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The best Alexa-compatible devices for your home: Our top 12
Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa, is pretty adept with music, news, and podcasts, or answering general knowledge questions. That alone can make an Echo speaker worthwhile, but new possibilities open up when you add third-party hardware. We’ve rounded up some of the best Alexa devices on the market, including gear that comes with the assistant built-in. Here’s our top 12.
The best Alexa devices:
Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best Alexa devices regularly as new ones launch.
1. Amazon Smart Plug
Smart plugs are a great place to start with Alexa devices, since they’re inexpensive and give you instant on/off control of appliances like fans, heaters, and table lamps. The Amazon Smart Plug isn’t spectacular — it’s Alexa-only, for one thing — but it’s affordable, guaranteed to work, and has streamlined setup via the Alexa app. It’s seriously easier than most, since you barely have to open the Devices tab to begin pairing.
While you can use it to turn something on or off with voice commands, the Smart Plug really shines with routines, i.e. automations based on triggers like the time of day or motion sensors. If you want your heater to warm up the bathroom before you even get out of bed, the Smart Plug can help.
2. Philips Hue Starter Kit
Philips Hue bulbs are almost the default when it comes to smart lighting. They’re easy to set up, come in many different form factors, and can be controlled not just via Alexa or the Hue app, but Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit. Their killer feature however is the Hue Smart Hub, which connects up to 50 lights without burdening your Wi-Fi, and ensures automations go off without a hitch.
Like smart plugs, smart bulbs are probably best used in routines. You might have downstairs lamps turn on when you unlock the door, for example, or porch lights turn on at sunset.
We recommend a Hue Starter Kit as your first purchase. The one featured here comes with three color bulbs, a smart button, and a Smart Hub. There are cheaper White bulbs though, or as a middleground, you could try White Ambiance lights that support “shades” of white, from a cool blue tint to a warm orange.
3. Fitbit Sense 2
You might already own a smartwatch or a fitness tracker, but maybe you’re due for an upgrade. There’s never been a better time to buy a wearable, since the market has matured considerably and there’s a plethora of options out there, no matter your interest.
For something Alexa-compatible we recommend getting the Fitbit Sense 2. It has the common fitness tracking features you’d expect, like a heart rate sensor, sleep tracking, and GPS, while also offering smartwatch functions like phone notifications and wireless payments. Having Alexa on your wrist means you don’t need to be near a smart speaker or pull out your phone to access the assistant’s ecosystem.
Other perks include ECG, EDA, blood oxygen, and skin temperature sensors. Fitbit is promising to add Google Maps and Google Wallet by the end of 2022.
4. Ecobee Smart Thermostat Premium
Smart thermostats can potentially pay for themselves — and then some — by making your home’s heating and cooling more efficient. Ecobee’s flagship is arguably the best on the market, and thoroughly integrated with Alexa, even operating as its own smart speaker.
If you set it up properly, you may not have to use Alexa much at all. The Smart Thermostat can detect whether someone’s home or not, and alter temperature accordingly to save money. You can also set up automated schedules via the Ecobee app, and tweak settings from anywhere in the world using your phone. A bundled SmartSensor can improve occupancy and temperature readings if you place it in a separate room.
You can potentially save money by buying the Smart Thermostat Enhanced, but that comes without a built-in speaker or bundled SmartSensor, and also drops detection of CO2 and VOCs (volatile organic compounds). It’ll still work with Alexa, you’ll just need your own speaker.
5. Ring Video Doorbell 4
Ring’s smart doorbells link with phones and Alexa-compatible displays and speakers (like the Echo Show 8) to let you see, hear, or talk to someone who’s at your front door. You’ll get alerts whenever someone pushes the button or triggers your customized motion settings.
The Video Doorbell 4 can run on either wired or battery power, and supports both 2.4 and 5GHz Wi-Fi, whichever works best on your network. One unusual feature is Quick Replies — a set of canned messages in case you’re busy, even giving visitors a chance to leave a message.
Note that like any Ring accessory, you’ll need a paid Ring Protect subscription to actually record and share video. The Amazon-owned brand also has a controversial relationship with law enforcement, having shared data in the past, so take that into consideration.
