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Summary: In this article, I review the best Amazon Echo device gifts to give and get in what is already shaping up to be an epic 2020 for Alexa.
If you simply want to know the best Amazon Alexa devices to gift this year, here they are starting with my favorite:
- Echo Show 2nd Generation
- FireTV Cube
- All-New Echo 3rd Generation
- Echo Dot Kids Edition
- Echo Buds Wireless Earbuds
- Echo Studio
- Echo Dot 3rd Gen [with Clock]
- Echo Show 8
- Echo Flex
- Sony Xperia Smartphone with Alexa
- Echo Plus 2nd Gen
- Facebook Portal Plus
- Echo Show 5
- Echo Glow
- Echo Sub
- Nebula Soundbar
- Echo Wall Clock
- Amazon Smart Oven
- Amazon Basics Microwave
- Bonus Gift Idea: Echo Auto
In the rest of this article, I’ll summarize the high points of the very best Amazon Echo device gifts in your official gift-giving guide for 2020. But first, let’s start with a handy price comparison table so you can see which gifts match your budget.
Best Amazon Echo Device Gifts: Dynamic Pricing Table
Here are my picks for the best Amazon Echo Device gifts for 2020 summarized in a table.
Prices are pulled in nightly from the Amazon API and were last updated as to the date and time displayed at the bottom of the table.
Tip: Click the SEE IT button to see the up-to-the-minute sale price on Amazon.
My Secret Crush
Can I let you in on a secret?
I think I have a crush on Alexa.
She gets me.
Alexa brightens my day [smart lights and bulbs].
She helps me when I’m forgetful [reminder skill] and gets me out of bed on time [alarm].
And she keeps my kids and I entertained on the weekends [music and games].
Besides, she’s way cooler than Siri ever was.
2020 Amazon Echo Device Gift Guide
According to a research report from NPR and Edison Research, 18 percent of Americans already own a smart speaker. That’s around 43 million people! Without question, Amazon is poised to increase those ranks big time with its new product launch, especially with the holiday season fast approaching.
Despite increasing competition, Amazon Echo dominated the bestseller charts last holiday season and over the past year, helping to solidify Amazon’s place the #1 retailer on the planet.
It’s no wonder.
Amazon continues to improve Alexa and usher in some major improvements to key members of the Amazon Echo family.
These include some great new features that help to address Alexa privacy concerns.
And, there are some cool really cool new devices that Amazon just announced too.
These include some smart new wearables (glasses, earbuds, and a ring), a cool new LCD clock update to the Echo Dot, a much better Echo Dot Kids Edition, a colorful new smart light, and several new speakers and gadgets priced for just about any budget.
Without further ado, let’s dive into more detail about each of the best Echo device gifts this year. Drumroll, please…
1. Amazon Echo Show 2nd-Gen
The Amazon Echo Show 2nd Generation remains my favorite of all the Echo device gifts here for three reasons. First, it sports Amazon’s newer solid-state and sophisticated product design with more durable plastic with a fabric finish.
Second, it has the biggest screen you can get today on an Echo device. [For an even bigger smart screen with Alexa, keep reading.] The 10″ high-definition display makes it super enjoyable for viewing videos and step-by-step recipes, Skype video calls, and just about any smart screen other activity.
Third, the audio quality has received a major upgrade with the introduction of Dolby Premium Sound, two side-firing speakers, and a passive bass radiator. The sound is especially sweet as part of a multi-room music configuration.
Check out this excellent video review of the Echo Show 2nd Gen from Engadget:
2. Fire TV Cube with Alexa
A Fire TV stick and Echo smart speaker rolled into one, the Amazon Fire TV Cube lets you control your entertainment experience using your voice. This would make an excellent Amazon Echo gift for any binge-watcher or streaming junkie. For starters, you can use it to turn on and off the TV with your voice. Best of all, the new FireTV 2nd Gen’s design upgrades make Alexa in the Cube more responsive than ever before.
