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The best Alexa devices you'll want to snag on Black Friday

The best Alexa devices recommended by smart home experts and users can be a helpful addition to your home or office.
Written by Lena Borrelli, Contributing Writer
Amazon Echo (4th Gen) | Best Alexa device overall
Amazon Echo
Amazon Echo (4th Gen)
Best Alexa device overall
View now View at Amazon
Amazon Echo Show 15 | Best Alexa device for a smart display
Amazon Echo Show 15
Amazon Echo Show 15
Best Alexa device for a smart display
View now View at Amazon
Amazon Echo Studio | Best Alexa device for powerful speaker performance
Amazon Echo Studio
Amazon Echo Studio
Best Alexa device for powerful speaker performance
View now View at Best Buy
Philips Hue White LED Starter Kit | Best Alexa device for smart lighting
Philips Hue White LED Starter Kit
Philips Hue White LED Starter Kit
Best Alexa device for smart lighting
View now View at Amazon
Ring Alarm Pro | Best Alexa device for home security
Ring Alarm Pro
Ring Alarm Pro
Best Alexa device for home security
View now View at Best Buy

Since its debut in 2014, Amazon's Alexa has become a leading voice assistant built into tons of smart home devices, aiding users with everything from locking doors, dimming the lights, making a phone call, and playing songs, all at a simple voice command. 

Alexa is now integrated into multiple products such as smart hubs, Amazon Echo speakers, smart thermostats, smart lightbulbs and home security cameras. This vast catalog, which now includes many models and generations of products from Amazon and other manufacturers, can make it overwhelming to choose which Alexa device best elevates your home and lifestyle. 

Read more: The best cheap smart home devices

After considering ZDNET's hands-on testing and talking to Alexa device users, I compiled the best Alexa devices based on device type, design, features, cost, and need to help you choose which Alexa device(s) will make your life easier. My choice for best Alexa device overall, the fourth-generation Amazon Echo, offers convenience with its smart home skills in a sleek form factor and relatively low price. And with Black Friday coming up, you'll want to keep the Echo and our other selections in mind when the deals roll in. 

Also: Everything you need to build out your smart home 

The best Alexa devices of 2024

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Excellent sound
  • Affordable
  • 100,000+ skills
Cons
  • Susceptible to lags
  • Some miss the cylindrical style of previous generations
More Details

Amazon Echo features: Smart speaker | Voice control | Smart home hub | Privacy controls

The Amazon Echo is the best Alexa device overall, offering convenience with over 100,000 skills and efficiency in a compact package. 

As a built-in smart hub, this model is one of the best in the Echo line, allowing users to check the time, set alarms, turn on the lights, and control locks via sensors from Zigbee, Matter, or certain Ring smart lighting devices. 

"I can't believe how smart the Echo is," says developer Alex Contes, who uses the Echo in his home. "And I love how it incorporates subtle touches like asking me questions or making observations in response to my voice requests." 

These "nice touches," however, actually come hands-free, allowing for voice and even motion control. 

And if you like music, the fourth-gen Amazon Echo is a fantastic speaker equipped with dual tweeters and an upward-firing woofer. Additionally, it provides lossless HD audio and easily syncs to other Echo devices for a multi-room experience. Streaming is also easy as the Echo gives you options to stream music from Amazon, Spotify, Apple Music, and SiriusXM. Initiate a dance party from wherever your Echo is. stationed all by saying that famous catchphrase, "Hey Alexa."

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Clear display
  • Solid construction
Cons
  • Remote is necessary
  • Subpar camera
More Details

Amazon Echo Show 15 features: Smart display | 15.6-inch 1080p smart display | Fire TV integrated | Alexa voice remote

The Amazon Echo Show 15 is not just one of the best Alexa devices, I'd say its one of the best smart home devices you can buy overall. 

"For someone who has a lot of smart home devices that are tied into Alexa for automation, routines, and the like, the Echo Show 15 makes a lot of sense," says ZDNET writer Jason Cipriani, who tested the device. 

Along with Alexa's automated smart features like customizable widgets and shared calendars, this display includes a built-in Fire TV encases in a  15.6-inch smart display in Full HD for quick entertainment and clear viewing. You can access over one million movies and TV shows with access to your subscriptions like Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video. Switch between portrait and landscape modes to best suit your content. As an added convenience, a remote is included.

"I definitely see the need and value of a large smart display like the Echo Show 15 for organizing a family, keeping tabs on your smart home gadgets, and even watching live video feeds of your cameras," concludes Cipriani. 

Using the photo frame feature, the display can also function as an easy access digital picture frame to show off all your memories. 

Review: Amazon Echo Show 15

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Crisp sound
  • Fire TV
  • Spatial audio
Cons
  • Larger form factor
  • Pricey
More Details

Amazon Echo Studio features: Smart speaker | Dolby Atmos | Spatial audio processing technology | Voice-controlled 

Amazon Echo Studio combines a smart speaker with a smart home hub, making life more manageable and fun. 

"I welcomed Alexa into my home with the sole purpose of pitting her against Siri to see how the voice assistants performed side by side," explains ZDNET's Maria Diaz, who has her own Echo Studio in her home. "In the end, the Echo Studio has become a staple at the heart of our TV room."

Diaz and her family also benefit from its function as a speaker, appreciating the spatial audio processing technology that makes for a wider, more full-bodied sound in Dolby Atmos. A three-dimensional soundstage means audio comes from all directions, giving you a more immersive listening experience. You can also use your speaker as an intercom or tap into the smart hub for Zigbee or Matter-compatible devices.

"I found the audio quality to be leaps and bounds above that of other smart speakers," says Diaz, calling it better than the HomePod Mini and Echo Dot.

