning.

One slight gripe we have with this is that although it'll happily pair with another Sonos device as a stereo pair or more (again, great for music fans) if you have Amazon Echo devices already you're out of luck. Whilst Alexa will know those speakers exist, you won't be able to pipe your music to both the Sonos One and the Echos as a single unit. That said, this isn't an issue for those already in the Sonos ecosystem, and the sound from this will totally eclipse that from the Echo in any case. Our advice? Get a second one for true stereo separation and an incredible musical experience.

Pros

  • The neat rounded-off tower design and essential well-located simple touch controls keep the look simple and refined
  • Great integration with popular music streaming services means plenty of choice
  • It can be paired with another for stereo sound for huge room-filling sound

Cons

  • Cannot be paired to work with Echo devices for multispeaker music

Best retro-style Alexa speaker

Smarthomesounds/Marshall
Price: £169.00 (was £189.99)

www.smarthomesounds.co.uk

Beautiful iconic design meets the latest in voice control technology in this fusion of the old and the new. Marshall's Uxbridge is one of those products that seemed to fly under the radar somewhat; possibly eclipsed by the larger models in its range, such as the stellar Marshall Woburn III that we tested. But this packs something the others don't – good old Alexa built-in.

The Uxbridge's looks are hard to resist. It's nailed nostalgia and will appeal to rock-and-rollers everywhere. It also includes Google Assistant compatibility, but for full control, Alexa is ready and waiting for your commands. The mic here isn't as sensitive as some others on this list, but as a device at the smaller end of the spectrum, it's going to sound best in a small to medium-sized room anyway; so you should be close enough to be heard.

As a device that harks back to vintage amplifiers with plenty of inputs, we're slightly surprised to see no auxiliary input, but then again this is fully connected via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Plus Apple Airplay 2. It's hard to criticise a Marshall product that's this good, with Alexa thrown in, especially at such a mid-budget price.

Pros

  • The iconic Marshall design and build adds class and quality to your room
  • The excellent tone controls create a fully rounded yet customisable sound
  • The Marshall Voice app for EQ control and solid mic sensitivity make this a responsive unit

Cons

  • An auxiliary input would have been a useful addition

Best for the kitchen

Amazon/Cath Kidston

Cath Kidston has become something of a phenomenon in recent years thanks to its wonderful fusion of the latest tech with vintage design. This Hepburn voice control smart speaker is a great example, sporting just one of a handful of beautifully detailed designs that are home and kitchen-friendly. If you want all of the quality and convenience of a Bluetooth speaker without having to look at a large black or grey piece of tech, this is it.

You do, of course, have Alexa on hand to play music, ask questions and even make calls. But you can also use this as a digital alarm clock that will play your favourite music to wake or remind you. There are 3.5mm inputs and outputs for connecting other devices if you have them, too. We love the design, it screams mid-sixties – and the handle on top helps to evoke that. And yes, if you’re expecting this to be portable you’re in luck. That handle says ‘pick me up and take me out and about’, which you can do thanks to the long-life rechargeable battery.

But, that’s a minor nitpick for a smart speaker that, well, looks this smart. It sounds great too, thanks to the two ultra-wide 10-watt speakers inside. There’s even a spare USB port at the back – making it ideal for charging your phones without extra adapters cluttering up your kitchen or workspace.

Pros

  • Attractive vintage-style design enhances home decor
  • Alexa integration offers extensive voice control features
  • Bluetooth and USB connectivity for flexible use

Cons

  • Sound quality is good, but may not suit audiophiles

Best Alexa speakers for TV

Amazon/Sonos

Rrp: $519.00

Price: $492.00

If a pricey home cinema amplifier is a leap too far but you still want top-notch sound with Alexa built-in, this Sonos Beam (Gen 2) soundbar is the boost you need for your TV audio. Apart from all of the usual Alexa functionality, it has Dolby Atmos – the ingenious virtual 3D surround sound tech that is capable of p[projecting over 100 individual sounds into your room with stunning precision. You will, of course, need a source (like a TV or Blu-ray player) that supports Atmos though.

