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November 9, 2017

Best Alexa-enabled speakers

by John_A

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Not everything Alexa has to be an Echo. There are some great options out there for smart speakers without Amazon’s logo on the box.

If you want everything that Amazon Alexa has to offer — but don’t actually want an Amazon Echo, well, you’re going about things the hard way.

But you’re also in luck. Because Amazon Alexa can be baked into just about anything these days, and that also means other speakers.

Here’s a quick look at some of the best Amazon Echo alternatives you can find.

Sonos One

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This will be one of the more expensive entries on this list at $199, but for good reason. Sonos is the No. 1 name in wireless home audio, with great sound and ridiculously easy setup. And Sonos One is the first of its speakers to have Alexa built in. (And be sure to check out our full Sonos One review.)

The multiple microphones means Sonos One will hear you wherever you are. And it’s able to control anything that Alexa can control — and that means additional Sonos speakers as well. Looks great, sounds great. It’s still in its infancy, so Sonos is still working out a few software kinks, but this one should be high up on anyone’s wish list.

See at Sonos

Vaux cordless home speaker

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OK, I’m going to cheat a little here, but for good reason. The VAUX cordless home speaker is, in fact, a cordless home speaker with Alexa inside. Literally. It’s a speaker that you put an Amazon Echo Dot inside, connected via the 3.5mm audio port. It’s an ingenious little thing.

Why get this over something that takes advantage of Alexa via software? For one, it’s only $49. And because it uses an actual Echo Dot, you’ve always got the option to remove the Dot to use it in the more traditional way.

It’s a clever little option, actually, and one that you should definitely check out. Check out our full review.

See at Amazon

Sugr Cube Minimalist

sugr-cube.jpg?itok=CXfdH9M5You can’t troll around on Amazon without running into this speaker. The Sugr Cub Minimalist has mixed reviews, but there’s no denying that it’s one of the more intriguing-looking speakers of the bunch. And for a lot of folks that’s going to be a big selling point.

It’s also on the more expensive side, at $169 for the darker cherry, or $159 for the lighter maple model. But with it you can full Wifi and Alexa support, touch motion controls, and the knowledge that visitors are going ask about that cool-looking speaker on the shelf.

And all you have to do is have them ask Alexa. She’ll be happy to explain.

See at Amazon

Eufy Genie

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If you want something that’s more like an Amazon Echo Dot but comes in even less expensive, then you need to check out the Eufy Genie. (I have, and you can read that whole experience here.)

It’s currently listed at a mere $25 — or about half the cost of an actual Echo Dot. And you get a pretty good experience from it. I still think I looks better than the Dot, and it performs reasonably well despite having fewer microphones with which to listen for you.

It’s a really inexpensive way to get into the whole Alexa thing, and it’s worth checking out.

See at Amazon

Invoxia smart portable speaker

invoxia.jpg?itok=vfSsfq7MIf you want something a little different, Invoxia’s got an intriguing offering. This speaker has Alexa built in, of course, and it’s also got some other tricks up its sleeve. It’s got a small display on the front, a few physical buttons for things like internet radio stations and Spotify playlists, and you can make VOIP calls with a paired smartphone.

But maybe the coolest part? This rechargeable speaker has a magnet on the back so you can stick it to the fridge. Very cool. The basic gray model starts at $119.

See at Amazon

Amazon Echo

  • Tap, Echo or Dot: The ultimate Alexa question
  • All about Alexa Skills
  • Amazon Echo review
  • Echo Dot review
  • Top Echo Tips & Tricks
  • Amazon Echo vs. Google Home
  • Get the latest Alexa news

See at Amazon

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