The Video Doorbell 4 isn’t cheap. If you don’t mind a wired-only connection and reduced feature set, you might try the Ring Video Doorbell Wired.
6. Ring Stick Up Cam Battery
The Stick Up Cam Battery’s main selling point is flexibility. It works both indoors and outdoors, and can be mounted on walls, fences, and other objects using an included bracket. Because it’s battery-powered, the only real limits are a solid Wi-Fi connection and whether or not you can reach the battery compartment when it’s time to recharge.
Like the Video Doorbell 4, the Stick Up Cam offers two-way talk, motion detection, and the ability to interact using the Ring app or Alexa-compatible speakers and displays. You’ll need a Ring Protect subscription to record and share video clips.
7. Eero 6 Plus Mesh Router
There are plenty of quality mesh routers, but being under Amazon’s wing, the Eero 6 Plus takes advantage of Alexa to offer voice control (with a separate speaker). If you’re a parent, for example, you can ask a speaker to disable Wi-Fi for a specific child or device. Each extender improves coverage, up to a maximum of 4,500 square feet, and the router can even act as a Thread and Zigbee hub for compatible smart home accessories.
Other options: These are the best mesh routers you can buy
The Plus improves on the original Eero 6 by boosting Wi-Fi speeds up to a gigabit, and including two gigabit Ethernet ports on each hardware unit, not just the core router. There’s also support for 160MHz client devices.
8. Amazon Fire TV Omni
Amazon has farmed its Fire TV interface out to other companies for years, but the best implementation is on its self-branded Omni TVs. They’re available in sizes from 43 to 75 inches and operate as their own Alexa speakers — you don’t even have to pick up a remote to turn things on or launch videos.
See also: Best 4K TV deals
Specs-wise, each Omni is a 4K model with an HDMI 2.1 port and three HDMI 2.0 ports, plus support for HDR10. You’ll have to step to a 65- or 75-inch model, however, if you want access to Dolby Vision.
9. Nanoleaf Lines
We could put any of Nanoleaf’s lighting kits here, but the Lines are the company’s latest and add a futuristic flair to any room. They’re modular, meaning you can arrange them in virtually any pattern, and buy expansions to build larger designs. On top of Alexa they integrate with HomeKit, Google Assistant, and Razer Chroma. You can also use the Lines’ Rhythm module to match your music, or sync them with a PC monitor using Nanoleaf’s desktop app.
A small note of caution — while Nanoleaf includes double-sided mounting tape with its kits, it won’t necessarily stick to every wall. In fact it may be wise to attach the Lines to a separate hanging panel, so they’re easier to relocate and you’re never worried about them falling down.
10. August Wi-Fi Smart Lock
Once you own one, locks can become some of your favorite smart home accessories, since there’s nothing like walking inside without fumbling for your keys, or a door locking automatically when you leave or go to bed. The August Wi-Fi isn’t cheap, but there’s no need for a separate bridge or hub, and it attaches to your existing deadbolt. That means you can keep using your existing key.
Alexa integration is primarily useful in routines, whether as an action (say, locking the doors when you say “Good night”), or a trigger (turning on the lights when you unlock). You can ask Alexa to control your door directly, but you’ll be asked for a PIN every time.
11. Fire TV Stick 4K Max
If you’d rather not buy a new TV for Alexa control, try the Fire TV Stick 4K Max. You will need to use the remote or a separate speaker for voice commands, but you’re getting much of the same functionality as a Fire TV Omni for $55 or less.
See also: The best Amazon Fire TV apps
It’s not a slouch in the specs department, either. It supports Wi-Fi 6, Dolby Atmos surround sound, and all three major HDR standards, including the rarer options of HDR10 Plus and Dolby Vision. You’ll need a compatible home theater setup to fully exploit that tech.
12. Sonos Beam Gen 2
The Beam is an Alexa-equipped soundbar, which kills two birds with one stone — it greatly enhances TV audio, but can still stream music, radio, and podcasts when your TV is off. Format support includes Dolby Atmos, which it achieves by bouncing sound off your walls.
You’re not limited to Alexa control either. You can optionally switch to Google Assistant, and it also supports AirPlay 2 for pushing audio from Apple devices. Your TV remote can be configured to control volume.