When it comes to smart speakers, there are three main competitors: Amazon, Google and Apple. Today we are here to talk about the best third-party Alexa speaker for you. Whether you want to have Alexa as a cooking partner, trivia partner or glorified timer, we have a line-up of the best Alexa speakers outside of Amazon's hardware ecosystem.
Related: What makes a great smart speaker
Publisher's note: We will regularly update this list of the best Alexa third-party speakers when new devices are launched.
The Sonos One is the best Amazon Alexa speaker that you can buy and also offers support for Google Assistant. This minimalist, stationary speaker is available in black or white. It can connect via the included Ethernet cable or via WiFi 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 via the Sonos app. However, this is not necessary because you can just as easily select the Sonos One in the Spotify app.
The sound quality is great even at hard volumes. According to SoundGuys, the bass response is a bit exaggerated. Although it is not great for analytical listening, it lends itself well to parties. If you want a versatile home speaker that is easy to use, stop searching and buy the Sonos One.
The UE Megablast is by far the best Alexa speaker for adventurous people. It has the distinctive cylindrical design of the UE and is IP67 certified, meaning you can take it on the road and in the water without worrying about damage. The battery life of 16 hours is considerable for a portable speaker. Unlike the Sonos One, the UE Megablast supports Bluetooth connectivity and stays connected within a wireless range of 45 meters. If your friend has a Megablast or Blast speaker, you can pair it for stereo listening. To go crazy, collect eight Megablast speakers and connect them for rattling sound.
Home theater nerds must watch 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 multi-room playback. iPhone users benefit from AirPlay support and Trueplay room calibration, which analyzes the room and adjusts playback accordingly. Although you cannot experience Dolby Atmos, the Sonos Beam PCM supports stereo, Dolby Digital and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound audio. Although this is one of the most expensive stand-alone options, it is a great all-in-one audio choice for the home.
People with a quirky sense of style who want the option to take their smart speaker with them should consider the Libratone Zipp 2. Audio is radiated 360 degrees, such as the UE Megablast, and the fabric cover with zipper can be removed for washing and easy to replace. Not only can you stream via Wi-Fi, but it also supports aptX for high-quality Bluetooth streaming and has a 3.5 mm input for wired listening. If you are a progressive listener who wants something that respects both function and form, then listen with the Zipp 2.
For great sound quality and a classic design, you need the Marshall Stanmore II Voice. It features the company's iconic vinyl design with metal buttons and switches for volume and EQ adjustments. The bass reflex system combats auditory masking, resulting in clearer audio reproduction. To use the Stanmore II, it must be connected to a power outlet. This should not be too bad, because it would be a cumbersome speaker to transport regularly. You can connect to the speaker via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 3.5 mm input or RCA input. For the best wireless quality, WiFi surpasses Bluetooth every time.
These are our choices for the best Amazon Alexa speakers currently available. We will certainly update this list if more third-party Alexa speakers come on the market.
SoundGuys.com is our sister site that focuses entirely on everything that has to do with audio. The team has a varied understanding of audio and respects that certain aspects are objective and quantifiable without ignoring the importance of subjective enjoyment. When it comes to consumer audio, SoundGuys strives to cut the mud, giving readers more time to enjoy their music. Ultimately, the team hopes to inform readers about each post and to awaken the interest of other audio nerds.