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The Best Alexa Smart Speakers: A Comprehensive Comparison

Best Alexa Smart Speakers
© sandra / Adobe Stock / nextpit

Are you familiar with smart home devices? Have you heard of Alexa voice control, Amazon Echo devices, and smart speakers? Do you plan to enter the world of intelligent home control and are lost in a maze of numerous Echo speaker products? No problem: nextpit reviewed and compared the most important Amazon Echo devices for you and can provide you with a buying recommendation for every requirement.

The best Amazon Echo speakers compared

Table of Contents:

What you need to consider before buying

Amazon has launched many Echo devices over the years. Some of them are already in their 5th generation, so it is not easy to keep track of all of them. We have selected the latest device in each category for you in our "Best Of" list.

It should be noted that only selected Echo devices equipped with a display and/or a camera are considered. The sound quality among these Echo devices is also strikingly different. However, most Echo speakers can be expanded to a 2.0 or 2.1 sound system, which significantly improves the sound quality. Multiroom connectivity—i.e. the same music that plays in all speakers/rooms—is also supported by almost all Echo devices and is an amazing development.

All Echo devices presented today offer Alexa voice assistance and are equipped with a corresponding power supply unit. Anyone entering the world of Echo speakers should be aware that a permanent Wi-Fi connection to Amazon's servers is required to access the databases.

Before you make a purchase, carefully consider why you would want an Amazon Echo device. Is it for the children's room? How about the bathroom, kitchen, or the bedroom? Some of the Echo devices are also ideal as a fully-fledged sound system for your home entertainment system. We at nextpit now present you with our buying recommendation in each respective area.

The best Amazon Echo speakers

The Amazon Echo has been available for purchase since June 2015 in the USA. At that time, it still sported a 235 mm long column with 7 built-in microphones, a speaker, and an LED light ring, and it marked the beginning of Alexa voice assistance.

The Echo speaker is in standby mode around the clock to receive and execute commands or answer questions in response to the corresponding activation word (Alexa, computer, Echo, etc.). This permanent readiness can also be interrupted by a dedicated action button, which the wireless speaker depicts as such with a red light.

The Amazon Echo should be connected to the Internet around the clock to access numerous databases and be in contact with your smart home products. The initial setup and in-depth settings can be accessed via the free Alexa app. All Echo devices presented today have at least one speaker and microphone so that they can control it via Alexa voice commands.

Most of the smart speakers are also Bluetooth-enabled so they can also be paired and used as Bluetooth speakers.

The entry-level model: Amazon Echo Dot (5th gen)

The Amazon Echo Dot (2022) is the ideal gateway to the world of Alexa.
The Amazon Echo Dot (2022) is the perfect introduction to the world of Alexa - but only when it's on sale. / © Amazon

Read our detailed Amazon Echo Dot (5th gen) review to find out more.

The smallest Amazon Echo is already in its fifth generation. It no longer deserves its special 'Dot' moniker of the 4th generation, as it has mutated from a discus to a sphere. In addition, there has been much improvement in terms of audio technology given its small size of 10 centimeters.

Don't get me wrong: this is not a device that is meant to deliver a balanced sound experience. The 44 mm speaker simply lacks the bass, of which it would certainly achieve when coupled with another Echo Dot and Echo Sub. When used alone, this tiny sound sphere is ideal for audio playback in the background such as in the kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom. You can even hold a conversation with Alexa or have recipes read out to you. In short, this is the perfect Echo starter.

The best smart home hub: Amazon Echo Hub

The Amazon Echo Hub has already been reviewed by nextpit.
nextpit has reviewed the Amazon Echo Hub. / © nextpit

Read our detailed Amazon Echo review to find out more.

We had to wait a long time for the Amazon Echo Hub. At first glance, it appears to be just another Echo Show or an Echo with a display, but there is much more to the wall-mounted Echo unit than meets the eye. As the name suggests, it is the perfect control center for your smart home. It doesn't matter whether you're into the Matter, Mesh, Thread, or ZigBee universe. The Amazon Echo Hub operates securely across all ecosystems.

Wait a minute, wasn't it already available with the Amazon Echo Show 8 (review)? Yes and no—because using the sometimes non-existent widgets with the Show 8 or the Amazon Echo Show 5 (review) is a real pain. Sure, the widgets of the Echo Hub also have potential for expansion, but if any Amazon product has earned the title of smart home controller, it's the Echo Hub.

