More and more devices work with Amazon Alexa these days. In fact, if it has a microphone and a speaker, it probably supports Amazon’s voice assistant. The Amazon Echo Dot is the most popular Alexa controller out there, of course, but there are countless others as well. Once you’ve got an Alexa device, you’ll want something to control, and there are plenty of categories to choose from, including thermostats to cameras and other speakers.
A speaker for every room
Amazon Echo Plus 2
Smart devices are a lot less useful without a hub to control them, so we absolutely recommend you start with an Echo speaker. Here’s the thing about the Echo Plus — it can connect with other Echoes for multi-room music. That means the same thing will be playing on all your speakers, and all you have to do is use Alexa to tell Alexa to have Alexa play a thing. Yeah, it’s a bit of Alexa inception, but it’s also super cool.
$150 at Amazon
The lights of your life
Philips Hue White starter kit
Smart lights are possibly the easiest entry point into connected tech. The idea is that you’ll have lights you can control from anywhere, as well as a hands-free way to set the scene for any occasion. The most popular brand is Philips Hue, and there are plenty of bundle deals to get you set up quick and easy.
$70 at Amazon
Remote temperature control
Nest Learning Thermostat
Being able to control your HVAC with your voice is one of those things that you won’t appreciate until you can do it, and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. It’s hard to beat Nest’s Learning Thermostat, which observes your behavior and automatically creates heating and cooling schedules for you. It makes it ridiculously easy to control the comfort of your home, and it helps cut down on your electric bill, too.
$205 at Amazon
Ring Floodlight Cam
If you’ve got an Amazon Echo Show, Spot, or an Amazon Fire TV, you can keep tabs on all your stuff with a smart camera like the Ring Doorbell Pro. Just tell Alexa to show it, and you’ll get a live feed on your display. You can watch your front yard from your living room or your backyard from your bedroom. Best of all, the Floodlight Cam will shine bright lights down when it detects motion, scaring away intruders.
$249 at Amazon
A plug for your plug
Amazon Smart Plug
Smart lights are great, but sometimes you just want to control something that’s plugged in — say, a set of string lights or Christmas decorations. The Amazon Smart Plug is great for that. It’s a plug for your plug, which then hooks into your Wi-Fi and ties into an Alexa Skill. After that, it’s just a matter of setting a timer or using your voice to turn things on and off.
$25 at Amazon
Complete peace of mind
If you’ve ever experienced a break-in, you know how invasive it feels and will do whatever it takes to prevent it from happening again. Thankfully, that doesn’t have to take a ton of effort — Ring’s Alarm home security system keeps you safe with a loud siren, window sensors, and keypads, and all you have to do to arm it is ask Alexa.
$199 at Amazon
August Smart Lock 3
Smart locks make it possible to ditch your house keys by automatically unlocking the door for you when you come home, and locking when you leave. The August Smart Lock is sleek and stylish, and works great with Alexa so you can unlock your door with your voice — perfect for when you’re pulling into your driveway.
$108 at Amazon
Alexa in your ears
Bose QC35 II
The QC35 IIs are some of the best noise-canceling headphones around, but there’s more to them than just good sound and active noise canceling. These headphones have Alexa built directly in, accessible through the Access button, allowing you to change songs, checki the weather, or control other smart gadgets, just as if the headphones were an Echo speaker.
$299 at Amazon
Voice assistance on the road
Anker Roav Viva
Most cars these days come with some kind of smart interface, but they’re often horribly clunky and outdated. The Roav Viva is a quick, affordable way to add Alexa support to your car by plugging into the charging port and connecting to your car’s Bluetooth. It has two USB-A ports for charging your devices, as well as a physical mute button for privacy.
$37 at Amazon
Alexa works almost everywhere these days
The sky’s the limit with Alexa-compatible devices, and the options we have here are just the beginning. Smart lights are certainly one of the easiest (and cheapest) smart devices to use, but thermostats, security cameras, smart plugs, smart locks, speakers, and home security all go a long way to making your life more convenient.
If you listen to a lot of music, the QC35 IIs are an easy choice, since they offer class-leading noise canceling in addition to built-in Alexa support. Anker’s Roav Viva is also a great way to add Alexa to your car so you can get turn-by-turn navigation or even control your other smart home devices while you’re on the road, without ever having to take your eyes off of the road.
The important thing is that you shop around for whatever best fits your needs — just make sure you have an Alexa-capable speaker like the Echo Plus 2 first!