It’s 2023. If you haven’t already, it’s time to introduce one of the best Alexa devices to your space to upgrade your “normal home” into a “smart home.” Smart home devices allow you to control everyday electronics and appliances, like your coffee maker, doorbell, and air conditioner through a central smart speaker, digital voice assistant, a smart home hub, an app on your phone, or all of the above. Of course, creating a smart home has numerous benefits other than creating a futuristic space. With a digital assistant and the best Alexa devices, you’ll have access to conveniences like:
- A more energy-efficient home
- Less time doing chores
- Easier communication with others in your home
- The ability to remotely control appliances and other smart devices
- A home that’s better prepared for future technological advances
A downside to making the switch is having to decide on which digital assistant to use. Although you could go with Google Assistant or Apple’s Siri, we recommend Amazon’s Alexa for ease of use and compatibility across most appliances. Alexa integrates seamlessly with both Amazon devices as well as an array of third-party products.
To make this decision easier, SPY set out to review the best Alexa devices for the modern smart home. From smart plugs to smart lightbulbs that are controlled by the sound of your voice, you’ll feel like you’re living next door to The Jetsons.
It is important to note that many of the products below are available in a variety of bundles, giving you more Alexa-enabled devices for a better price and bringing your home into the future as quickly as possible.
The Best Alexa Devices At A Glance
Echo Dot with Clock (5th Gen)
Who’s It For: Anyone who needs a handy alarm clock by their bedside to tell the time. Stay-at-home3 parents and anyone working from home who needs background music.
Read More: Amazon Echo Dot 5 Expands Your Wi-Fi & Respects Your Privacy
Why We Chose It: It’s affordable, has surprisingly great audio, and you can instantly tell the time.
If you want a versatile device that can deliver solid audio quality and give you control over your smart home while remaining affordable, then the Echo Dot with Clock is the best Alexa accessory around. This Echo Dot with Clock does everything the standard Echo Dot can do, but can also display the time thanks to LEDs under the speaker fabric.
This fifth-generation model is special because it doubles as an Eero Wi-Fi mesh router, giving you a simple and easy way to expand your home’s Wi-Fi network if there are any dead spots. Furthermore, it gained some useful tap gestures to dismiss alarms, notifications, and more. So once you’ve used this speaker to lock the doors, set an alarm, and check your calendar before bed, you can still sneak a peek at the clock without having your Echo yell at you at 5 a.m.
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max
Who’s It For: Streaming junkies who need to watch their favorite streaming services in 4K glory.
Read More: What You Need To Know About Streaming Sticks
If you don’t like the smart TV software that comes with your TV or your old Amazon Fire TV streaming device is starting to show its age, that’s not a problem. The Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max is affordable and supports all the latest technologies, including 4K resolution, Dolby Vision HDR content and Dolby Atmos sound.
It also supports virtually every streaming app you could ever want, including more recent services such as HBO Max, Disney+, Peacock and Paramount Plus. But what really makes this a must-have product is the fact that the interface is not only easy to use but is also designed to surface the content you want to watch without you having to surf through a countless number of menus.
Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance LED Smart Bulbs
Who’s It For: Families that want to keep a light on when they’re away. Artists that need mood lighting. Gamers looking to spruce up their streaming setup.
Read More: The 12 Best Smart Bulbs for Perfect Lighting at Home
Forget lights that clap on and clap off. Join the 21st century by investing in a few smart bulbs, like these ones from Philips. The Philips Hue White LED Smart Bulbs can be controlled using the Philips Hue app or with your voice using Amazon Alexa. This means that you can constantly adjust the brightness of the bulbs, set timers for your lights and create triggers for your lighting system at the touch of a button.
You’ll also be able to turn lights on and off while you’re away from home or whenever you just don’t want to get out of bed. Smart bulbs really are one of the best ways to take advantage of the power of a digital assistant.
Ring Car Cam
Who’s It For: Anyone looking to increase their car’s security when operating and when not by way of a camera that faces both inside and out the front windshield.
Featured In: Best of CES 2023 — All the Coolest Tech Gadgets We’re Itching To Get Our Hands On
Keep a watchful eye on your car with the Ring Car Cam that has dual cameras that look out the front windshield and inside the car cabin. The latter is especially useful for increasing the safety for those of you who drive for rideshare companies like Uber or Lyft.
While you’re away, there are motion alerts sent to your phone via push notifications so you can see if anyone is trying to tamper with your car. You can even ask Alexa to record video on command and save it to the cloud with the optional Ring Protect Go subscription.
Amazon Echo Show 15
Who’s It For: Detail oriented users who need a centralized gadget to oversee their smart home; friends who live together and need a way to quickly post messages and reminders; forgetful kids who need reminders from parents.