The best value-for-money: Amazon Echo (4th gen)

You get fantastic bang for your buck with the Amazon Echo (4th Gen)
The 4th generation Amazon Echo is the best value for money offer, not least because of its exceptional sound and versatility. / © Amazon

The 4th generation Amazon Echo almost slipped my mind. This is because the product images show an indistinguishable copy of the Echo Dot (5th gen). The devil is in the details: The spherical Echo (without any additional designation) is significantly larger and far better equipped. This is probably one reason why the sound sphere has not yet made it into our nextpit review department. Hence, I have to withhold the actual sound assessment from you.

Based on the technical specifications, the Amazon Echo makes a good impression with its two tweeters and single woofer. There is also an analog and digital jack connection, which the Dot misses out on now. The Echo speaker is also excellently equipped in terms of its diverse hub capabilities. Many people criticize the size of the external power supply unit included in the packaging.

Priced at just $99 a pop, it is certainly not dirt cheap. However, in the past, Amazon has occasionally introduced heavy discounts for a limited time. It is no uncommon to find it on sale. The best price dipped below $40 before. In view of its features, sound characteristics, and price, the Amazon Echo (4th gen) gets the best price-to-performance recommendation in our opinion.

The best sound quality: Amazon Echo Studio

You can't get any better sound quality than with the $200 Amazon Echo Studio.
The Amazon Echo Studio probably has by far the best sound in the Amazon portfolio, but at just under $200, it is also the most expensive pure Echo speaker. / © nextpit

Read our in-depth review of the Amazon Echo Studio to find out more.

The Amazon Echo Studio is something of a premium product in the Echo family. At just under $200, it can disrupt your monthly household budget. However, the speaker, equipped with a total of 5 speakers and a bass reflex port, also offers a lot. Looking at it from another angle, good hi-fi speakers with a WLAN connection normally cost considerably more.

A highlight is the spatial sound that the speaker guarantees thanks to automatic room detection. If you already have one foot in the Echo world with one of the small devices, you will feel comfortable with Alexa and now want a sound upgrade, the Echo Studio is the right choice. Take a quick look at our Echo Sub recommendation, which gives older Echos a new 'coat' of sound.

The best sound supplement: Amazon Echo Sub

Want more punch in your home audio? Get the Amazon Echo Sub then.
The Amazon Echo Sub is the most affordable Echo solution to add a lot of bass to your home. / © Amazon

Read our detailed Amazon Echo Sub review to find out more.

The Amazon Echo Sub is already a few years old in the Echo universe. It is also a small exception in other respects: it is not all useful as a standalone device. It is an addition to many Amazon Echo speakers that simply lack bass. With its 152 mm bass dome and 100-watt amplifier, it delivers a powerful bass effect.

If you want to build an affordable Echo 2.1 sound system, you can shop around the second-hand market for the Echo Plus, which appeared on the market in 2018, and combine it with the subwoofer. Of course, it is also possible to combine it with two Echo Dot (5th gen) when they are on sale again. Yes, the Echo woofer can even be paired with two Echo Studios, but there are other ways to spend your money frivolously.

The best display: Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd gen)

The Amazon Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen) eerily tracks your movements at home.
The 3rd generation Amazon Echo Show 10 surprises with rich sound and an intelligent display that follows your (somewhat spooky) movements! / © Amazon

Apart from the Echo Hub, we have neglected to mention Alexa-enabled devices with a touch-enabled display in our nextpit Echo "Best Of" list. This is no surprise at all as they are not really that user-friendly in terms of usability via the screen. However, one device stands out from the crowd: the third-generation Amazon Echo Show 10.

Thanks to its brushless motor, it can shift its viewing angle by almost 175 degrees, as if by magic. I don't know which word comes to mind first when I think of the Echo Show 10: is that spooky or magical? The 10.1-inch display follows you wherever you go thanks to the built-in 13 MP camera. This is something we're not quite as familiar with from Apple tablets and the so-called follow mode.

Of course, there is also a certain security aspect to it as you can also check out your home remotely. Of course, the Amazon Echo Show 10 is also great to use in the kitchen, where both your hands are occupied while cooking and the chef's recipes don't disappear from your field of vision. However, priced at just under $250, the R2D2 of the Echo family is not exactly affordable. We still have to review it extensively at nextpit. So if you have any questions, leave them in the comments and we will do our best to fulfill your inquiries.

What does your home look like? How far down the smart home rabbit hole are you? Do you already own one or two Echo speakers in your home? What do you think of our "Best Of" list—are you still missing out on an important Alexa device? We look forward to your comments.

This article was updated in February 2024 with new picks and updated models. Comments prior to the update were kept and may seem out of context.

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