The king of the smart speaker game is still the Amazon Echo. It's steadily been getting better every week, with more and more developers adding Skills for Amazon's Alexa to use. Its popularity also makes it a must for smart home manufacturers to include Alexa support.
All of that, plus Amazon's desire to stuff Alexa into as many form factors as possible - like a camera, a display and a lamp - mean that it can be difficult to parse through and see what the best compatible smart home devices are. Choice can be great, but sometimes you just want to know what the best things are.
Essential reading: The best Alexa skills for your Amazon Echo
That's what this list of our favorites is for - to help you pick out the best devices compatible with your Echo or Echo Dot. And with the Echo Show set to arrive soon, we've also included some of the gizmos that'll be taking advantage of that additional screen.
Automatic is a little doodad that you can plug into your car. It can give you all sorts of information, like diagnostics, parking and trip tracking, gas information and more. With Alexa on Amazon Echo, you can ask how much gas your car has before you head out. Or, you know, ask where your car is in case you had a long night.
Garage doors can certainly be an annoyance to open and close, but all of that is made better thanks to Garageio. With Amazon Echo integration, it works out even better. You can just ask her to open and close your garage door. No need to watch that door crawl like molasses into your garage's ceiling ever again.
If you need an outdoor security camera system, there are few better options than the Netgear Arlo thanks to its completely wireless system and good audio and video quality. It also happens to be one of the few camera systems compatible with the Echo Show. You'll be able to ask Alexa to watch your video feeds right on the display.
Ring Video Doorbell
The Ring Doorbell is the poster child for smart doorbell systems. It's easy to see and talk to whoever is at your door. But now, thanks to the Echo Show and Alexa integration, you'll be able to answer your door from your Echo. It's Amazon's dream come true: see the delivery man deliver your Amazon package on your Amazon device.
Wemo Insight Switch
The Wemo Insight Switch does what a smart plug does, but it also goes a little beyond all of that. Sure, you can schedule when something turns off and on while also monitoring your energy use. But you can also get it talking to your Nest Thermostat, if you have one, or IFTTT applets.
TP-Link Wi-Fi Smart Plug
The greatest thing about TP-Link's Wi-Fi smart plug is that it doesn't require any kind of hub to use. It can connect to your Echo and Alexa via Wi-Fi alone. So you can simply check in on how your energy use is or go ahead and turn your lights on or off to your heart's content.
Philips Hue is one of the flagship smart home product lines. They're popular, they're easy to use and setup, and Philips is always rolling out new lamps and lights and shades of color. If you're looking for smart lights that work with Amazon Echo, this needs to be your first stop.
LIFX, on the other hand, should always be your second stop. LIFX bulbs don't require a hub, which makes it even easier to set them up. You just need to plug them in and get ready to enjoy 16 million colors and 1,000 shades of warm to cool whites with your best buddy Alexa.
The poster child of the smart home world. On top of the Nest Thermostat's ability to learn your habits after a week of training it, it has some good Alexa integration. You just have to tell her it's too hot and she'll dial it down just a tad.
The Ecobee system is actually pretty versatile. You can start out pretty affordable with the Ecobee Lite if all you want is a simple smart thermostat, but you can also ramp things up by purchasing a couple of room sensors. That way, the system can adjust room temperature based on if someone is actually in it. Best of all, it works with Alexa.
Why turn your music needs over to the limited Pandora or Amazon's music services when you can turn to one of the most popular and well-stocked music streaming services in the world? With Alexa integration, you can play those beats all day long.
Despite Google having its own smart home speaker, the Mountain View company is still playing nice with Google Calendar and Amazon Echo. With this skill, you'll be able to easily add and hear about things from your calendar.
August Smart Lock
You'll never have to worry about your keys again with the August Smart Lock, since it uses Bluetooth to automatically lock and unlock when you're around your door. However, with Alexa integration you can just ask her to do it for you. Magic!
Alright, so free Alexa calling is a thing now. But guess what? It's only available either via the Alexa app or your Echo device. What if you want to call a landline, or a cell phone? That's where the Ooma Telo and its accompanying Skill come in. You can use it to call anyone nationwide over the internet (if you have a subscription).