Smart technology makes it so you almost never have to leave your house. But what if you like leaving your house?
That used to be difficult with Amazon’s Alexa. Alexa is one of the most powerful virtual assistants in the smart-home space. But “home” is the operative word. Traditionally, Alexa has been resistant to travel.
That’s changing thanks to the speakers we’ve found below that allow you to bring Alexa with you, creating a virtual home away from your literal home.
Read on to find out which is the best Alexa speaker to take on the go.
Best Alexa Speaker for Portability: The Candidates
We’ve analyzed these speakers based on various criteria we deem essential to a portable speaker. Here are our findings.
This is Amazon’s entry into the portable speaker space.
Battery Life: The Tap can provide continuous music playback for up to nine hours on a full battery.
Portability: We give the Amazon Tap an “A” for portability. It fits comfortably in your grip.
Cost: $99.99 through Amazon at its current discount price.
Additional Features: The Tap has a hands-free mode, which reduces the speaker’s battery life to eight hours. It also plays music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn.
Ultimate Ears BLAST
This is a classic, one of the most iconic portable speakers. Now it has Alexa.
Battery Life: The BLAST comes with a 12-hour battery life.
Portability: The Ultimate Ears BLAST is larger than the Amazon Tap. It’s got some heft to it. But it still fits in your hand for easy carry.
Cost: This speaker can retail for over $175, but if you find the right retailer and discount, you can find it for just over $100.
Additional Features: The BLAST can play music from Amazon Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, Deezer, and Spotify. The speaker is waterproof, and Ultimate Ears even calls it “drop proof.”
Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST
Take everything about the BLAST and turbo-charge it. That’s this speaker.
Battery Life: The MEGABLAST has a whopping 16 hours of battery life available.
Portability: The MEGABLAST is slightly larger than the BLAST. It’s definitely still portable, but if it were a coffee thermos, you would be buzzing the entire day.
Cost: $249.99 through Best Buy but $190 through Amazon at the moment.
Additional Features: The Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST is the loudest and clearest of the speakers on this list. It’s also waterproof and practically indestructible.
Best Alexa Speaker for Portability: The Winner
Typically, you’d read a rundown like this and expect the winner to be some moderate combination of all the best features at a mid-range price. Forget that.
We’re going out on a limb here. If you want the absolute best Alexa speaker you can carry with you, you’re willing to spend a little extra on something that will stick around for a while. That’s why we’re crowning the Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST our winner.
The MEGABLAST has all the features of the other speakers, plus it’s loud, clear, and tough. The extra price is a byproduct of its quality.
Beyond the Speaker
Once you’ve got your handle on the best Alexa speaker for your needs, you’ll want to inspect the homebound aspects of your smart system. Take a peek at our suggestions on voice-controlled home automation to get started.