With Alexa built right on board the Cube, a trip to the Amazon Cloud is no longer required for basic commands. This means that common Alexa commands like turning on the TV and tuning to your favorite shows and channels are executed super fast. For example, you can just say “Alexa, Tune to Peaky Blinders.” And she will fire up Netflix where you last left off with Peaky Blinders instantly. You can also use Fire TV voice commands to navigate around and show specific seasons and programs from which you can select a show. Just say, “Alexa, Show me Seasons of Iron Fist.” “Alexa, Scroll left.” “Alexa, Pick Episode 5.”
Craig’s Tech Talk does a nice job outlining the benefits of the new Fire TV Cube:
Here’s another great review of the Fire TV Cube [previous generation] from Digital Trends.
3. All-New Amazon Echo 3rd Generation
With the new Amazon Echo 3rd generation, Amazon has done it again. They built a better mousetrap. The new Echo takes its revamped design cue from the Echo Plus. It features the same premium speaker hardware that you would get on the more expensive Echo Plus model, including an 0.8″ tweeter and 3″ woofer. It also includes a 3.5 mm line in/out if you want to hook it up to a surround sound configuration or an external speaker set up. The net result is a dramatically better audio experience. Really the only thing missing from the new Echo that is included with the Plus is the built-in Zigbee smart home hub. This may be a concern for those of you running multiple Zigbee devices, but in general, most people don’t need it. This is truly a brilliant upgrade in my opinion that will make a great gift for anyone on your list.
4. New Echo Dot Kids Edition
Like the Plus, the All-New Echo Dot Kids Edition features updated hardware and better sound. Available in two, fun new color choices (blue and rainbow), the Plus is an ideal gift for any youngster on your list. “Designed with kids in mind” the new Dot Kids Edition features a host of kid-friendly content and skills. Pair it with an Amazon FreeTime Unlimited subscription (a free trial comes with only the Kids Dot) and you open up a whole world of content for the kiddos.
This includes 20,000 kid-friendly books, educational apps, games, movies, and many fan favorites from Disney and Nickelodeon. Best of all, the Dot Kids edition comes equipped with parental controls that enable parents to set daily time limits and monitor activity. The new Dot Kids also includes a carrying case, kid-friendly documentation, and a longer two-year warranty. This can be useful if your kid decides to use the Dot as a hockey puck.
Amazon does a great job covering the benefits of the Kids Edition over the other Echo devices on its product page. You can also read my review and comparison here.
5. Echo Buds Wireless Earbuds
Take that Apple Airpods! [Or is it Earpods?] Whatever…Amazon just upped the ante with its own brand of earbuds, the Echo Buds. Yes, they include hands-free voice control of your favorite tunes with none other than everyone’s favorite assistant, Alexa. Oh, but wait, you can also access Google Assistant and Siri from supported devices too. The buds feature Amazon’s premium speaker drivers with Bose Active Noise Reduction technology to limit background noise. A feature I love that they built-in is the ability to temporarily turn off the noise reduction to let sound pass through to your ears. This is a great safety feature for commuters or anyone using the buds on the go. The stylish looking Buds also pack in some solid battery life, with up to five hours of music playback per charge. There is also a “quick charge” feature that gives you two hours with a 15-minute charge. Amazon says the buds are sweat-resistant and exercise-ready. I already pre-ordered mine and will give an update on this in a few weeks. For those concerned about privacy, Amazon has built-in “multiple layers of privacy protections and controls.” This includes the ability to mute the mics with the Alexa app.
6. Echo Studio
The Echo Studio is Amazon’s best-sounding speaker yet. It packs in a ton of audio hardware that includes 3 mid-range speakers, a 1-inch speaker, and a 5 and 1/4 inch subwoofer at the base of the device. The Studio fires sound in all-directions to fill even a large room with robust three-dimensional sound. The speaker is of course also a voice assistant with full Alexa capability, but Amazon really designed this for the audiophile. If you are nuts about listening to music or creating an immersive surround sound experience with your home theater setup, the Echo Studio is for you. For home theater, Amazon suggests combining two Echo Studios with an Echo Sub for the ultimate in home-entertainment audio.
CNET gave their first impressions of the Echo Studio last month in this helpful review.
OK! On to #7 in my list of best Echo device gifts for this year.
