Amazon's Echo was the very first smart speaker on the scene with artificial intelligence, and it still dominates the field. Since its launch, Amazon has grown the Echo lineup to include the new Echo, the cheaper Echo Dot, the touchscreen-enabled Echo Show, the fashion-forward Echo Look, the Echo Plus, and the Echo Spot.
However, Amazon is no longer alone in the smart speaker space. Google entered the fray last year with the Google Home smart speaker and it now has the Home Mini and the upcoming Home Max. Its smart Assistant now rivals Alexa for power. Apple also got into the AI smart speaker space with its HomePod.
Most recently, traditional audio companies like Sonos, JBL, and others have created smart speakers with Amazon's Alexa built right in, and they sound absolutely fantastic.
According to Business Insider...
If you want a smart speaker that does it all, the new Amazon Echo is the best one you can buy. The updated model costs a lot less than the original, but it's just as smart. It comes in new finishes to blend in with your decor better, plus, it's a bit smaller and it sounds better.
Amazon got a head start on the competition, and it shows. Alexa has more than 15,000 skills, supports dozens of smart home products, and works with too many apps to count. You can even order things on Amazon with your voice.
This slim, modern cylinder plays audio that matches great Bluetooth speakers for quality, and it'll fit in with any room's decor. When you awaken Alexa, a subtle blue light flicks around the round top of the speaker as it listens in.
You can play music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and more, and the sound quality is very good.
The only downsides are a lack of privacy, the general fear that Amazon is slowly but surely taking over the world, and the fact that Alexa's search chops aren't as good as Google's.
Here are the best smart speakers you can buy:
- Best overall: new Amazon Echo
- Best for sound quality: Sonos One
- Best for Google fans: Google Home
- Best cheap smart speaker: Amazon Echo Dot
- Best small Google speaker: Google Home Mini
- Best with a screen: Amazon Echo Show
- Best for smart homes: Amazon Echo Plus
- Best for big sound: Google Home Max