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Best Alexa-powered speakers

by Justin Herrick | February 10, 2018February 10, 2018 6:00 am PST

Amazon’s built itself an excellent ecosystem through Alexa, the digital assistant that debuted more than three years ago. Now she’s available on speakers, phones, tablets, and other everyday items. But it still seems speakers are where she’s suited best. People just love the convenience of calling out her name followed by a command, such as music streaming, to get an instant response.

The Echo family certainly made this digital assistant the world’s best. These days, however, you don’t have to buy one of Amazon’s smart speakers to get a positive experience. Alexa is available on plenty of third-party speakers at all different prices.

Here are some of the best Alexa-powered speakers you can purchase today.

Ultimate Ears Blast

  • Price: $230, eligible for Prime shipping
  • Color(s): Blizzard, Blue Steel, Graphite, Merlot

Portable speakers with Alexa built-in are actually tough to find, especially if you want one that sounds okay. Ultimate Ears, a Logitech sub-brand, introduced the Blast in late 2017 as its first product with a digital assistant at the core. The entire lineup focuses on style and durability as much as sound quality; therefore, you’re surely getting a beautiful speaker that goes with you anywhere and also makes for a really good listening experience.

Where the Blast separates itself from Ultimate Ears’ other products is the inclusion of Amazon’s digital assistant. With her integrated into the speaker, Alexa is always at the ready whether connected to Wi-Fi or a mobile hotspot.

The Blast is also waterproof. That means you can take Alexa with you into the great outdoors but rain won’t have any effect. Same goes for a pool party. Ultimate Ears’ Blast even handles drops. So really you can drop it onto a concrete surface and watch as it rolls into a swimming pool without worrying about a thing.

Battery life, too, pulls ahead of the competition. Somehow Ultimate Ears managed to get twelve hours out of a single charge.

Perhaps the sole downside to the Blast is its price. Ultimate Ears is charging a premium, but that seems justified considering no other Alexa-powered speaker looks this stylish.

Buy now: Amazon

Eufy Genie

  • Price: $30, eligible for Prime shipping
  • Color(s): Black

Eufy may not be a household name yet, but its products are always worth your attention. It makes various connected devices that, aside from saving you money, help you live a little easier. The Genie adds the power of Alexa into your home in a very small form factor. Place the Genie on a coffee table, countertop, end table, or nightstand. No matter where you have the Genie stationed, it won’t take up a ton of space while ensuring Alexa always hears you and you always hear her.

Don’t knock the compact design, either. Packed inside is a 2W speaker with multiple microphones to understand your commands and respond with clear, loud volume.

The best part about the Genie is how much money you have to spend. Most of the budget-friendly smart speakers are cheap because they’re poorly made. Eufy, however, struck a balance between affordability and quality.

Buy now: Amazon

Sonos One

  • Price: $200, eligible for Prime shipping
  • Color(s): Black, White

Everyone knows Sonos for its home entertainment products. The speakers and sound bars made by this company are best-in-class, which is why they’re so expensive. Sonos have every right to charge as much money as it does since you’ll be challenged to find as good as an experience elsewhere.

Sonos added Alexa support to its entire lineup in recent years. The One, though, is an entirely new speaker with a digital assistant built-in. Rather than having to talk to one device and wait for it to communicate with another Sonos-made speaker or sound bar, the One does all the work.

Alexa listens for your voice, dives into her knowledge graph, and returns an answer directly from the One.

Picking up two units of the One isn’t a bad idea by the way. Sonos’ proprietary software allows you to pair two units for instant stereo sound. Then you can get a Sub for deep base. If you have the Playbar or Playbase along with it, your home theater is going to not only sound great but be downright brilliant thanks to Alexa.

Buy now: Amazon

Invoxia Triby

  • Price: $120, eligible for Prime shipping
  • Color(s): Blue, Red, Cool Grey, Green

Invoxia jumped to Alexa’s side early on. The Triby launched back in 2016, but this smart speaker still serves its purpose well. It combines a speaker, radio, speakerphone, and message board into a single product. Families, in particular, have flocked to the Triby because of its E-ink display. With two forms of communication possible, just about anyone can interact with Alexa effectively. You’re also not bound to using Alexa for everything. The physical buttons let you navigate manually.

The design takes into account your environment. In addition to having a two-tone finish with a silicone bumper surrounding the speaker grille for protection, Invoxia included a magnetic back. You can easily mount the Triby onto a refrigerator or some other metal base in a moment.

Battery life under normal use is estimated to be up to three weeks, so you won’t have to constantly move the Triby around for charging.

Buy now: Amazon

Amazon Echo

  • Price: $119.99, eligible for Prime shipping
  • Color(s): Charcoal, Heather Gray, Oak, Sandstone, Silver, Walnut

Let’s be honest. Amazon makes the overall best Alexa-powered speaker, and it’s not just because this company gave us Alexa. The Echo, currently in its second generation, produces incredible sound that should impress just about anyone. Yet you’re not spending a fortune. Amazon’s flagship smart speaker will set you back just $100, lower than the first generation’s $180 price tag.

Now you get to choose from six colors/materials that make the Echo and Alexa a little more personal. Whatever your home or office’s style is, one of the six choices should match perfectly.

Amazon also welcomes you to pick up three units to get $50 off. It’s not a bad deal since the Echo is cheaper than ever, and maybe you have a friend or family member with a birthday coming up. Of course you could keep the extra units for yourself. Otherwise, pick up one and appreciate all that Alexa can do for you.

Buy now: Amazon


Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...

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