Review: The New Amazon Echo Show 15 Is So Much More Than a Smart Display
Why We Chose It: Due to its massive size, you can’t miss the Echo Show 15 and its ability to take command of your smart home with its dynamic widgets.
The newly updated Amazon Echo Show 15 is one of the best Alexa devices for controlling your new smart home. If you already have a ton of Amazon-enabled gadgets around the house (or if you’re looking to buy them in bulk and get your smart house all set up), you’ll definitely want the Echo Show 15 to act as your command center.
With a gorgeous display, some very useful widgets and an easy setup, this one is a no-brainer for those looking to instantly upgrade their homes. We got our hands on this one to test it and loved it as a beautiful command center. While it isn’t perfect, it’s very much worth your consideration when building out a home full of the best Alexa devices.
Ring Video Doorbell 4
Who’s It For: Homeowners who want to deter potential porch pirates; elderly folks who have limited mobility; property owners looking to crack down on unauthorized parties.
Review: Amazon’s Ring Video Doorbell 4 Is the Camera To Beat So Far in 2022
Why We Chose It: With its pre-roll feature that captures several seconds before the start of an even trigger, the Ring Video Doorbell 4 ensures that nothing’s ever missed.
The Ring Video Doorbell 4 is a smart device that allows you to monitor who comes to your front door. The doorbell includes a small camera with a motion detector and infrared night vision, so that any time someone is on your doorstep, you can see them through any phone, tablet or PC connected to your doorbell. You can also hear and speak to visitors using the included app.
Of course, the Ring Video Doorbell 4 also connects to Alexa. Anytime the doorbell is pressed or motion is detected, you can program Alexa to provide an announcement. You can also see, hear and talk to visitors through any Echo Show or Echo Spot device.
Amazon Smart Plug
Who’s It For: Anyone who wants to convert their appliance, small electronics, and other popular household plug in and give them the ability to be remotely controlled by Alexa.
Read More: Amazon Smart Plug Review — Just Your Average Smart Plug
Why We Chose It: This is the cheapest, most cost effective way of upgrading your home into a smart home. Whether it’s the coffee maker, living room lamps, or that fan in the garage, you can make them all smart with this ingenious gadget.
Adding one of these Amazon Smart Plugs into your home environment will make your life a little bit easier and possibly save you some cash for that one appliance that sucks up power even when its off. But changing every plug will give you complete Alexa control over all of your devices over your Wi-Fi network.
The Alexa app allows you to control the plugs from anywhere using your smartphone, letting you schedule options for daily routines as you supply or cut power in your devices throughout your home, so you’ll never have to come home to a dark house ever again.
Echo Dot (5th Gen)
Who’s It For: Anyone looking for a great sounding and affordable smart speaker to integrate with an Alexa-powered smart home.
Why We Chose It: The 5th generation smart speaker is the best sounding to date.
Amazon’s tiny spherical smart speaker is back for a fifth time and with improved sound. Alexa is at your beckoning call to play music, set a timer, answer virtually any question you can think of, or even tell you a joke on command.
Beyond taking the sound quality up a notch compared to previous generations, the Echo Dot takes your privacy more seriously with privacy controls and even a mic off button. And if you have more than one Echo Dot 5, you can pair them together to have the same song playing in different rooms, or even create a makeshift home theater system. This little sphere has plenty of tech packed into it.
Amazon Echo Show 5
Who’s It For: Light sleepers who don’t want a ginormous smart display nearby; people who prefer to video chat a lot; anyone who craves utility with their gadgets.
Read more: How To Use Amazon Alexa Drop In Feature for Instant Communication
Why We Chose It: While it offers all the features of an Alexa powered smart speaker, the Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) is an affordable upgrade for smart home users that want to go beyond just voice control.
If you already have the Dot and you want to take Alexa to the next level, the Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) is not only one of the best Alexa devices for beginners, but also a great introductory smart display. This Alexa-enabled smart hub boasts a compact, 5-inch screen, which is designed to show you the weather at a glance, give you a visual representation of your calendar and even connect you to friends and family via video chat.
Just like other Echo devices, you can control the Echo Show 5 with your voice, along with all your Alexa-enabled devices from your TV to your smart plugs. And, because it has a screen, the Show is especially useful for showing you security camera footage and a real-time picture of what your smart doorbell is seeing.
Amazon Echo (4th Gen)
Who’s It For: Music lovers looking to share their love of music; home theater buffs that need more heart pounding sound than their TV’s internal speakers.
Read more: Here’s How Alexa Can Help us Take Care of Our Aging Loved Ones
Why We Chose It: Combining its unique orb shape and exceptional audio performance, the Amazon Echo (4th Gen) not only looks good, but it sounds awesome as well.
