Amazon Alexa is spreading into more places through a host of new devices. It's not just about Amazon Echo devices any more β third-party Alexa smart speakers like the Sonos One are providing experiences Amazon can't cater for with better sound quality. But it's not even just about speakers. Alexa is appearing in everything from lamps, light switches, watches and headphones, making the voice assistant more accessible than ever before.
It's key to remember that we're not just talking about Alexa integrations - i.e. smart tech that can be controlled by Alexa. We're talking about baked-in Alexa here - devices that have the digital assistant built into their very fabric. There's already a bunch of them available, so read on for our pick of the best Alexa devices you can buy now (or pretty soon, at least)...
Top Alexa-compatible gear
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Best Amazon Echo speakers
These are the official, Amazon-branded devices where Alexa is on-board.
$99.99 | Amazon
The second generation of the standard Amazon Echo is now smaller, cheaper, and for our money, better looking. It works with Amazon Prime Music, Spotify and most other services (apart from Apple Music) for steaming music via voice, TuneIn radio, on-demand information such as news, weather and traffic β as well as smart home control.
This second generation speaker offers the most balanced and cost effective way to make the most of all its features,
Read our full Amazon Echo review.
$49.99 | Amazon
The Dot is a scaled-down version of the Echo, and has been redesigned, with a fabric case which looks a great deal classier β and a new beefier speaker, which means you might actually use it as a radio.
The Echo Dot is a lot smaller and cheaper than a standard Amazon Echo speaker β like a little smart puck. It's less than $50 and, while you get all of Alexa's features, the audio quality from this diminutive little Echo isn't really up to playing music.
You can, however, use the 3.5mm jack to hook up to an existing speaker systems, but the Echo Dot is more about getting Alexa into more places in your home.
$229.99 | Amazon
The original Echo Show was never a looker, and it's getting a design upgrade for 2018. It now boasts a 10-inch touchscreen, up from 7-inch, which is pin sharp and responsive.
The new model doesnβt just boast a new shell, either, with it now acting as a Zigbee hub, just like the Echo Plus β this means compatible devices can be hooked up directly, without the needs for hubs and third party apps.
Thereβs also Dolby stereo sound, Skype for video calls, support for live TV through Prime Video and even the ability to play back TV recordings when paired with the new Fire TV Cast.
The Amazon Echo Plus is the closest device to the standard Echo smart speaker β but with bigger sound and added smarts. The Zigbee hub is still present, so you can add compatible smart home devices (like Philips Hue) without any added bridges, hubs or apps. And it's still lacking support for Z-Wave devices, which have to be added the old fashioned way, by setting them up and adding manually into the Alexa world.
But now you get Dolby speakers, a temperature sensor, security sensors and a fancy new fabric cover, and there's also offline voice controls. If you're purposefully buying this device to get started on a smart home, it's a recommended option.
$129.99 | Amazon
The Amazon Echo Spot is a tiny-screened smart speaker, with a nifty 480x480 display for visual skills and added information. It's well suited as a bedside or desktop clock, but given that it's a fully-featured Echo speaker, it can be used in any room of the home.
Aside from more richly answering queries, the screen can also be used for viewing camera feeds, watching Amazon Prime Video (though why you'd want to is lost on us) and using recipe cards.
Check out our full Amazon Echo Spot review.
$199.99 | Amazon
Amazon's Echo range doesn't just use Alexa as a catch-all to simplify your queries - it also has a dedicated device for those looking for fashion advice.
The Look houses a depth-sensing camera and built-in LED lighting to take photos or video of you for a 'lookbook'. It will then use its magic algorithms to compare your outfits and tell you what looks best. Or, if you want a second opinion, you can ask the Amazon community. The Look also works as a normal Echo speaker, answering your queries and controlling your smart home device. Just be warned that the speaker is pretty poor; this isn't an Echo you'll want to listen to music on.
$69.99 | Amazon
The Tap is a cordless speaker, so you can take it wherever you want. Anywhere you want to take a Bluetooth speaker that is. Tap gives you access to Alexa on the go, with a nine-hour battery life. However, you'll need a Wi-Fi connection to, ahem, tap into Alexa's skills.