7. Echo Dot 3rd Gen [with Clock]
Number seven on my list of the best Echo device gifts is the Echo Dot 3rd-Generation. Just when you thought, how in the heck is Amazon going to improve on its most popular smart speaker, they put an LED clock under the fabric. Very timely. The bright clock display could make a nice addition to your bed stand or perhaps even your favorite side or coffee table. While the clock is brand-spanking new to the Dot, Amazon stopped short of upping the version number to 4th Generation, but that’s what it is really. The 3rd-Gen Dot with or without the clock has much better sound with improved bass over the 2nd-Gen model. It also sports an updated design, better power supply, a cooler-looking light ring, and more color options that now include Charcoal, Heather Gray, Plumb, and Sandstone.
Check out this nice video overview from allthingstech:
8. Echo Show 8
Coming in at #8 on my list of best Amazon Echo device gifts is—you guessed it—the Echo Show 8.
I could tell you that the Echo Show 8 is like the Echo Show 2nd Generation but smaller. But it’s not! At least not quite…..the Show 8 actually has a couple of things on the Echo Show 2nd Gen. And there are a few reasons why I still like the 2nd Gen Show better. The upside: Show 8 has a privacy shutter that lets you cover the camera lens. You can also disable the camera and microphones with a single switch. However, unlike its bigger brother the 2nd Gen Echo Show [#1 on my list], there is no Dolby processing built-in, it has a 1-megapixel camera as opposed to the 5 MP camera on the 2nd-Gen, and it doesn’t include the Zigbee smart home hub. Also, those extra two inches just make the 2nd-Gen a whole lot cooler. Still, I realize that the 2nd-Gen Show makes for a bit of a pricey gift, and the 8 comes darn close to giving you most of what Amazon offers in a smart screen today at a great price.
9. Echo Flex
Echo Flex is an interesting new gadget that Amazon announced as part of its new Echo lineup last month. First and foremost, it puts an Alexa into any wall outlet in a very affordable way. This will give you voice control over your smart devices and everything else Alexa without having to purchase a more expensive Echo Device. But here’s where it gets more interesting. The “flex” in the Echo Flex has to do with a USB port at the base of the device. For now, this lets you add a nightlight or motion sensor. I’m super interested to see what other items Amazon will let you add to the Flex in the near future.
You can see Amazon’s unveiling of the Echo Flex below:
10. Sony Xperia Smartphone with Alexa
While I’m not sure I’m ready to part with iPhone just yet, the Sony Xperia Smartphone with Alexa is giving me a lot to think about. In addition to having Alexa built-in, the device is best known for having a super tall 21:9 display. What I love about the size of this phone is that you get the benefits of a larger phone while still being able to hold it in one hand. The phone has a bunch of Amazon apps preinstalled, and you can use Alexa to control everything from phone calls to music to weather to news and sports. The phone also has a triple-lens camera with Eye AF (auto-focus) and up to 10 fps burst shooting with AF/AE tracking for precision focus and exposure. It also has Dolby Atmos sound built-in. Take that Siri!
11. All-New Echo Plus
Like the Dot, and now new Amazon Echo 3rd Gen and the Studio, Amazon’s most significant upgrade to the All-New Echo Plus is improved sound. The Plus 2nd Gen also features enhanced volume and bass capabilities. Like the other new Echo devices, it also has an updated design (wrap-around fabric), and it can be paired with other devices. Unlike most other devices [save the Echo Show 2nd Gen], the Plus also includes the Zigbee Smart Home Hub, and may be able to get a bundle deal with a Phillips Hue smart bulb so you can enjoy the benefits of a smart light right away.
Another special feature of the Echo Plus is an integrated temperature sensor. This allows you to get an accurate reading of the temperature of the room you’re in. The potential here for cost and energy savings with this feature is quite amazing. For example, you could pair it with a smart thermostat, and then create a routine to turn on your air conditioner or space heater only if the room temperature hits a certain temperature.
