Amazon’s Alexa is great, she can control all manner of smart home products, answer questions you may have and play the music you request.
The Amazon Echo devices aren’t the only speakers that offer the capable Alexa assistant though – there are numerous third party options that have embraced Alexa too.
From portable speakers to Alexa-compatible soundbars, we’ve gathered together the very best Amazon Echo alternatives. If you’re after Google Assistant speakers, we have a feature for those too.
Sonos entered the Alexa-enabled speaker market with the Sonos One. As well as Alexa, it also offers Google Assistant too, making it one of the most capable smart speakers around. As you’d expect, it sounds fantastic and looks just as good too, though not all of Alexa’s skills are available as yet.
If you want one of the best sounding speakers around though, with Sonos multi-room capabilities and Alexa built-in, look no further. Sonos has also announced an outdoor smart speaker, called Sonos Move, as well as a cut-down version of the Sonos One – Sonos One SL – that doesn’t have the smart element.
The Libratone Zipp 2 is a fantastic sounding portable speaker with interchangeable jackets. Sound is fired out in 360-degrees and the overall profile can be adjusted using the companion app.
In its second generation, the Zipp 2 is like an Amazon Echo Plus on steroids. It sticks to its successful roots, marrying great design with good sound, voice control and a decent app. The fact it’s portable also means you can take Alexa with you wherever you go.
Bose Home Speaker 500
The Bose Home Speaker 500 features a recognisable Bose design but it adds a display on the front, which is quite unique for smart speakers. The Home Speaker 500 has eight mic arrays to make sure it hears your Alexa commands, and there is a chance other voice assistants could be added in the future too.
The Bose Home Speaker 500 supports Amazon’s multiroom platform, allowing you to group this speaker with other Alexa speakers and it also sounds excellent.
Ultimate Ears offers the Megablast (and smaller Blast), both offering always-on Alexa voice-control, that’s always listening out for your voice. The only caveat is that you need a Wi-Fi connection, so it can only be used at home.
Being a dedicated speaker first and foremost, the UE Megablast sounds fantastic and it’s portable and waterproof so while Alexa won’t work outside your Wi-Fi connection, the Megablast stills offer great portable speaker functionality around the house.
KitSound Voice One
The KitSound Voice One is essentially an Amazon Echo Plus, but with even better audio grunt. It was made in collaboration with Amazon, so you get the full Alexa experience, meaning it can answer questions, play music from various sources and control smart home devices.
It’s capable of hearing you speak from the other side of the room and up to eight Voice One speakers can be connected together for multi-room playback.
Sonos followed up the Sonos One with the Sonos Beam soundbar offering Amazon Alexa capacities built-in. The Beam is a speaker and soundbar in one, offering the same multi-room capabilities as all Sonos speakers.
Like the Sonos One, the Beam also now boasts Google Assistant support in the US and UK, too.
Polk Audio Command Bar
Polk Audio’s Command Bar marries an Echo Dot with a fully-fledged soundbar, meaning anything the Echo Dot can do, the Command Bar can do, including controlling smart home products as well as source input, volume and bass levels. It also supports Alexa multi-room compatibility – something the Sonos Beam doesn’t.
The Command Bar is set up for movies and TV shows first, with music second, but it’s a very viable Echo alternative, offering a huge sound that will easily fill most rooms, while Polk’s Voice Adjust technology ensures voices come through loud and clear.