If you want the Alexa speaker that strikes the best balance between features, performance and price, the new fourth-generation Amazon Echo can do it all. Like all Alexa speakers before it, the new Amazon Echo comes with Alexa integrated, which means that you can use your voice to add items to control smart home devices and accessories that are connected via WiFi. But Amazon has also added a new AI-powered NZ1 CPU to make interacting with Alexa more natural.
This speaker also has integrated Zigbee hardware, which expands the number of smart home devices that can connect to the Echo without the need for additional hubs, bridges or routers. Add to that a completely redesigned speaker that promises vastly improved audio quality and you’ve got yourself a winner, especially since you can pair it with a second Echo speaker for stereo sound.
Amazon Echo Glow
Who’s It For: Kids who need a better looking night light next to their bed.
Read more: Amazon Alexa vs. Google Home — Which Smart Home Ecosystem Is Best?
Why We Chose It: Other Alexa devices may appear intimidating, but the Amazon Echo Glow’s inviting looks give it an approachable demeanor that children enjoy.
If you have kids, the Amazon Echo Glow is a great option for a night light, or a fun way to introduce various routines into your household buy using light-based cues. And while this technically might not be targeted towards adults, it could even double as an easy way to add some adjustable LED mood lighting to your home at a reasonable price.
Fire TV Cube (3rd Gen)
Who’s It For: Those looking to get smart capabilities like voice AI without having to buy a whole new TV.
Why We Chose It: It’s a great alternative to buying a new TV to get the latest smart capabilities.
With the Fire TV Cube (3rd Gen) you can turn your ol’ dummy of a TV into the smartest in the class. Equipped with WiFi 6E support and a super slick octa-core processor, your once-dumb TV will feel like a freshly unboxed brand new one. With the support of 4K, Dolby Vision, HDR and Dolby Atmos audio, (and perhaps paired with a couple of Echo Dot 5th Gen) you’ll have a full fledged cinema in your home for only a couple hundred dollars. It’s one of the smartest ways to give your old TV the education it sorely needs.
Ecobee3 Lite Smart Thermostat
Who’s It For: Homeowners that want a more efficient way of heating and cooling their homes.
Read more: 7 Things You Didn’t Know Your Smart Thermostat Could Do
Why We Chose It: It’s time to stop wasting money with the air conditioner running when no one’s home. The Ecobee3 Lite Smart Thermostat ensures your home is cooled efficiently.
It’s no surprise that Amazon makes the best Alexa devices, but you can also find some excellent Alexa-capable gadgets from other brands. Case in point: the Ecobee3 smart thermostat. These devices make the average house much more energy-efficient and help to uncomplicate your life, too.
The Ecobee3 Lite Smart Thermostat works with Amazon Alexa to regulate the temperature in each room of your house. Through a series of room sensors and knowledge of the outside temperature, the thermostat can determine how warm a room is and adjust the heat or air-conditioner output accordingly. The sensors can also tell if you aren’t home, triggering a series of events for your departure or arrival. The Ecobee3 Lite Thermostat can be controlled using voice commands with Alexa or through the Ecobee app on any smartphone.
Amazon Echo Studio
Who’s It For: Music aficionados that want to impress friends with heart pounding audio.
Read more: The Best Alexa Speakers You Can Buy
Why We Chose It: There’s no other speaker on the market that can match its power output, clarity, and 3D sound performance.
The Echo Studio contains the most technologically advanced speaker of any Alexa Echo device.
Inside this bulky digital assistant live five individual speakers boasting Dolby Atmos technology, resulting in powerful bass, dynamic midrange sounds and crisp high notes.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about the Echo Studio is that it can adapt to the acoustics of any room, straight out of the box, and will continue to adapt every time you use it. In addition to being great for a dance party, the Echo Studio can do the same thing every other Alexa-enabled Echo device can, including controlling your smart home devices, playing games and answering all your burning questions.
Yale Assure Lock 2
Who’s It For: Those looking to button-up their home security with the latest keyless tech.
Read more: The New Yale Assure Lock 2 Is a Smart Lock Prepared For The Future
Why We Chose It: It has smart capabilities that make it prepped for the future.
This straight-A student of smart locks has a ton of great features and is ready for when the rest of the world catches up. It’s available in a completely keyless lock model as well as one that offers a trusty ol’ key. There’s great auto-locking features like geofencing that will lock and unlock your door automatically when you (with your phone) come and go. It’s also Google Matter compatible meaning when you are connecting to the smart lock over WiFi, all actions and prompts will be extra speedy. Matter technically isn’t out yet, but when it arrives, this smart lock will be ready already.
Sonos Beam Gen 2
Who’s It For: Movie junkies who don’t like the messy look of wires everywhere; music lovers that want to quickly play a sound through voice control.
