This is because Amazon opened Alexa up to third-parties almost two years ago. Allowing companies like Ultimate Ears, Sonos, Harman Kardon and others to get in on the Alexa action. Which means that the best Alexa speaker you can buy, may not be an Amazon Echo speaker. We have chosen the best Amazon Alexa smart speaker that is currently available – not announced, but the best one that is currently available for purchase today. There are also a few other great Amazon Alexa speakers included below, like the best portable speaker, the best budget speaker, and more.
Best Amazon Alexa-Enabled Smart Speaker: Bose Home Speaker 500
If you care about audio quality, then the options from Bose and Sonos will be at the top of your list. The Bose Home Speaker 500 won out as our pick for the best currently available, largely due to the small screen that is included. Both the Bose Home Speaker 500 and the Sonos One sound incredible.
With the small screen in the middle of the Bose Home Speaker 500, you can see album art for the music that is currently playing. The screen also works as a clock, so you could theoretically put this on a table next to your bed if you wish. It adds a bit of character and uniqueness to the Bose Home Speaker 500, which is needed in the world of smart speakers these days.
The Bose Home Speaker 500 also sports some rather impressive audio quality. You're getting stereo sound out of this speaker, as well as 360-degree audio. This means that you can place it on a table and it will fill the entire room with sound, rather easily. Which is good to see, especially considering Bose is known for its great audio quality on its products.
Users can play music through Alexa on the Bose Home Speaker 500, but they can also use the new Bose app – available for iOS and Android – to play music from different streaming services. The only downside to the Bose Home Speaker 500 is the fact that you cannot play audiobooks from Audible. That appears to be a feature that Amazon is keeping for its first-party, Echo devices.
The Bose Home Speaker 500 is not cheap, coming in at $399, it's actually twice the price of the Sonos One, but it is a much better product and surely worth that price. You can pick up the smart speaker from Amazon using the link below.
Best Budget Amazon Alexa-Enabled Smart Speaker: Amazon Echo Dot 3rd Generation
While there are other Alexa-enabled smart speakers available that are cheaper, they aren't as good as the Echo Dot. The Echo Dot is a small "hockey puck" sized smart speaker that is covered in fabric, giving it a nice look and also making that audio quality sound even better.
The Echo Dot doesn't have the best sounding audio, but it is pretty decent for its size. This is due to the fact that Amazon worked with Dolby to tune the audio quality in the Echo Dot. Getting the most out of its small size. However, if you don't like the audio quality, you can connect it to another speaker either wired or over Bluetooth – wired would be the better option, less lag involved there.
Amazon's Echo Dot comes in a few different colors, including charcoal, heather gray and sandstone. There's not a whole lot to this smart speaker. It plays music, has Amazon Alexa built-in, and works flawlessly. It's great to put into a bedroom, or a kitchen, allowing you to bring Amazon Alexa into every room of your home.
The Amazon Echo Dot (3rd generation) is typically priced at $49.99, however right now it is just $29.99 – its Black Friday price – which makes this a no-brainer purchase for anyone looking to bring Alexa into every room. You can pick it up from Amazon using the link below.
Best Portable Amazon Alexa-Enabled Smart Speaker: Harman Kardon Allure Portable
Most smart speakers are not portable, mainly because the digital voice assistant to be always listening means terrible battery life. So many manufacturers don't think it's worth the trade-offs. But there are a couple of portable Amazon Alexa speakers out there, including the Harman Kardon Allure Portable, which we believe is the best option due to its sound quality, and unique design.
The Allure Portable is the smaller (and more portable) version of its big brother, the Allure. It does still have that blue LED at the top, which gives it a rather unique look. The top part is clear, allowing you to see the blue LED that does light up when Alexa is listening, and is also used to indicate the volume on the speaker.
Audio quality on the Allure Portable is decent, but it is not better than the regular Allure, or even the Bose Home Speaker 500. The reason for this is because it is smaller, and needed room to fit a battery. So it can output about 20W of sound, versus the 60W that the Allure can put out. It does still have some pretty insane bass, as well as crystal clear mids and highs. Allowing for some great sounding audio coming out of this speaker. despite missing a woofer, the bass is still pretty powerful.
Those that are looking for an Amazon Alexa smart speaker that they can take with them on the go, the Allure Portable is going to be the best option to pick up. It can be used outside for picnics and family get-togethers, or placed in a larger room, since it doesn't need to be plugged in. Battery life on the Harman Kardon Allure Portable is rated at around 10 hours of continuous playback. Which is pretty good for a speaker of this size, that is always listening.
The Harman Kardon Allure Portable is typically priced at $199, though you can get it now for around $152.98. Remember prices will fluctuate, so it could end up being a bit cheaper. You can pick up the Harman Kardon Allure Portable from Amazon using the link below.Harman Kardon Allure Portable - Amazon - $152.98