It's also no longer available, though Amazon does still sell refurbished Taps that it says work as good as new.
Amazon Dash Wand
$20 | Amazon
Unlike the first iteration of the Amazon Dash, the new Wand offers Alexa's smarts to help you confirm purchases once you've scanned the barcode. Previously, you'd have to pull out your smartphone or laptop in order to wrap things up.
It's not the company's biggest product by any stretch, falling in a similar category to the Amazon Fire TV Stick (which also harbours Alexa), but it manages to simplify the company's online shopping process.
Other Amazon devices with Alexa
It's not just about smart speakers; Amazon has been busy building Alexa into other devices in its line up...
$119.99 | Amazon
The Fire TV Cube blends a number of Amazon devices into one, for a truly unique Alexa-based proposition. Firstly, it works as a streaming box, and like the Fire TV 4K has Alexa built-in for your queries and supports Netflix, Prime Video, HBO GO, Hulu, Sling, PlayStation Vue (No YouTube, but there is a workaround).
However, the TV Cube goes one further by aping the Echo Show by using your TV screen to visually show off things like weather forecasts and recipes β as well as the standard audio feedback of a standard Echo device.
Check out our Amazon Fire TV Cube review.
Amazon Fire TV 4K
$69.99 | Amazon
The Fire TV 4K gives you a more rudimentary way to turn your TV into an Alexa device. You need to use the Alexa Voice Remote to talk to her by pressing the microphone button at the top. Curiously, that means you don't need to use the "Alexa" wake-word, but it still operates as a fully-fledged smart speaker. It also does a good Amazon Echo Show impression, so you can get visual skills and ask for feeds from smart home cameras on your TV.
Amazon Fire 7 Tablet with Alexa
$49.99 | Amazon
You can also get Alexa via the Amazon Fire 7 Tablet β you can use the Alexa wake word to access skills and content via Amazon Prime Video, as well as your smart home as well. For many, cramming this functionality into a tablet makes more sense, and can make a decent starting point with Amazon's smart assistant.
Third party Alexa-enabled speakers
You don't need an Echo speaker though, there is an ever-growing army of third-party Alexa speakers...
Sonos and Alexa teamed up for the launch of the Sonos One β which adds voice activated Alexa control into the mix. It's pretty much a fully-fledged Alexa speaker β with just a handful of features such as shopping and Drop In missing from the Sonos.
Otherwise, it's a smart Sonos Play:1: great sounding and platform agnostic, and that's a potent mix.
Check our full Sonos One review.
Sonos and Alexa's team-ups don't just end at the Sonos One. There's also the Sonos Beam, a sound bar that packs in Alexa to boot. You'll be able to do all the things you can already do with Alexa, and thanks to HDMI-ARC support you'll also be able to control your TV.
Plus, it just sounds great. All your favorite movies and TV shows will get a huge boost in sound quality.
Check out our Sonos Beam review.
Triby IO Smart Speaker
The Triby IO picks up from where the original Triby left off - VoIP calls, an E Ink display and stereo sound - but adds a new smart home management interface into the mix.
Triby IO takes smart home controls beyond just those of Alexa as well; using IFTTT you'll be able to automate actions, meaning you won't be relying on your smartphone or tablet to control your connected tech. Of course, all of the regular Alexa-based fun is on board too.
Polk Audio Command soundbar
The Polk Audio Command has Alexa built in, with its own skill, so you can switch HDMI inputs and control volume, as well as using it as an ordinary smart speaker.
In terms of audio performance there are two 1.25 x 3.25-inch full-range drivers, two 1-inch tweeters and you get a wireless 6.5-inch subwoofer in the box too.There are dual HDMI 2.0b inputs, it works with 4K TVs and there's a dedicated HDMI port for Fire TVs, which enables you to use them without a power supply. And at $299, the price is alright too.
Alexa-enabled lights and switches
C by GE LED table lamp
This smart lamp from GE is certainly a looker, but the most futuristic part is what you can't see: Amazon Alexa. It has an always-on microphone for voice commands to access the internet and control itself and other smart home gadgets, and of course, a small speaker so Alexa can reply. However, the word is that audio quality isn't aimed at replacing a proper speaker β so think Amazon Echo Dot inside a lamp.
