The ecommerce giant has successfully earned its spot as the creator of one of the best (if not the best) home automation hubs in the market. It has Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Zigbee and can easily connect to most low-power smart home devices.
Alexa makes everything smoother, with a wide range of voice commands to help you control your devices and even create specific routines throughout the day in terms of which tasks your smart devices should complete. The Alexa app is also compatible with Philips Hue scenes, an important advantage in terms of home automation.
Amazon Echo 4, its most recent version, is also compatible with Alexa Guard, a security system of sorts that can hear glass breaking and smoke alarms, and notify you in case of an emergency. You can even program it to turn the lights on if a window sensor opens. However, if you want to connect a home security system to Alexa, you will need to get a DIY system.
It also supports Amazon Sidewalk, which essentially allows you to control your smart lights from even greater distances and also has tile trackers to help you find items such as headphones or even your keys. Because it has a longer range, it can even let you know your keys are in your neighbour’s homes a few blocks away.
The quality of Echo has greatly improved over the years, and the newest version is one of the best of its kind. A much larger version of its original Echo Dot, Echo measures 5.7 inches in diameter and has double the power requirements of Dot, with 30 Watts.
It is available in different colors and you can get it for under $100.
In terms of audio performance, Echo has a 3-inch woofer and two 0.8-inch tweeters, as well as six microphones. It can identify the specific acoustic qualities of a room and adjust accordingly. Sound quality isn’t as good as other devices in the market, such as Sonos, so if audio is important to you, this might not be the right fit. However, you can connect your Echo to a better audio source and even plug your Echo to a turntable.