You have HDMI ARC and other connectivity options, plus a companion app that lets you control things like Speech Enhancement which separates dialogue for maximum clarity. There’s also an innovative Night Sound mode that will tune the audio so that it doesn’t lose any depth or clarity at lower volumes. Lastly, Tuneplay will analyse the acoustics of your room and optimise the audio accordingly for the easiest and most accurate setup possible.

We love the rounded corners of what is often a very angular exterior on many a soundbar, and it’s reasonably compact too. That said, it’s that smaller size that limits the bass output compared to much larger soundbars, but that’s actually par for the course with any soundbar that doesn’t come with a separate subwoofer. But, with the integration of Alexa, Sonos has given us a premium TV sound experience with all of the convenience of voice control as the centrepiece of your living room.

Pros

  • Excellent sound quality for such a compact size
  • Seamlessly integrates with other Sonos products
  • Supports Dolby Atmos for immersive audio

Cons

  • Limited bass compared to larger soundbars

Best premium Alexa speaker

Amazon/JBL

JBL has recently taken things to the next level with its Authentics range. This JBL Authentics 200 is a premium smart speaker with serious retro flair and a reassuringly heavy build. This smart home Wi-Fi speaker combines the sort of beefy, well-defined sound quality normally associated with brands like Marshall with a refined vintage design that will complement any room. With Alexa built-in, you can do all of the usual smart functions like control music, asking questions, and managing smart home devices.

But, the aforementioned premium quality of the Authentics 200 is really all down to the seriously powerful, well-rounded sound from its high-performance drivers. If you want a portable speaker that can kick out rich bass and crisp highs, this is it. Thankfully, it also supports a variety of music services, including Spotify, Apple Music, and more, so you’ll always be able to stream your favourite tunes. But let’s not forget portability.

We’re impressed by the built-in rechargeable battery that JBL claims will provide up to 8 hours of playback on a single charge. That said, we think that the only drawback here is its weight. All that internal audio goodness adds up to a speaker of serious heft at 3.64kg. The handle is extremely strong, however. Nevertheless, the JBL Authentics 200 offers a fresh take on a vintage style that we really like. Twinned with all that modern functionality, we find it hard to beat.

Pros

  • High-quality sound with powerful bass response
  • Integrated smart home assistant compatibility included
  • Sleek design fits modern home decor

Cons

  • Limited portability due to its size

Best waterproof Alexa speaker 

Amazon/Bang And Olufsen

Rrp: $299.00

Price: $199.95
Alternative retailers
Walmart$249.99View offer
Neiman Marcus$299.00View offer
Saks Fifth Avenue$299.00View offer

It would be easy to confuse portable with low-quality sound, but not when Bang & Olufsen are involved. Design-wise we think this soap-on-a-rope style speaker is something of an oddity, but that's what makes it unique. Its relatively featureless casing is designed to withstand being lugged around, hung up or left on a picnic table in the rain.

It's a dust-resistant and waterproof speaker, and the top section is aluminium – this thing is designed to travel with you wherever you go. Alexa is, of course, present, so once this is paired with your mobile device you'll be able to do everything you'd expect, from asking it for the phone number of a local taxi firm to playing your favourite holiday playlists.

A massive 18-hour battery life will see you through the most arduous day trip, and the three onboard mics make for excellent hands-free voice calls. But don't forget, at this price, you should be expecting more than just a rugged build outside and Alexa inside; you should expect Bang & Olufsen quality sound. And that's just what you'll get with the Beosound A1 – more rich and powerful than you'd ever suspect from such a compact speaker.

Pros

  • That B&O quality sound is unsurpassed at this size and with lots of volume too
  • Its three mics make this one of the best speakers for responsiveness and accuracy
  • The waterproof construction is second to none – peace of mind in all weathers

Cons

  • High volumes can sometimes vibrate the device – its power-to-weight ratio can be too impressive

Best mid-budget

Amazon/Denon

If you’re looking for a mid-budget speaker that offers great sound quality and Alexa functionality, the Denon Home 150 Wireless Speaker is a prime contender. We think this compact device is ideal for music lovers who want to enjoy clear, rich audio without breaking the bank. With Alexa built-in, you can stream music, check the news, and control other smart home devices with just your voice. There’s an impressive list of supported music streaming services too, including Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music HD, TuneIn and others.

