Speakers have advanced so much in recent years that it seems mind-boggling to consider there was a time they didn’t come with some sort of smart assistant, such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple’s Siri.
Alexa speakers, in particular, have a range of skills. They can not only tell you the time, the weather, or who the President was in 1965 (Lyndon B. Johnson), but they can also make phone calls, control your other smart home devices, and order that near-empty tin of coffee on Amazon with just a voice command. Plus, Alexa’s multilingual mode supports English, Spanish, German, and five other languages.
Many devices also have unique features, such as additional internal speakers for high-fidelity audio, kid-friendly designs and programming for the little ones in your life, screen displays, and wireless chargers for multifunctional use.
Here’s what you need to know about Amazon Alexa speakers to find the best one for your household.
What to Consider
Most Alexa speakers are fairly plug-and-play. Because most models have a power adapter, you’ll need to install your speaker near an outlet. After that, turn your speaker on, connect it to a Wi-Fi network or a specific device via Bluetooth, then download the Alexa app on a Fire OS, Android, or iOS device. Wi-Fi provides the stablest connection and access to smart assistant commands, but Bluetooth allows you to travel with your speaker for streaming music and media on the go.
Many Alexa speakers, especially Amazon’s own Echo branded speakers, come with a free trial of one of the company’s media services, such as Amazon Music Unlimited or Amazon Kids Plus. These trials last several months or up to one year and automatically renew. You should keep track of the duration, and if or when you want to cancel, visit the settings of your Amazon account.
How We Evaluated
I’ve been a tech reporter for the better part of a decade, reporting on product launches and reviewing products for outlets such as Newsweek Media Group, Business Insider, Tom’s Hardware, Lifewire.com, GearBrain.com, and Online-Tech-Tips.com, as well as at my own blog, TechieSupreme.com. To recommend the best Alexa speakers, I surveyed the Amazon Echo line and Alexa-enabled devices from trusted brands. I chose options across different price points and with unique features, backing up my choices with notes from Amazon customer reviews and my own testing experience over several years.
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BY FIONNA AGOMUOH