There are some speakers that won’t work with the Echo Dot.
To save you from accidentally purchasing something that you would have to send back, I’ve compiled this list of great speakers that work seamlessly with Amazon’s amazing personal assistant.
From budget to ultra high end and everything in between here are the 7 best speakers for the Echo Dot.
Echo Dot Compatible Speakers:
|Bang & Olufsen S3||9.5||Wireless/Wired||$$$|
|Bose SoundLink Mini ii||9.5||Wireless||$$$|
|Harman Kardon Aura||9.8||Wired||$$$$|
The UE Roll 2 is our choice for the best speaker for the Echo Dot.
The main reason we chose it as our number one is its versatility.
You can put this thing anywhere you please.
In a living room, in a shower, in the pool… anywhere!
It’s IPX7 waterproof rated which means you can submerge it in up to 3.3 feet of water for a half an hour, pull it out and it will still work like a champ. That means that showers are no problem.
If you have a multiple Echo Dot setup like me you can easily play music in the bathroom while getting ready or cleaning up.
Another thing we liked is that you can pair two of them together for stereo sound. You can put two of them close together on a headboard for example and get great audio.
Another option would be to put one in the kitchen and one in the living room for a more even sound throughout the house. It has a 66-foot range.
It also allows you to pair up to 8 devices to the speaker. While you can only stream one device at a time, this comes in handy when you want to pair another device like a smartphone so you can quickly play a song or youtube video on the speakers.
Sound quality is pretty good but you aren’t going to get a ton of bass out of these speakers.
Mids and highs are awesome but it isn’t exactly going to shake the house.
The charge time is also quite long if you don’t have them plugged in all the time. 5.5 hours. That isn’t great.
These are one of the best speakers you can get in the $50-$100 range. It's loud enough and won’t get distorted at high volumes.
Overall, good speaker, sounds good, looks good, and feels solid...It’s versatile so you can put it anywhere in the house that you want and when you’re not using it with your Amazon Echo Dot you can take it with you because of it’s rugged design.
If portability and waterproofing aren’t important to you then the Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay S3 is absolutely the way to go for Echo Dot use.
This speaker sounds fantastic…
That’s because it comes with 2 class D amplifiers and pushes out 240 watts of peak power.
It has deep heavy bass and the mids and highs are crystal clear...You can daisy chain up to four speakers through a wired connection or up to 2 speakers wirelessly.
Although you can set this up wirelessly, the best configuration is to plug your Echo Dot directly into the back of the unit.
That’s because there can be a bit of Bluetooth lag with the S3s. Also, you avoid any kind of pairing issues you might have with the Dot if you just plug it into the back.
I mentioned that they aren’t very portable. You have to plug them in at all times because there is no internal battery.
There’s a trade-off here. What you lose in portability you make up for in sound and style.
And speaking of style, the B&O BeoPlay have a unique look all on its own. You can replace the front mesh speaker grill with one of several color choices to fit in with your decor...
To sum up… You will love the design and size of the Bang & Olufsen S3. It's a compact and low-key little speaker, but packs an awesome punch! It really wows people and turns heads when you crank up the volume.
The SoundCore by Anker gets our vote for the best budget speaker for the Echo Dot.
While it is the budget option, it does have a couple unique advantages that I’ll discuss in a bit.
But first, let’s talk about sound.
In general, the sound is decent. At 6 watts of power, it can’t really compete with the other speakers on this list.
You will get better sound out of purchasing a the Dots older sister, Echo. However, if you buy a dot and an Anker SoundCore it will only cost you around $90 while an Echo will cost you almost twice as much.
In general, you will want to hook the Dot directly into the SoundCores aux port. That’s because when using Bluetooth the Anker will automatically power off and you will have to pair it every time you want to use it.
You can use it wirelessly if you want to. If for example you have your Dot in the bedroom and want to cook something while listening to a podcast you can take the Anker into the kitchen with no problems.
(Optionally, I have an Echo remote that I use while in the kitchen to control the Dot without having to go into the bedroom… or yell VERY loudly).
Two distinct advantages of this speaker are its range and battery life. While that won’t matter most of the time, if you are having a party you can move the Anker speaker up to 66 feet away from the Dot so you can listen to your favorite party tunes.
It also has an amazing battery life. 24 hours. That insane!
If you want to go portable you can purchase a battery for the Echo Dot and take it fishing or on a boat or camping or... You get the idea 🙂
All in all the sound quality is crisp at low and higher volumes. You will be able to fill smaller rooms with sound, no problem. You can plug it directly into the Dot for continuous use or use it wirelessly on a special occasion.
The UE MegaBoom by Logitech is the UE Roll’s beefier, older brother.
With 36 watts of power, it easily outperforms the Roll but you do pay for the sound upgrade. It’s about 3 times the price.
