It’s 2019. If you haven’t already, it’s time to upgrade your “normal home” into a “smart home.” Smart home devices allow you to control devices like your TV, coffee maker, doorbell and more through a central speaker using a digital assistant and your voice or an app on your phone. Of course, creating a smart home has numerous benefits other than creating a futuristic space. With a digital assistant, you’ll enjoy a more efficient home, you’ll save time on your chores and you’ll save money on energy usage and more.
If you’ve decided now is the best time to create your smart home, you’ll have to decide on which digital assistant you’ll use. Although you could go with Google Assistant or Apple’s Siri, we recommend Amazon’s Alexa for ease of use and compatibility across the most appliances.
In fact, these are the best Alexa-compatible devices out there. From smart plugs to TVs that are controlled by the sound of your voice, you’ll feel like you’re living in The Jetsons. Get one or all of these Alexa devices and start making your home as smart as possible.
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.
1. TP-Link Kasa Smart WiFi Plug
BEST SMART PLUG
Adding one of these TP-Link Kasa Smart WiFi Plugs into your home environment will make your life a little bit easier, but changing every plug will give you complete wireless control over all of your devices. The Kasa app allows you to control the plugs from anywhere using your smartphone. The plugs are also Alexa, Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana compatible, meaning you can also choose to use your voice to turn your plugs on and off should you prefer to. Plus, the accompanying app provides scheduling options for routine changes to the power in your devices throughout your home, so you’ll never have to come home to a dark house ever again.
2. Echo Dot (3rd Gen)
BEST BUDGET ALEXA
The Echo Dot is Amazon’s most popular smart speaker option and with over 30,000 5-star reviews, it’s easy to see why. The latest update of the Dot sports a more attractive fabric design and offers richer and louder sound. After connecting the Dot to your local network, you’ll be able to ask Alexa to perform a whole host of tasks, including controlling your music system, answering queries about the weather and transport or even playing games, setting alarms and turning your devices on and off (see above). It’s also possible to connect the Dot to other (better) speakers using Bluetooth or the 3.5mm jack.
3. Echo Show 5
BEST ALEXA WITH A SCREEN
If you already have the Dot and you want to take Alexa to the next level, the Echo Show 5 is one step up from Amazon’s entry device. This Alexa-enabled device boasts a compact, five and a half inch screen, which is designed to show you information 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 the sound of your voice. In addition, the Echo Show can control 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.
4. Ring Video Doorbell
The Ring Video Doorbell 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 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.
5. Echo (2nd Generation)
BEST SMART SPEAKER
The granddaddy of all smart speakers, Amazon’s Echo is the ultimate Alexa speaker. Like the other speakers on this list, it connects to Alexa to play music, read the news and set times. The Echo can also control all your Alexa-enabled devices. But what sets the Echo apart from the Dot and the Show is its speaker and microphone quality. The Echo boasts powerful Dolby technology to play 360-degree audio. You’ll get clear vocals and dynamic bass with every song. Pair two or more Echo speakers together for incredible stereo sound. In addition, this smart speaker has seven microphones as well as beamforming and noise cancellation technology, meaning you can talk to the speaker from any direction and in super noisy conditions.
6. Nest Security Camera
BEST SECURITY CAMERA
You have a smart home, now protect it with a smart security camera. The Nest 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 through the Nest App. 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. As an added bonus, Nest cameras (both indoors and outdoors) can be linked together to provide you with a broader picture of your house, and Nest cameras can even be paired with smart lights and smart washers and dryers to maximize energy use or to trigger a sequence in case of break ins.
7. Toshiba 50-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart TV
Switch to a smart TV, and you’ll never look back. With the Toshiba 50-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart TV in your living room, you’ll be able to change channels and find great new shows using just the sound of your voice and the Voice Remote with Alexa. Plus, this true-to-life HD TV boasts over 8 million pixels for stunning clarity and deep contrast. And because this device has the Fire TV experience built-in, you’ll automatically have access to thousands of channels and streaming sites like Netflix, Prime Video, HBO and more (subscriptions required). To top it all off, this smart TV can integrate with other Alexa-enabled devices, giving you a large screen to view security camera footage, doorbell footage and more.