Why We Chose It: Aside from its superb audio, it’s the centerpiece for what could be the start of a solid surround sound system in your entertainment center.
Although not produced by Amazon, the Sonos Beam Gen 2 has Alexa built-in. And with four full-range subwoofers, this smart speaker/soundbar produces impressive sound when paired with your TV via the HDMI ARC port. You’ll wonder how you ever survived with just your TV speakers after watching your first show using the Sonos Beam.
The beam is only 25.6 inches long, so it will fit on most TV stands quite easily. It can also stream music from several different services through the Sonos app when you aren’t watching TV.
Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED
Who’s It For: Budget TV shoppers looking for a large 65-inch screen with all the fixin’s — 4k technology, a QLED panel as well as a convenient streaming platform.
Why We Chose It: A great display panel with the latest smart TV tech at an affordable price.
The Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED is hoping to infiltrate the premium TV market with a premium QLED display at a budget TV price. At the time of publishing, this 65-inch display is as low as $549.99 and considering all that’s packed in, that’s a steal. Adaptive brightness automatically optimizes the display’s brightness depending on the lighting in the room for a great viewing experience. And of course, you can operate your TV virtually hands free thanks to Alexa. It’s big, affordable and a convenient way to watch TV this year.
Blink Mini Pan-Tilt
Who’s It For: Homeowners looking for a quick and easy way to place security cameras throughout their home without spending a fortune.
Read More: Blink Mini Review — When It Comes to This Budget Security Camera, You Get What You Pay For
Why We Chose It: It’s a simple, easy to setup security camera that covers the basics when it comes to watching out for all sorts of motion.
You have a smart home, now protect it with a smart security camera. The Blink Mini security camera works indoors so that you can keep track of what’s happening around your house from anywhere and at any time. Whenever the camera detects motion, it will send you an alert via Alexa. The camera also boasts a built-in speaker so you can hear what’s going on and talk to whoever you see in the live footage.
And if you have an Echo Spot or an Echo Show, you’ll be able to monitor your home from the screen on those devices. Best of all, this version has the ability to pan and tilt for 360-degree coverage. As an added bonus, Blink cameras (both indoors and outdoors) can be linked together to provide you with a broader picture of your house.
Amazon Echo Show 10
Who’s It For: Non-tech savvy individuals (our parents) who need supervision when no one else is home to watch them; users who want a solid speaker for music with the benefits of an interactive display.
Read more: Amazon Echo Show 15 vs Amazon Echo Show 10
Why We Chose It: On top of playing music and controlling other smart devices in the home, you can use it as a security camera to remotely inspect all corners of a room because it can pan 360-degrees.
In our head-to-head review of the Echo Show 10 and the Echo Show 15, we ultimately gave the Show 15 the W. That said, there are plenty of reasons to consider the Show 10, especially if you already have a command center like the 15 and simply want a bigger, badder display for the kitchen.
Thanks to its built-in speaker, this thing can really crank the tunes, which makes it useful for video chats or playing music while following recipes along in the kitchen. Though it’s certainly not cheap, it’s yet another example of how well Amazon’s Echo products can integrate into your daily life.
Amazon Smart Air Quality Monitor
Who’s It For: Homeowners and small businesses that want to make sure they’re breathing clean air; allergy suffers who need up-to-date details about the air quality.
Read More: Amazon Smart Air Quality Monitor Review — Peace of Mind at an Affordable Price
Why We Chose It: This discreet looking gadget may still innocently somewhere in the home, but it can possible save lives as well because it can monitor for carbon monoxide.
Did you know that the Amazon Smart Air Quality Monitor has the potential to save lives? Sure, this innocuous looking gadget might not seem to do a whole lot perched in a corner or somewhere, but it’s actively monitoring the air to make inform you about what pollutants are around.
This is the best Alexa device for sensing changes in the air quality. From being able to monitor for VOCs (volatile organic compounds) from aerosols used to clean, to invisible gases like carbon monoxide that can be fatal, the Amazon Smart Air Quality Monitor is there to smell if there’s something fish in the air that you should know about.
iRobot Roomba Combo j7+
Who’s It For: Busybodies looking for help with regular cleaning of their homes due to lack of time; anybody who just hates to vacuum.
Why We Chose It: It’s basically eliminates all floor related cleaning duties.
Robot vacuums are so handy because they save us time. The iRobot Roomba j7+, it makes things even more convenient because it can reliably clean and get around on its own. With its front-facing cameras, it’ll actively watch out for any potential obstacles in its way and go around them.
Through the iRobot app, you can even lay out the rooms of your home. That way, you can tell Alexa to clean up a specific room and the Roomba will go there to do its job.