When Amazon first announced the Amazon Echo and introduced us to Alexa, one of the first mainstream digital assistants, everything changed — but the world had no idea that that was the tip of the iceberg. As users began to rely on Alexa’s ever-growing list of digital services, Amazon responded by creating more platforms for Alexa. Soon after the original Echo came the smaller Echo Dot — and now there’s an entire product line of devices that include Alexa’s digital assistant services.
Here are a few of our favorite new places to find Alexa.
The Echo Auto takes everything you love about Alexa and brings it to the comfort of your car. It connects to your smartphone for web access and listens for voice commands. You can ask for anything from the latest sports scores to directions to your favorite haunts, all while you’re driving. Here’s what you need to know before buying.
If you’ve ever wanted a voice-controlled, real-life version of WALL-E, you’re in luck. The Vector is a robot companion that’s only a few inches high, but it can be easily controlled with the included smartphone app or with voice commands to Amazon’s digital assistant, Alexa. With more than a little artificial intelligence under the hood, the Vector can even respond with emotional faces.
If you want to save money on Alexa devices, look for bundles that pair Alexa devices with key accessories for a lower price. For example, you may be able to find a bundle that includes an Amazon Echo and a set of smart light bulbs packaged together at a discount.
The Echo Input may not look like much, but it may just be the best Alexa-based add-on available. Echo Inputs are small dongles with built-in microphones that add smart speaker functionality to any existing speaker. All you need to do is plug one into your stereo, and you’ll be able to start using voice commands and enjoying streaming audio through your stereo speakers. If you already own a good set of speakers, this is the ideal way to enjoy streaming audio.
When Amazon released the first-generation Echo Show, its first smart speaker with a screen, it was a bit underwhelming. It had a seven-inch screen, text that looked good but not great, and a built-in speaker that produced audio with the quality of an FM radio.
Thankfully, they’ve learned from their mistakes and surpassed expectations with the second-generation Echo Show. The new model has a 10-inch screen, vastly improved audio, and a plastic and fabric casing that’s perfect for any setting. If you’re into making video calls or you just want a kitchen companion to walk you through your favorite recipes, the new Echo Show is a slam dunk.
The Echo Sub isn’t exactly an Alexa device. Rather, it’s an accessory that’s perfect for music fans: it’s a subwoofer designed to complement second-generation Amazon Echoes. It delivers 100 watts of sound and turns Alexa’s already-impressive audio into a high fidelity experience. If you’ve got a second-generation Echo and want to level up the audio quality, this is the perfect way to do it.