Thanks to CNET for the usual spot-on video review:
12. Facebook Portal Plus
Facebook Portal Plus is the biggest smart screen you can get with Alexa right now. I’ve already blown my smart home budget for this month, but I really, really want Santa to bring me one of these this year. Man, time to work to get my butt off the naughty list. The coolest thing about Portal Plus is that you can rotate the screen to view it in either landscape or portrait mode. The giant screen is great for video calls or just about any other activity you can do with on-screen Alexa. There are some limitations compared to Echo Show, however. Check out my full review comparing Portal Plus vs Echo Show 2nd Generation and Google’s Nest Hub Max if you are interested in learning more.
13. Amazon Echo Show 5
The Echo Show 5 is essentially a smaller version of the eight. Both the ‘8’ and the ‘5’ indicate screen size (eight and five inches diagonal respectively). My favorite of the smart screens with Alexa is the Echo Show 2nd Generation, which has an even larger 10″ screen. I just feel like if you are going to use the screen you want it to be as big as possible. As I just mentioned, FaceBook Portal Plus has an even larger screen, and it also now includes Alexa onboard for most common commands. The Echo Five includes the camera shutter for added privacy controls and has all of the premium audio components of the Echo Show 8. The sound in the Echo Show 5 and 8 devices is great out of the box but it improves when you add a stand. It improves further when you add them as part of a multi-room music configuration that includes a mix of devices for different highs and lows. If you are interested in learning more about how the Echo Show 5 matches up against the 8 and 2nd-Gen models, check out this detailed comparison I wrote.
14. Echo Glow
The Echo Glow is Amazon’s answer to similar colorful accent lighting from Philips Hue and others. However, it has one major added benefit that is lacking in the competition. You guessed it! The Echo Glow has some pretty ‘bright’ Alexa skills. Once you pair with any Echo device, you can adjust color, brightness, and also create helpful routines. For example, you can set a morning routine that automatically slowly adjusts the lamp brightness as you are waking up. You can also set rainbow timers for certain events that cycle the lamp for certain events, like bedtime, wake up time, dinner, etc. Amazon is selling this as an advanced nightlight for kids, BUT I totally want this for ME!
15. Echo Sub
Next on our list of best Amazon Echo device gifts, is Amazon’s Echo Sub Subwoofer. This would make a great gift for any music lover on your list.
Perhaps the best compliment to the other audio devices in the Echo family, the Echo Sub will let them significantly update the sound of their Echo devices. How? This little beast of a subwoofer provides powerful, deep room-filling-bass capability. Moreover, it will work with existing Alexa speakers so you can provide a surround-sound or multi-room audio experience.
This ‘mini ottoman’ gives Alexa some serious bass.
While a few have complained about the looks, I just don’t get it. This is about as attractive a sub-woofer gets, and it is definitely better-looking than the boxy sub-woofers that come with most sound-bars.
Check it out this Digital Trends review here:
16. Nebula Soundbar
Nebula. What a cool name, right? So what is a Nebula anyways? Well, it’s a giant cloud of dust and gas in space. It’s an interesting analogy, as the sound from this bar is totally a gas. But how does it compare to some of the most popular soundbars out there, like Sonos Beam for example? Here’s a hint: it’s better. With 4 Full Range Woofers, 1 Tweeter, a 5 Class D Amplifier, and 3.0 on Front Channel this audio device raises the bar on sound for your Smart TV. If you want to get the full-on scoop on how it measures up against Sonus, check out my full review of Amazon Nebula vs Sonos Beam: Which Alexa Soundbar Sets the Bar Higher? Best of all? You get Alexa built right in. This not only means that you can ask your soundbar the weather, sports scores, and to play the latest round of music trivia, but you can also include the awesome sound in your multi-room music configuration. Sweet.
17. Echo Wall Clock
The Echo Wall Clock has been the butt of a few jokes since its debut over a year ago. Some have even said that its initial mediocre launch is what led to Amazon’s ‘Alexa Fails’ commercial (yes, the one Han Solo and his Alexa dog collar and Forrest Whittaker with an Alexa toothbrush).
Say what you want about the wall clock, but I really like it. No, it doesn’t put full-blown Alexa on your kitchen wall. What it does do is let you set and see timers with the clock and your Alexa device. And that’s about it where Alexa is concerned. It will auto adjust for daylight savings time, and the clock is stylish and inexpensive enough where it could make a super housewarming or shower gift.