Review: Echo Studio: Better than ever, but is that enough?

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Dimmable
  • Wide compatibility
  • Helpful app
Cons
  • Only white bulbs
  • Hub required
More Details

Philips Hue White LED Starter Kit features: Smart lighting | 4 bulbs included | 10 watts | Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant | Color option available 

The Philips Hue White LED Starter Kit is one of the best Philips Hue lights you can buy. These smart lights come in a pack of four white 60-watt bulbs with a smart home hub to control them. Compatibility is fantastic, giving you the option to choose between Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant. 

These LED lights offer energy-efficient lighting with built-in motion sensors. These bulbs are also voice-activated when you have another Alexa device, like the Amazon Echo. Additionally, they promise an easy set-up; simply screw in the bulbs and download the app to get started

"While the Philips Hue starter set above is white only, and not color, the quality of the lighting is still superior to standard bulbs," says ZDNET's Charlie Osborne. "I tend to set the lights up for a brighter white when I'm working or studying, and then I can dim them for a more relaxed setting when I'm relaxing."

The lights are also easy to customize to your preferences and habits. 

"I've set up routines, [so] when I say a specific command like "Alexa, good morning," it turns on my lights, plays my favorite music, and gives me a personalized briefing to start my day,"says Vitaliy Vinogradov, Project Manager at Modern.Place Lighting who uses these lights in his home office. "They have truly elevated my smart home setup."

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Built-in router
  • Local storage
Cons
  • Set up can be complex
  • $20 monthly subscription
More Details

Ring Alarm Pro features: Home security system | 8-piece kit | eero Wi-Fi 6 router | Covers up to 1,500 square feet | Optional Ring Protect Pro Plan 

We can't talk about ways Alexa can elevate your home without discussing home security. And with Ring Alarm Pro, you receive a base station and keypad to manage your security system, keeping your connected home running on a secure mesh Wi-Fi network. 

The eight-piece kit comes fully loaded with an eero Wi-Fi 6 router to keep everything working properly. Also included are four contact sensors for your windows and doors with a motion detector for your choice of room or hallway. An alarm range extender is also included. 

ZDNET covered the Ring Alarm's release last September and was impressed with the premium upgrades, including online threat protection and its use of data to continuously record even in the case of an internet outage. 

As a bonus, a complimentary 30-day Ring Protect Pro subscription comes with your purchase so you can test out the service free of commitment before the $20 subscription kicks in. 

What is the best Alexa device?

The Amazon Echo starts it all off as a phenomenal speaker that prioritizes incredible productivity and versatility. Use your smart home systems to give commands, set alarms, and play music at your convenience. It is a great starting point before you expand to the other best Alexa devices. 

Here is a look at all the ways you can outfit your home with the best Alexa devices and speakers.

Best Alexa device

Cost

Type

Amazon Echo

$100

Smart speaker

Amazon Echo Show 15

$250

Smart display

Amazon Echo Studio

$200

Smart speaker

Philips Hue White LED Starter Kit

$136

Smart lighting

Ring Alarm Pro

$300

Home security

Which is the best Alexa device for you?

Not sure which Alexa device is best for you? These suggestions can help you find the best Alexa device for your needs.

Choose this best Alexa device...

If you want...

Amazon Echo

The best Alexa speaker. This speaker combines HD audio with the power of Alexa for the perfect audio voice assistant.

Amazon Echo Show 15

The best Alexa smart display. Enjoy Fire TV integrated into a generous display. 

Amazon Echo Studio

A smart device and luxury audio combo.This compact speaker includes Dolby Atmos audio with exclusive spatial audio processing technology.

Philips Hue White LED Starter Kit

The best Alexa-integrated smart lighting. These LED smart bulbs are packed with extra features like motion sensors and voice activation. 

Ring Alarm Pro

The best Alexa home security device. This best home security kit features a built-in router with secure internet, in addition to a customizable setup. 

How did I choose these best Alexa devices?

When searching for the best Alexa devices, these factors can help you find the best device for your needs.

  • Type: There are many types of Alexa devices that you can buy, from smart speakers to home security and even smart lighting. Before you begin your search, consider how you plan to use your Alexa device so you can be sure to find the right one for you.

  • Set up: Installation is not the most fun part of a new product, but thankfully, Amazon makes it super easy with the help of Alexa. Many of the best devices offer a companion app that can help you get up and running in no time. 

  • Price: Cost is always an important factor because you hardly want a device that is going to break the bank. These best Alexa devices range in cost from $100 to $300, depending on the device you choose.

What can Alexa devices do?

Amazon Alexa is a virtual voice assistant that can help you complete basic tasks. Alexa is built into various types of smart home devices, including speakers and displays. 

Alexa devices can do tons of things: Alexa now has over 100,000 "skills" that can help you do things like create to-do lists, schedule meetings, order takeout and far more. 

What types of Alexa devices are there?

There are many different types of Alexa devices that you can choose from, depending on what help you need. If you need home security, the Ring Alarm Pro can help keep you safe. If you want to catch the latest cooking show, the Amazon Echo Show 15 is a great fit. Before you buy, consider how and when you plan to use your device so you can choose the best Alexa device for your needs.

Where can you buy Alexa devices?

There are many retailers that sell Amazon devices, but not all of them may offer the best price or shipping terms. ZDNET conveniently includes links that will offer some of the best and most competitive pricing available via trusted retailers. These best Alexa device retailers generally include Amazon Prime, Best Buy, and Walmart.

Are there alternative best Alexa devices worth considering?

These are far from the only options you have when looking for the best Alexa devices. These are some other devices to consider, including a pick for the best Alexa speaker.

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