The C by GE also has some decent smart lighting chops as well, and can be controlled via the GE Lighting app, as can the companion GE smart bulbs. Naturally, you'll be able to use the Alexa skill, too.
And that's not the limit for the C by GE range. The company also has an Alexa enabled ceiling light in the pipeline as well.
Ecobee's smart thermostat already comes with Amazon Alexa voice controls built right in so it's no surprise to see its new Switch+ smart light switch follow suit. The Switch+ is $99 where it's on sale in the US and Canada. The Switch+ is part of Ecobee's vision of a "whole home voice" future, where Alexa isn't too far away to answer a question.
Kohler Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror
The Kohler Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror packs Alexa built-in, putting a smart speaker in the bathroom. That means music, control of your home and news bullet-ins, while you go about your morning ablutions. Aside from Alexa, there's 1000 lux LED lights and built-in speakers β and it will also put you in control of Kohler's range of connected bathroom products, including smart fill taps that control temperature and bath fullness, and the smart toilet β which flushes via voice.
FirstAlert OneLink Safe & Sound
The Onelink Safe & Sound may be a smoke alarm, but it also doubles a smart speaker with Alexa built-in. That might sound weird β and it's certainly unusual given the placement of our smoke alarms β but it enables you to have Alexa in places your existing set up doesn't allow, thanks to the ceiling mounting. You will need to hardwire to take advantage of the full Alexa and smart speaker features, which may not be ideal for all users. It will detect smoke, heat and act as a CO alarm. It's available for pre-order for a 1 May release date.
Alexa-enabled car tech
Garmin Speak Plus
This little in-car Alexa speaker tethers to your smartphone for a data connection and through your car's system as a microphone and speaker. This means you can play music, ask for turn-by-turn directions and control your smart home, all from inside your car. The new Garmin Speak Plus also packs a dash-cam with 1080p, 30fps video recording, which is recorded onto an included microSD card.
Ford SYNC 3
Ford announced earlier this year that Amazon's AI bot will be built into the Ford SYNC 3 AppLink, meaning you can control your car from your house and your house from your car.
For example, you can get the ignition running in your car - and get the heating on - while you're finishing your breakfast in the kitchen and, when driving home, tell Alexa to get the lights on and to get your robot vacuum cleaner up and running. Obviously, in the car she can do all the regular digital assistant stuff too - like directions, news headlines and traffic warnings.
Alexa-enabled smartwatches & wearables
Bragi Dash Pro
The Bragi Dash and Dash Pro are already compatible with Siri and Google Assistant and soon, thanks to Bragi OS 3.1, they'll be compatible with Alexa as well.
This means you'll be able to order an Uber, call in your Starbucks order and use Amazon's music streaming services on the go more easily - right there in your ear.
Martian / Guess
Martian's mVoice and Guess timepieces already allowed for vocal commands, but by bringing Amazon's personal assistant onboard you'll have access to thousands of Alexa's Skills, and something more akin to a personal assistant, albeit with a clunky control method. On the Guess you have to press a button on the side of the watch twice β once to kick things off and then again once she's answered you. On the mVoice it's a long press.
However, the experience for some may be frustrating. Not only does Alexa lose her effectiveness and ease of use on the wrist, it can also be a disruptive experience. Because Alexa isn't actually on the watch, it's on your phone, the watch is turned into a Bluetooth speaker. That means that all the sounds on your phone get routed to your watch, so any video, music or calls you listen to will show up on your wrist. You'll need to constantly disconnect and reconnect to get good sound for all of that content, which in turn drains battery life.
Alexa is compatible with legacy Passport, Victory and G2G models, and all new mVoice devices.
Microsoft and Amazon are working together to allow Cortana and Alexa to play together. That collaboration was supposed to come to fruition back in 2017, but it's still in a limited beta.
Amazon has reached deals with several manufacturers to build Alexa right into your PC, meaning the voice assistant is on the way to Alexa will appear on PCs from the likes of Acer, Asus, HP and Lenovo.
Most of the Alexa-enabled PCs will be ready for purchase by the end of the year, though Acer is ready now.
So if you have a compatible PC, you can reach Amazon's smart assistant on almost every device you need. Read our guide to find out more.