This $29 accessory is a must-have if you own a Fire TV

The second-generation Alexa Voice Remote is worth every penny.

When I reviewed Amazon's Fire Cube TV, I thoroughly enjoyed talking -- or sometimes yelling -- at the streaming box. With commands, I can begin streaming a show, power the TV on or off, check the weather, and adjust the volume.

However, it's that last task that I wanted a more refined experience with. Telling Alexa to turn the volume up or down works, but for more precise control I had to keep my TV's remote handy. That meant keeping track of the Fire TV Cube's remote, which lacked a power button and volume controls, and the remote specific to the TV.

Also: Amazon AI misidentifies Congress as criminals TechRepublic

In late 2018, Amazon released an updated Alexa Voice Remote that not only includes volume controls, but it also includes a power button. Indeed, it's a full replacement for the two remote system that nobody enjoys.

Last week, Amazon sent me the new remote along with the new Fire TV Stick 4K. I haven't used the Fire TV Stick, but I did set up the remote to work with the Fire TV Cube -- and it's exactly what the Fire TV Cube needed.

Also: Amazon Fire TV Cube review: Alexa turns on your TV CNET

I now have full control over my TV using the new Alexa Voice Remote or using my voice to control the Fire TV Cube -- including changing inputs via voice commands.

Alexa Voice Remote (2nd Gen.)

Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

It's nice to see Amazon now bundling the updated remote with the Fire TV Stick 4K and the Fire TV Cube. For those who have an older Fire TV device, or ordered the Cube before the new remote was available, you can order the Alexa Voice Remote for just under $30 from Amazon.

Here's a list of Fire TV devices the new Alexa Voice Remote will work with:

  • Fire TV Stick (2nd generation)
  • Fire TV Stick 4K
  • Fire TV Cube
  • Amazon Fire TV (3rd generation)

And a list of Fire TV devices it won't work with:

  • Amazon Fire TV (1st and 2nd generation)
  • Fire TV Stick (1st generation)
  • Amazon Fire TV Edition smart TVs

After getting a new remote, you'll need to pair it with your Fire TV and set up equipment control so it will work properly. Thankfully, Amazon has a support page and video that explains the process.

Stopping short of a full review for a TV remote, I'll unofficially score the second-generation Alexa Voice Remote a 10. It's what the remote should have always been, and is an affordable upgrade. 

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