If your name is Alexa, you’ve probably heard the “Alexa, play…” jokes non-stop since Amazon launched its virtual assistant in 2014. Since the launch of Alexa, Amazon has created a vast ecosystem of. Now you can find Alexa-compatible smart speakers, smart displays, and more — and the list grows every year.
In 2021, Amazon released several new Alexa gadgets and featuresin September, inclusive on on on fitness band and the long awaited . We also saw a few new ones .
That’s not to mention the countless Alexa-compatible devices made by companies other than Amazon on the market right now. Simply put, Alexa dominates when it comes to smart home integration.
And with recent developments, Amazon’s voice assistant allows for even more impressive integration, fromto to to and .
That’s a lot to navigate if you’re trying to put together your own Alexa-powered smart home. To that end, we’ve broken down the best of the best Alexa-compatible devices available right now. You’ll also find many of these devices on sale right now.
We update this list periodically, so check back for the most up-to-date recommendations. Here are some of the best Alexa devices.
The best Alexa devices
Amazon’s third-generation Echo Dot with Clock was our previous favorite Alexa speaker, but with the 2020 product line, the flagship fourth-generation Echo speaker gets the nod.
At $100, the spheroid speaker is more expensive than the $50 fourth-generation Amazon Echo Dot, though the improvements in sound quality and some intriguing smart home features justify the extra cost.
The shape of this smart device sets Amazon’s newer Echo speaker apart. While the third-generation Echo offered a barely perceptible improvement in sound quality over its predecessor, the fourth-generation ball-shaped version has noticeably better audio output, including respectable bass for a speaker in its price range.
On the smart home front, the fourth-generation Echo also gets a built-in Zigbee receiver, carrying over a feature from the now-defunct Amazon Echo Plus.
The Zigbee receiver allows the new Echo to function as a smart home connection point for compatible Zigbee-based smart lights, plugs, and other accessories.
This means you can use the Echo itself as a music playback hub, among other things, without the need for additional hardware to connect these devices online.
The latest Echo Dot has the same shape as the new Echo speaker, but the improvement over the third-generation Echo Dot isn’t very obvious. It also costs $50, where you can regularly find a third-generation Echo Dot still selling for $30 or less.
Read our Amazon Echo (2020) review.
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The third-generation Wyze Cam, like its earlier iterations, only costs about $30, but this smart home device is one of our favorite cameras overall, in part because of its low price.
It comes with a weatherproof housing, sharper night vision than its predecessor, a wider field of view, a loud siren and much more – including 14 days of video storage and a built-in microSD card slot for local storage.
If you have an Echo Show smart display, you can also cast the Wyze Cam feed to the screen with a simple voice command.
Read our Wyze Cam (2020) review.
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The Amazon Echo Show 8 is Amazon’s latest smart display. For an asking price of $130, though it’s currently on sale for $70, you get an 8-inch screen with the best resolution of any Echo Show to date, a camera shutter, and all the smart features of Amazon’s previous smart displays.
The Echo Show 8 has a built-in Alexa speaker. This means you can use this smart display to ask your digital assistant Alexa to do your bidding, whether you’re asking it to play music, tell you the time, or just tell you a joke.
And since it’s a smart display, it also offers expanded compatibility with Alexa-enabled security cameras.
Ask Alexa to “open the front door” when someone rings your Ring Peephole Cam, and you can see the live feed on your Show 8 — and actually talk to the person right from the smart display.
Read our Amazon Echo Show 8 review.
August’s Wi-Fi Smart Lock is a great smart lock. It upgrades to most standard latches, so you don’t have to deal with a complicated installation.
Built-in Wi-Fi makes it possible to access and control your smart lock remotely via the Android or iOS app, without the need for an August Connect module.
And, as its place on this list might indicate, it’s also an Alexa-compatible device — meaning you can lock and unlock your door from an Alexa-enabled smart speaker using your voice.
The lock also comes with an open/close sensor – called DoorSense – which attaches to the door in question.
This way, the app can not only tell you if the door is locked or unlocked, but also if the door is open or closed.
It’s a nice feature from such an easy-to-use smart lock.
Read our August Wi-Fi Smart Lock review.
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Amazon’s $80 Smart Thermostat is hard to beat for value, and it’s at full price.
For starters, the thermostat works as well with Alexa as you’d expect considering it’s an Amazon product, so if you’ve got an Echo speaker or an Echo Show display, you should be in good shape to get the best out of it. value from the device.
Even for those who don’t, the thermostat offers a simple, clean design that looks great on a wall and feels great to use, and it can even save you up to $50 a year with its energy-saving settings.
Read CNET’s review of Amazon’s Smart Thermostat.
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Wyze is well known for its super cheap prices, and its Wi-Fi connected smart bulb is no different. If you’re looking for a smart lamp that works with voice commands, this is the best one that supports Alexa.
Two packs of standard white light bulbs can be had for as little as $16, but the full color-changing versions are only a few bucks more than $20 for two packs, which is worth it even if you’re only going to break even when these colors come out on rare holiday occasions .
Either way, you get a 2-pack of Alexa-compatible bulbs that connect directly to your home internet network via Wi-Fi. Screw them in, connect via the Wyze app, and you’re good to go.
Colors aside, Wyze bulbs have a wide range of white light, from candle-like to daylight white.
Plus, despite the low price, they produce better brightness than many bulbs that are sold more expensively.
Read CNET’s review of the Wyze Bulb.
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While other DIY home security systems work well with Alexa, the Ring Alarm Pro offers excellent performance with unique built-in Alexa integrations. In fact, with the higher-end Ring Protect Plus subscription, you even get Alexa’s security feature – Guard Plus – bundled in for free.
This means Alexa will watch for broken glass or footsteps while you’re away, and alert you if it hears anything suspicious.
In addition to its Alexa integrations, Ring Alarm Plus offers fantastic features such as a built-in Wi-Fi 6 gateway, Internet backup, local processing and storage (a first for Ring), cellular backup, professional monitoring, and more.
An eight-piece system costs $300, and subscriptions range from $3 a month to $20 a month — the most expensive of which still undercuts some of the best competition.
In short, this system is a fantastic value.
Read CNET’s review of Ring Alarm Pro.
The TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini is a big name for a small smart plug that costs around $25.
A smart plug like this connects via your Wi-Fi connection directly to a wall outlet and turns your non-smart lamps, fans and other gadgets into smart devices.
Use the TP-Link app to connect and control devices – or bring in Amazon Alexa and use voice control.
Say “Alexa, turn on the reading light” to get the Plug Mini smart plug to easily control the devices connected to it.
Read our TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini review.
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Amazon’s voice assistant makes it easy to control devices in your home, set timers, and find out how long your commute will take. But privacy is becoming a growing concern as smart speakers and displays grow in popularity.
It reports that, even after deleting Alexa audio recordings, has led to concerns about user privacy. Senator Chris Coons, Democrat of Delaware, seeking answers about Amazon’s Alexa user data and how it is stored.
. The tech giant says it does too for customers to delete their transcripts.
For example, the Echo Show 8 comes with a built-in camera shutter, unlike earlier Echo Show devices.
Amazon is not alone., , and other big tech companies have faced privacy issues of their own, raising questions about data usage.
Fortunately, Amazon and others seem to be working to win back our trust. Are these privacy concerns stopping you from buying a voice assistant (Alexa or otherwise)? Weigh in on the comments section below.
Still have questions? Read more about Alexa.