In terms of connectivity, it supports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, making it easy to pair with your devices. The speaker boasts impressive sound, with powerful bass and crisp highs. It even has an IPX4 waterproof rating, meaning it can handle splashes, making it perfect for a kitchen.

The rechargeable battery offers a respectable 6 hours of playtime, with a charging time of around 2 hours. However, it does lack a built-in handle, which – at something close to 2kg – might make portability a bit of a careful exercise. Overall, we recommend the Denon Home 150 for its excellent value and balanced combination of quality and affordability.

Pros

  • High-quality sound with rich bass performance
  • Compact design fits any small space
  • Easy guided setup with Alexa voice control

Cons

  • Given the weight, we’d have liked a handle or built-in recess for safer moving

How to choose the best Alexa speakers

Just a few years ago voice recognition was a slightly clunky affair, relegated to dictation software for keyboard dodgers. Now, it’s everywhere. Amazon’s voice command technology has made its way into a whole host of devices, including TVs, soft toys and even fridges. But, speakers are by far the popular choice. So, what features should you look for?

Consider Amazon Prime

One of the most useful things about Alexa speakers is the tremendous number of things you can ask them to do. But for a real functionality boost, we recommend upgrading your Amazon account to Amazon Prime. Why? Because Alexa is an Amazon product. So you can expect benefits like asking it to play from millions of songs available on Prime Music. The same goes for Prime Video. An Alexa speaker linked with an Alexa-compatible TV will make viewing easy with thousands of films and shows to enjoy.

Your Alexa speaker can also be used to read e-books from Prime Reading. Perhaps the most practical benefit is using your voice to do some shopping; you’ll have access to exclusive voice-ordered deals via Prime Alexa Shopping.

Consider your other smart speakers and gadgets first

If one of the best Alexa speakers here catches your eye (and ears) and it’s not your only Alexa device, it’s worthwhile listing the rest. In doing that you may well discover that your sound coverage could be better. Once you buy a new Alexa speaker, moving the others to new spaces could reach more corners of your home. You might decide that your brand-new speaker should take the place of your old one, freeing it up for a garage, spare bedroom or utility room.

Plan your Alexa speaker placement

Speaker placement is always a crucial decision, mainly due to the acoustics of the room. But it’s equally important to think about your distance to all of your Alexa speakers, and the all-important built-in microphone. Placing a speaker too close to a competing source of noise – such as a loud TV or in a busy kitchen – could make it difficult for you to be heard.

One of the best all-around solutions to this, especially if you do live in a noisy household, is to purchase more than one Alexa speaker. This could be something as innocuous as a couple of Amazon Echo Pop speakers. Place one in your entrance hall, and another in your kitchen for instance, and you’ll be able to control your main Alexa speaker and all of the usual voice commands through those. For us, this is a great upgrade in any case.

Try before you buy

Reviews and tech specs aside, there is no substitute for listening to the best Alexa speakers in person. A friend may have the one you’re interested in. The best option is to buy from a store that supports easy returns if you’re not satisfied.

AN EVER-GROWING RANGE OF SMART SPEAKERS AND EQUALLY SMART PLUGS AND LAMPS
AN EVER-GROWING RANGE OF SMART SPEAKERS AND EQUALLY SMART PLUGS AND LAMPS ©Getty Images

Best Alexa speakers of 2024: Jargon buster

Digital assistant / virtual assistant

These terms are synonymous with 'smart speaker' and any other device that has advanced voice control and recognition powered by a live internet connection. If it’s got Alexa, Siri, or Bixby, or is a Google Assistant smart speaker, it’ll qualify as a digital assistant.

Active speakers

Unlike passive speakers that have no active power or amplifier circuitry, active speakers do. All of our picks here are self-amplified. This means that you can stream any sound directly to the speakers, usually via a mobile device connected with Bluetooth or through a Wi-Fi connection, without the need for a separate amplifier.

Watt

Wattage in regard to sound output and speaker power is a measure of the strength of the audio signal that drives the speaker. With active speakers like the ones here, this is all dealt with for you.

