Best Alexa speakers: There’s more than just Echo
When it comes to smart speakers there are three main competitors: Amazon, Google, and Apple. Today, we’re here to talk about the best third-party Alexa speaker for you. Whether you want Alexa as a cooking companion, trivia partner, or glorified timer, we’ve got a lineup of the best Alexa speakers beyond the Amazon hardware ecosystem.
Related: What makes a great smart speaker
Aritcle Table Of Contents
Best Alexa speakers
- Sonos One
- UE Megablast
- Sonos Beam
- Libratone Zipp 2
- Marshall Stanmore II Voice
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best third-party Alexa speakers regularly as new devices launch.
1. Sonos One
The Sonos One is the best Amazon Alexa speaker you can buy and it features Google Assistant support, too. This minimalistic, stationary speaker is available in black or white. It can connect via the included ethernet cable or over Wi-Fi for high-quality streaming. The touch-sensitive top panel allows you to adjust the volume, control playback, and mute the microphone. You can select your favorite streaming services through the Sonos app. Doing so, however, isn’t necessary as you can just as easily select the Sonos One from Spotify’s app.
Sound quality is great even at loud volumes. According to SoundGuys, the bass response is a bit exaggerated. While it’s not great for analytical listening, it lends itself nicely to house parties. If you want a versatile at-home speaker that’s easy to use, stop looking and get the Sonos One.
2. UE Megablast
The UE Megablast is by far and away the best Alexa speaker for adventurous folk. It features UE’s signature cylindrical design and is IP67-certified, meaning you can take it on the road and in the water without worrying about damaging it. The 16-hour battery life is substantial for a portable speaker. Unlike the Sonos One, the UE Megablast supports Bluetooth connectivity and remains connected within a 45-meter wireless range. If your friend has a Megablast or Blast speaker, you can pair them up for stereo listening. To go crazy, collect eight Megablast speakers and connect them for bone-rattling sound.
3. Sonos Beam
Home theater nerds should look into the Sonos Beam. Just like the Sonos One, the Beam supports both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. You can connect the Sonos Beam to any other Sonos speaker for multiroom playback. iPhone users benefit from AirPlay support and Trueplay room calibration, which analyzes the room and adjusts playback accordingly. While you can’t experience Dolby Atmos, the Sonos Beam supports PCM stereo, Dolby Digital, and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound audio. Although this is one of the most expensive standalone options, it’s a great all-in-one home audio pick.
4. Libratone Zipp 2
People with a quirky sense of style who want the option to take their smart speaker on the go should consider the Libratone Zipp 2. Audio is radiated 360 degrees, like the UE Megablast, and the zippered cloth cover can be removed for washing and easy replacement. Not only can you stream over Wi-Fi, but it also supports aptX for high-quality Bluetooth streaming and includes a 3.5mm input for wired listening. If you’re a fashion-forward listener who wants something that respects both function and form, listen with the Zipp 2.
5. Marshall Stanmore II Voice
For great sound quality and a classic design, you’ll need to get the Marshall Stanmore II Voice. It boasts the company’s iconic vinyl design with metal knobs and switches for volume and EQ adjustments. The bass-reflex system combats auditory masking, resulting in clearer audio reproduction. In order to use the Stanmore II, it must be plugged into an outlet. This shouldn’t be too much of a bummer as it would be a cumbersome speaker to frequently transport. You can connect to the speaker via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 3.5mm input, or RCA input. For the best wireless quality, Wi-Fi trumps Bluetooth every time.
These are our picks for the best Amazon Alexa speakers available right now. We’ll be sure to update this list as more third-party Alexa speakers hit the market.
What you should know about your Alexa speaker
- Alexa integration affords a wide array of skills. Instead of sifting through the frivolous ones, we have a list of the 10 best Alexa skills and apps to get you started.
- Getting started with an Amazon Alexa speaker can be confusing, and unfortunately, virtual assistants are still buggy. On the flip side, many common Alexa speaker issues can be easily resolved.
- Connecting via Wi-Fi allows for high-quality audio streaming that outperforms any Bluetooth codecs.
Why you should trust SoundGuys
SoundGuys.com is our sister site that focuses solely on all things audio. The team has a diversified understanding of audio and respects that certain aspects are objective and quantifiable without disregarding the importance of subjective enjoyment. When it comes to consumer audio, SoundGuys strives to cut through the muck, granting readers more time to enjoy their music. Ultimately, the team hopes to educate readers with each post and pique the interest of fellow audio geeks.