18. Amazon Smart Oven
The Amazon Smart Oven turns Alexa into your own personalized chef. Amazon is touting the oven as a “4-in-1” device. It includes a convection oven, microwave, air fryer, and food warmer. (I would hope an oven would be able to warm my food!) Perhaps the most innovative feature of the oven is its “scan to cook” technology. Yup, you guessed it again. You just scan the barcode from your favorite frozen dinner, pizza, or bean burrito, and Alexa automatically knows to set the perfect temperature and time. If you’re like me and have never bothered to change the temperature settings when cooking ANYTHING in a microwave, you will appreciate how much better this oven cooks your food.
Alexa will even announce when dinner is ready and she will also notify you when the oven is preheated. Cool-er-I mean hot. Oh, and you get a free Echo Dot too.
19. Amazon Basics Microwave
Not a day goes by when I don’t use the sadly-out-of-date Sharp microwave on my kitchen counter. The thing is at least 10 years old, and several of the buttons no longer work, including the one and zero. When I heat my coffee in the morning, I heat it or “22” seconds, because “20” won’t work. LOL.
Enter the Amazon Basics Microwave with Alexa and smart voice control. Amazon hopes to make using buttons a thing of the past with integrated voice control. And it could make one of the best Amazon Echo device gifts to help simplify your mom and dad’s daily routine in the kitchen.
Just ask Alexa things like:
“Alexa, microwave for two minutes.”
or “Alexa, reheat rice.”
Optionally, you can skip the wake word by pressing the Alexa button on the front of the unit. Then you just need to say:
or “Stop the microwave.”
The new smart microwave also includes all the basics like 10 power levels, a kitchen timer, a child lock, and a glass carousel turntable for automatic rotation of your food.
My man Dan from The Verge does a great job with this review of the ABM:
The best thing of all about this microwave is the super-affordable price.
Thank you, Amazon, for giving a cost-effective excuse to update my ancient, broken micro. But do I spring for the new smart oven instead? Hmm.
Best Echo Device Gifts Bonus Idea: Echo Auto
Amazon’s new Echo Auto device finally brings the power of Alexa to your car.
If I had $10 for every time I wished I could talk to Alexa in my car, I would be rich. I do some of my best thinking in my car, so it would be great to be able to ask Alexa to take notes, send an email or text, update my to-do lists, etc. It would also be great to replace Siri, who is largely unreliable even when asking for basics like checking the weather or making calls. This is one of the more highly anticipated products I’ve been waiting for this year. With eight microphones designed for in-car acoustics, Echo Auto can hear you over music, your air conditioning, outside weather, and road noise.
After a long wait, I recently ordered mine and should be receiving it soon.
In addition to the more traditional ways you use Echo, you can also:
Even cooler, you could set location-based routines. These are automated actions Alexa can start when you leave the office or get home (i.e., open garage door, turn on outside/inside lights, and unlock the front door.
One last shout out to CNET for the helpful Echo Auto video.
Alexa, Alexa Everywhere
And the momentum still seems to be building.
Best of all?
The products are generally more affordable and are now within reach for many consumers.
Best Echo Device Gifts for 2020 – Your Turn
We hope you liked our review of the best Amazon Echo device gifts for 2020.
If you did, would you mind sharing it using on the social media links at the top or bottom of this post?
Do you agree that this is going to be another banner year for Alexa? Which Alexa device is your favorite?
Do you have a crush on Alexa too ❤️?
Please leave a comment below and let me know.
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About the Author
Tim Brennan, Technical Writer & Blogger
Tim Brennan [a.k.a. "Tec Timmy"] is a senior technical writer with over 20 years of experience writing for companies and organizations in and around Greater Boston, including GE and MIT. In addition to actively writing for this smart home blog, Tim is also a regular contributor over at UniversalRemoteReviews.com. Tim holds a BA in Journalism from Northeastern University. Brennan is a father to two sons, an active blogger, a Star Wars nut, and loves a good taco🌮. There is a strong chance he is developing a crush on Amazon Alexa. You can learn more about Tim here.