Drivers

A driver is a device inside any speaker, wired headphones, floor-standing monoliths, or bookshelf speakers that convert signals into sound. So it follows that larger drivers tend to be able to deliver a more powerful sound with greater accuracy. That said, this isn’t always the case as build material quality also plays an important role.

Tweeters

A speaker has two components: a woofer and a tweeter. A tweeter is responsible for producing high-frequency sounds. The very best Alexa speakers will probably have one, but some single-speaker models won't. With small devices, this is much less of an issue.

Woofers

A woofer is part of the speaker that produces low-frequency sounds. You'll commonly see these described by the width of the cone - in inches or centimetres. This will also give you a slight indication of how much range and power they may have.

an amazon alexa speaker echo dot and JBL Authentics 300 speaker
Alexa now comes in speakers of all sizes ©Chris Duffill/What's The Best

FAQs

What’s the best Alexa speakers for music?

We think the Sonos One, above, is one of the best Alexa speakers you can buy. Not only do you get the excellence of build that comes with the Sonos brand, but you also get exceptional performance and a clear, well-supported path for a whole-house audio solution.

What’s the best Alexa speakers for bathrooms?

One of the best Alexa speakers we’ve seen that has a waterproofing level that would make it survive in a bathroom is the Bang And Olufsen Beosound A1 on Amazon that we featured above. If there’s one thing you don’t want to cut corners on when it comes to an Alexa speaker for a bathroom it's water resistance –and this one is both dust and waterproof. Remember, unless it’s specifically designed to be submerged, we don’t recommend taking any electrical equipment into a shower or close to a bath. The equipment might not be the only thing that is irrevocably damaged.

Can I use Alexa speakers without Wi-Fi?

Yes, you can. But you probably don’t want to. As Alexa devices often come with Bluetooth, they can still be used as a simple wireless speaker. But then you’d be ditching some of the very best Alexa speaker features that you’ve invested in. If you’re unable to connect your speaker to Wi-Fi for any reason, such as being away on holiday, you may be able to share your mobile device’s 4G or 5G connection as a mobile hotspot.

What’s the difference between Alexa, Siri, Bixby, and Google Assistant?

These voice command technologies function in much the same way but are developed by different companies. Siri is Apple’s take on it, with Bixby developed by Samsung. As you’d expect, they don’t all share the same commands, settings and functions. They also focus on different features, depending on the device and assistant being used. For instance, Bixby is understandably very good with Samsung TV integration and its SmartThings platform for its devices; while Google Assistant and Alexa seem to favour media streaming. And of course, these operate in different ecosystems, so don’t expect to be able to control everything with everything.

We recommend doing your research, trying each out, and sticking to one brand of digital assistant wherever possible. It’ll make linking everything up that much easier. And where you can’t stick to one, try to make sure the device you’re considering is at least compatible with your choice of voice control.

Why buy an Alexa device?

The experts here at What’s The Best tend to gravitate towards Amazon Alexa simply because the near seamless integration with the company’s shopping platform is useful, the number of devices that support it is huge and growing, and it is responsive and accurate when spoken to. Plus, thanks to Prime Music, if you’re in the mood for some Red Hot Chilli Peppers, it’s clever enough to skip the grocery aisle and play some serious tunes at no extra cost.

How we chose these products

We selected our pick of the best Alexa speakers based on reliable and trusted brands, average user reviews, price, and suitability for each use case. We look carefully at the technical specifications of all products before we recommend them to ensure that they will meet buyers' needs without requiring modifications or costly additions to function as intended. With Alexa speakers, our main focus is on sound quality, build quality, overall design and connectivity options. Our writers also choose products based on hands-on experience where we own or have reviewed them ourselves – such as the Sonos One. Retailers are selected based on price, availability and reputation as a reliable and trusted seller.

Chris Duffill is a Senior Tech Writer and Reviewer for What's The Best. His background includes writing, editorial, marketing, design, video production and photography.

He specialises in home entertainment and audiovisual tech, including speakers, amplifiers, turntables, streaming media players, and TVs. He is also one of our resident experts in computing (PCs, tablets, smartphones, smartwatches), DSLR photography and all kinds of digital cameras. He also writes about retro gaming, game consoles and various electronic gadgets. If it plugs in, lights up or makes a noise, he’ll write about it.

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