The mids and highs are great and the upper end of the bass spectrum sounds fantastic.
The bass doesn’t sound as deep as some of the other speakers in this guide but unless you are a bass head you won’t notice much of a difference.
The MegaBoom has all of the advantages of the Roll. You can pair up to two of these speakers at a time wirelessly.
I haven’t tested it but I would imagine that running two of these at a time would rattle the whole house.
It’s also waterproof. It wouldn’t be very practical to hang this in your shower because of the size but if you want to take it to the lake or the swimming pool it does float.
The battery life is also great at 20 hours at 80% volume.
It has a Bluetooth 4.0 radio so you can also control the unit up to 100 feet away from your Dot.
This is for someone looking for a (much) better sound. The low-end bass is a little lacking but not noticeable unless you’re an audiophile.
No speaker list would ever be complete without a Bose unit included. Even when talking about auxiliary speakers for the Echo Dot.
There is just something about what they do with the low and high bass frequencies that differentiate their sound from everything else out there.
I considered putting the Beats Pill on this list but when listening at high volume the bass started to crack and distort.
Not so with the Bose SoundLink 2.
It sounds great at every volume.
While the SoundLink is portable, you are probably going to want to just leave it attached to your Dot.
It’s a bit on the heavier side and it’s such a nice looking speaker that you probably won’t want to bang it up.
It has a feature to either enable or disable the auto on/off feature. This is important for Echo Dot use because Bluetooth speakers that turn themselves off automatically don’t play very nice with Alexa.
With the Bose Soundlink 2 you are going to get amazing sound quality even at high volumes, awesome sound output, hefty build quality, a really nice looking exterior, and easy quick pairing with the Echo Dot.
This speaker is very cool looking and the sound output is just awesome.
If you are looking for a more powerful speaker to hook up to your Echo Dot then this is the one to get.
Before I go on I want to quickly address why there is so many negative reviews on Amazon for this product.
It’s pretty much because Harman Kardon created 2 different versions of this speaker.
One with WiFi connectivity and one without.
There was some confusion as to which one people were purchasing… totally Harmon Kardon's fault but that doesn’t take away from the fact that this is a great speaker.
To avoid the confusion for you dear reader... just click the link above and you will be taken to the correct product which is the Bluetooth-only version.
Ok with that out of the way, let me talk about why this unit is so great.
First, it’s a bad ass, bass thumping, don’t turn it up too loud unless you want the cops called, super speaker.
One downside to using it with the Echo Dot is that if you’re jamming out with the volume too loud, your Dot might not respond to you. You will have to manually turn it down so that Alexa can hear you again.
Second, it, in my opinion, is really different and cool looking. Especially at night in dim light.
If you want to get creative you can shine a Hue Bloom directly at the Aura for a unique look with millions of different color possibilities.
All in all the sound will fill the room. It has fantastic highs and room-thumping bass. Does not disappoint. Be aware that you might need to turn this speaker down at times for your Echo Dot to respond to you.
I didn’t want to leave this list without discussing an ultra high-end speaker option for the Echo Dot.
And to that end… The Bower Wilkins Zeppelin wireless speaker is expensive… and amazing.
It comes packed with a six-inch subwoofer, two 3 ½ inch mid-range drivers and two one inch double dome tweeters.
The stereo separation is best in class and soundstage is phenomenal. Left, right, front and back all sound clear and fantastic.
You have many connection options but for our use, It’s best to plug the Dot directly into the back aux port.
This speaker is by no means portable. Where you place it is where it’s going to be.
This is a pricey speaker, but the quality is what you'd expect for the price. Bass is deep and crisp. Highs and Mids ring out clean and clear throughout the room.
If you are looking for a high-end Echo Dot speaker then this is hands down the very best one to get.
Speakers 101 -
Before we get into Echo dot specifics, let’s first consider what makes up a good (or great) speaker.
Watts - Generally speaking, the more watts the better. A 150-watt speaker like the Bowers Wilkins Zeppelin will sound FAR better than the 6 watt Anker Soundcore.
Really no contest.
In general terms, the watt of a speaker measures its loudness. However, a lower quality speaker may start to distort and crack above 80% volume so it doesn’t really matter how many watts it has. It’s still going to sound bad.
Some companies, like Bose, don't release the wattage output of their speakers.
I don’t really think they’re hiding anything. They probably believe that the total number of watts doesn’t tell the whole story. They don’t want to sway a buying decision on a great sounding, lower wattage speaker.
Tweeter/Woofer Size - It is a myth to believe that larger speakers will sound better than smaller ones.
In truth, they might actually give a better sound but what you really want to look for is the decibel measurement and cabinet design.
There is a great discussion on this forum on the topic if you want to go in depth but for our purposes...
