Alexa is everywhere these days. From our smart speakers to our thermostats, streaming devices, and kitchen appliances, Amazon’s all-knowing voice assistant continues to be integrated with our lives and hardware in new and unexpected ways.
With every update Alexa receives, the assistant adds new features and interactivity options. In this guide, we review some of the best interactive Alexa hardware in the way of speakers, displays, lights, wall plugs, thermostats, smart locks, cameras, and appliances. You can make your life easier with an Alexa-powered home, and we’ll show you where to begin.
If you’re going all-in on the smart home, you’ll want a good speaker or smart display. The best Echo device for you depends on your situation. What budget are you looking to spend? Do you want a speaker or a smart display? Do you want an Echo device with a hub built in? Do you want an Echo with exceptional sound quality, or do you plan on connecting an external speaker for music playback?
If you’re simply looking for basic Alexa functionality and the ability to control your smart devices with your voice, theis an ideal choice because it’s cost-effective and it has a small profile. You can also opt for the , so you can see the time, the weather, or a timer right on the front of the device.
But if you’re more serious about getting a smart speaker that can really fill the room with sound, then you should take a look at the orb-like 4th-gen Echo[/cc-placement], which is designed to broadcast 360-degree sound around the room while also using Alexa to control any smart devices around the home (compatible with ZigBee, too).
Or maybe you’re looking for a smart display that adds a useful touchscreen to show updates, internet searches, or videos while you work. These displays can also connect to compatible security cams and give you live feeds if you receive any alerts! Theis a smaller model that can happily fit on a kitchen counter or desk, while the new is a bold update to a swiveling base.
LEDs are taking over the world, and they represent one of the easiest ways to start smartening up your home. Some smart lights require an external bridge to connect to Alexa, but others just need to be screwed in like an ordinary bulb. When you purchase a smart light bulb, the manufacturer will usually state whether or not a separate bridge is required. Typically, you can schedule most smart lights to turn off at a certain time every night. But with Alexa integration, you can easily ask your speaker to turn them back on if you have one more Netflix episode to get through before you turn in.
Philips Hue has one of the most versatile lighting systems around and makes some of our favorite LEDs. Whether you’re opting for white bulbs, color, or light strips, there are a variety of Hue options — we are partial to . The company also sells with options that don’t always requires the Philips hub.
If you want to explore other brands, we also highly recommend, which are both reliable and affordable as an alternative. are another excellent bridgeless option, plus you can often find single bulbs for less than $20.
It takes a bit more effort, butare a reliable way to turn your lights on or off or get varying degrees of brightness. You can do all that with voice commands through Alexa and group them so you don’t have to turn off individual switches in succession. You will need to install an included smart bridge for these bulbs to work.
Smart plugs are great for turning non-connected devices into things you can control remotely. Whether you have a lamp with a busted or hard-to-reach switch, or you just tend to leave your coffee maker on, a connected plug can turn them on or off for you. Alexa compatibility is especially nice because you can ask her to turn on your reading lamp without having to get up from your chair.
The Belkin If This Then That to make its capabilities even more robust. Belkin also has a slightly bulkier that will show you how much electricity your space heater (or whatever else you have plugged in) is using.has a slim design, so you can fit two on a single outlet. The app lets you set schedules, and you can set up
Some of the best smart thermostats on the market are also Alexa-compatible. The , for example, comes with Alexa built into the unit for control and other Alexa-related capabilities, making it an ideal option if you don’t have an Alexa device, but you still want the voice assistant. The new offers an even better Alexa experience, providing excellent sound and enhanced features.
If you do already have an Alexa device, you may prefer a device that works with them, such as theor .
Smart locks are no doubt convenient for letting in the dog walker when you’re not home, but they make some people nervous. We recommend the August Smart Lock, which works with your existing lock, making it a great choice for renters who have landlords that need access to their units. (It’s also our pick for best smart lock.) For a more traditional smart lock appearance that also works great with Alexa, check out the durable .
Pairing with Alexa means you can check the status of the lock, lock it, or even unlock it with voice commands. Getting her to unlock your door requires a vocally recited pin, so you probably don’t want to shout at your speaker from outside your house.
One big reason people start getting smart devices for their home is security, so there is no shortage of security cameras that let you do DIY monitoring of your property. As we mentioned, the newest Echo Shows can also tap into security cam feeds whenever you want
The Arlo Pro 4 cam is an impressive security product that gives you access to 30 days of cloud recording, night vision, weather-resistant options, and fully wireless installation. Plus, because Arlo is one of the brands that work with the Amazon devices above, you see the video feed on screen.
Some of our other favorite security cameras can also do the same: The is a great indoor option with two-way audio, while the is a great option for more professional needs.
Even those who don’t have a Bluetooth speaker may be interested in an Alexa-controlled speaker that can play your music or function as part of your entertainment system, or perhaps even both. If this description sounds like something that’s up your alley, the Sonos brand is an easy recommendation.
If a soundbar that functions as part of a larger entertainment system and fits below a TV is more your speed, you should check out the Sonos Beam, or the newly released Sonos Arc. For those on a budget, the Polk Command Bar is an excellent way to introduce Alexa to your AV cave.
The Sonos One is a great solution for those looking for a central speaker for your next party or other gatherings. Amazon’s Echo Studio is another attractive option that delivers a fully dynamic 3D sound that is sure to get the good times rolling at your next party.
But what about when it comes time to stream your favorite shows? Can Alexa help with that too? The answer is yes, thanks to the Echo speaker ecosystem in your home, you can pair the speakers to the Amazon streaming devices for expanded surround sound — no speaker wire required!and . Once connected, both streamers unlock hundreds of hours of entertainment content, ranging from movies and TV shows to music and arcade-style games. Not to mention if you’re running an
We plan on seeing more and more appliances with added Alexa support. Whirlpool has led the charge, practically going all-in on Alexa a few years back. A large number of its fridges, dishwashers, wall ovens, ranges, and microwaves come equipped with WiFi connectivity and voice activation. The Samsung Family Hub refrigerators, in particular, integrate with many smart home features, including Alexa. Bosch also offers a full line of Alexa-enabled appliances. You can even have Alexa make your morning coffee with this Hamilton Beach coffee maker.
Alexa is available in smaller appliances, too. For example, the ChefSteps Joule and Anova WiFi are sous vide immersion circulators that feature voice control, thanks to Alexa. The iRobot Roomba 675 and Shark IQ 101AE Robot are Alexa-enabled vacuums. They even go so far as to empty themselves after they finish sweeping your home for you.
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