LOGITECH IS the latest company to announce its own Alexa-powered speakers, courtesy of its Ultimate Ears subsidiary.
The Ultimate Ears Boom 2 and Mega Boom both have the capacity to work like an Amazon Echo (as well as Google Assistant and Siri if you so wish), as well as being some of the toughest speakers on the market.
The rush has been on to create third-party Alexa products, but the arrival of Logitech's Ultimate Ears is a big step forward.
Of particular note is that these are existing products that have been given a software upgrade to enable extra functionality - the Boom 2 is, in fact, two years old. Both are fine Bluetooth speakers in their own right which give much better sound than the Amazon Echo.
They're far from the only entrants to the market though. We're already beginning to see names like Jam which releases an Alexa speaker later this year, and Anker whose Eufy Genie costs just $35, and we can't wait to see in the UK.
We've also had a few into the office already. Previously we told you about the Triby from French company Invoxia. Designed for the kitchen, it integrates an internet radio with great sound quality, an intercom system that works between Triby devices and your phone, and of course Alexa. It's rubberised for maximum protection and best of all, it is magnetic so it sticks to your fridge.
Another new kid on the block is the Ninety7 Vaux. This is a slightly different proposition. It acts as a housing for your Amazon Echo Dot, and as well as significantly improving the speaker, it holds a battery pack, which means you can take it anywhere with you, as long as you have an internet connection of course.
We've been extra sneaky and plugged in a Chromecast Audio to the 3.5mm jack, so it's all things to all people. In any case, it's a lot cheaper than buying a full-sized Amazon Echo, even with the cost of the Dot.
Finally, the cheap and cheerful option from iLuv is the tiny Aud Click.
Smaller than a can of pop, it has a top facing speaker, and unlike the standard Echo, it offers multi-room support if you buy multiples. The sound is a bit tinnier than we'd like, and the Alexa isn't "listening", but rather requires a button press. We thought this made it ideal for a bedside table, where you want to feel a bit more private.
It took a bit of wrestling to pair via the app, but once it's done, it's done and it packs a powerful punch for its size.
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