Decibels (Db) is the measurement of human hearing. It goes from 0-140 where 0 is no sound and 140 will cause permanent hearing loss.
To give you an example, the Band & Olifson S3 maxes out at 95 dB and the UE Roll pushes 86 dB.
Just like the wattage of a speaker, don’t just rely on the dB rating to make your decision. Some speakers will start to distort at higher volumes.
360 Sound - 360 degree sound is a newer design that creates a rich full sound no matter where you place the speaker in the room.
Also known as omnidirectional, 360 degree sound systems disperse sound evenly in every direction.
They work by installing several speaker drivers in a circle or pointing the speaker driver down.
In the past, for the best sound, you would have to find the “sweet spot” in the room where you would then place the speaker. If you physically moved to certain places in the room, it wouldn’t sound as good.
Many speakers like the MegaBoom and also the Amazon Echo are equipped with 360 degree sound.
Auto On-Off - Ok so let’s talk about the Echo Dot now.
When choosing a speaker for the Dot there is one super important detail that we must address.
You need a speaker that DOES NOT go into auto off mode. If it goes into auto off mode then you will have to pair it every time you want to use your echo. This gets tiresome very quickly.
Another thing to keep in mind is that if you plug the Dot using the aux port, you will not be able to use the Bluetooth functionality.
How To Pair - Pairing your Echo Dot is REALLY simple.
All you have to do is say “Alexa (or whatever your wake word is) connect my speaker”. It takes a couple seconds and then it magically connects.
If it doesn’t “magically” connect, or you want to use a different speaker, you will have to go into the app and set it up manually.
Still a pretty straight forward process. Just go into the settings and choose the speaker you want from the list.
Wifi vs Bluetooth - WiFi speakers are becoming more popular because they offer great sound and can be run through your wireless network.
Unfortunately, at the moment, you can’t connect your Dot directly to a WiFi speaker. There is a workaround if you have a Sonos.
You can purchase a Sonos connect and plug it into the Dot. This will allow for wireless streaming through WiFi.
How To Connect To ANY Speaker - If you don’t have a Bluetooth speaker or you just want to use a home theater system or another random speaker there are a couple of ways.
First, the easiest way is to get a 3.5mm double ended jack and plug the Dot directly into the receiver or speaker if it has an aux in port.
Second, you can purchase a Bluetooth transmitter like the one pictured below.
You just plug it into the aux port of your stereo system or speaker and you’re good to go. I should note that you will need to pair it every time you want to use it by pressing the button on the receiver.
Not the cleanest solution but it will work.
Third, you can purchase a Sonos Connect. This will allow you to plug the Echo Dot into the back of the Sonos unit and connect not just to Sonos devices but also to any speakers that you plug into the back of the device.
I'll go into more detail about the Sonos Connect in a minute.
One Speaker or Two - Some Echo Dot compatible speakers like the UE Roll 2 allow you to pair an extra speaker.
This means that you can, for example, have one UE Roll in the master bedroom and one in the master bathroom and they will both play at the same time.
It does this by pairing the first speaker to the Dot and then you pair the second speaker to the first speaker creating a chain.
A Few Words About Sonos - Sonos is the darling of the home automation community and for good reason.
The sound is fantastic and the ability to control multiple speakers spread all throughout your house is pretty cool.
At the time of this writing, connecting an Echo Dot to a Sonos system is a bit wonky and really freakin' expensive.
That’s because unless you have a Sonos 5 which has an aux input if you want to connect the Dot to any of the other speakers in the Sonos line you have to purchase a Sonos Connect.
That will set you back around $300 bucks just for the ability to connect your Dot to a Sonos speaker.
In the near future, there will be direct Echo integration which I believe will remove the need for the separate Connect unit.
If you can’t wait then go ahead and purchase the Connect and in the future, you can use it to hook in your old record turntable or some legacy speakers you have laying around the house.
Optional Accessories - Here are a few accessories that you might want or need to go along with your external echo dot speaker.
3.5mm Jack - You can use a standard headphone jack to connect the dot to any speaker or sound system with an aux-in port.
Bluetooth Receiver - You can turn any stereo system or speaker with an auxiliary port into an Echo Dot-enabled device. Just plug the Bluetooth Receiver into the aux port, pair it and you’re good to go.
Echo Dot Battery - If you want to take your Dot on the go then you can purchase an optional battery that will connect to the bottom.
Final Words - Wrapping It Up
All of the units on this list are a definite upgrade to the wimpy speaker that comes stock with the Echo Dot.
The UE Roll gets our vote not because it has the best sound quality (the $700 B&W Zeppelin owns that title), it’s because…
The price is right, You can connect two speakers wirelessly to the Dot, it’s waterproof so you can use one in the shower and it’s also ultra portable.
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