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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 2021 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 4th 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 2021. 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 2021 summarized in a table.
|Echo Show (2nd Gen) | Premium 10.1” HD smart display with Alexa – stay connected with video calling - Charcoal||Buy Now|
|Fire TV Cube | Hands-free streaming device with Alexa | 4K Ultra HD | 2019 release||Buy Now|
|All-new Echo (4th Gen) | With premium sound, smart home hub, and Alexa | Charcoal||Buy Now|
|All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen) Kids Edition | Designed for kids, with parental controls | Tiger||Buy Now|
|Echo Buds – Wireless earbuds with immersive sound, active noise reduction, and Alexa||Buy Now|
|Echo Studio - High-fidelity smart speaker with 3D audio and Alexa||Buy Now|
|All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen) | Smart speaker with clock and Alexa | Glacier White||Buy Now|
|Echo Show 8 -- HD smart display with Alexa – stay connected with video calling - Charcoal||Buy Now|
|Echo Show 8 Charcoal with Amazon Smart Plug||Buy Now|
|Sony Xperia 1 Unlocked Smartphone 6.5" 4K HDR OLED CinemaWide Display, 128GB - Black - (US Warranty)||Buy Now|
|All-new Echo Frames (2nd Gen) | Smart glasses with open-ear audio and Alexa | Classic Black||Buy Now|
|Portal Plus White from Facebook. Smart, Hands-Free Video Calling with Alexa Built-in||Buy Now|
|Echo Show 5 -- Smart display with Alexa – stay connected with video calling - Charcoal||Buy Now|
|Echo Glow - Multicolor smart lamp for kids, a Certified for Humans Device – Requires compatible Alexa device||Buy Now|
|Echo Sub - Powerful subwoofer for your Echo - requires compatible Echo device||Buy Now|
|Nebula Soundbar – Fire TV Edition, 4K HDR Support, 2.1 Channel, Built-In Subwoofers, Voice Remote with Alexa (Renewed)||Buy Now|
|Echo Wall Clock - see timers at a glance - requires compatible Echo device||Buy Now|
|Amazon Smart Oven, a Certified for Humans device – plus Echo Dot||Buy Now|
|AmazonBasics Microwave, Small, 0.7 Cu. Ft, 700W, Works with Alexa||Buy Now|
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 a button next to the product to see the up-to-the-minute sale price on Amazon.
My Secret Crush
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.
2021 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 as 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 and earbuds), a better-sounding, rounder Echo and Echo Dot, an Echo Show that moves with you during video calls, some great new Echo devices for kids, a colorful smart light, and several new 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
Despite the much-anticipated launch of Amazon Echo Show 10, the Amazon Echo Show 2nd Generation (affiliate link to Amazon) remains my favorite of all the Echo device gifts here for three reasons. First, it sports Amazon’s solid-state and sophisticated product design with durable plastic and an elegant fabric finish.
Second, it still has the biggest screen you can get today on an Echo device. [For an even bigger smart screen with Alexa, check out Facebook Portal below.] 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 (paid link) 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 Alexa 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.”
Here’s a great review of the Fire TV Cube from Digital Trends.
3. All-New Amazon Echo 4th Generation
With the new Amazon Echo 4th generation (links to Amazon), Amazon has done it again. They built a better mousetrap. The new Echo takes its revamped circular design. It features better premium speaker hardware and a more advanced upward-firing speaker configuration, including a 3.0″ woofer and dual front-firing 0.8″ tweeters.
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. It even includes a built-in Zigbee smart home hub to control compatible smart home devices without requiring a separate hub. This is a boon for those running multiple Zigbee devices, including Phillips Hue smart bulbs, some of which require a hub. 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 new Echo and Echo Dot, the All-New Echo Dot Kids Edition features a new spherical design, updated hardware, and better sound. Available in two, playful new design choices (Tiger and Panda), the Plus is an ideal gift for any youngster on your list. “Designed with kids in mind” the 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 longer two-year warranty. This can be useful if your kid decides to use it for a game of ball or worse.
Amazon does a great job covering the benefits of the Kids Edition over the other Echo devices on its product page. If you want to see some additional ideas, check out this article I wrote on some of the best Alexa device gifts for kids.
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 4th Gen [with Clock]
Number seven on my list of the best Amazon Echo device gifts is the Echo Dot 4th-Generation. Last year, I wondered how in the heck is Amazon going to improve on its most popular smart speaker. Well, , they put an LED clock under the fabric. This year the larger, rounder design change is a bit less subtle. But I still like the 4th gen model with the bright clock display, which could make a nice addition to your bed stand or perhaps even your favorite side or coffee table.
Additional improvements are similar to other 4th-gen improvements discussed previously, including a more advanced audio setup for better sound and a better chipset that is supposed to make Alexa more responsive. New color options include Twilight Blue and Glacier White. I think I am partial to the blue one.
Check out this nice video overview from Craig Paulsen of Craig’s Tech Talk:
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. You can read my review comparing the Echo Show 8 vs Echo Show 5 vs 2nd Gen vs if you are interested in learning more.
9. Echo Flex
The Amazon Echo Flex (paid link over to Amazon) is an interesting new gadget that Amazon announced as part of its new Echo lineup last September. 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. It doesn’t sound as nice as the other Echo’s listed here but that’s not the point.
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 Frames
I got a first look at the new 2nd-Gen Amazon Echo Frames (affiliate link over to Amazon) earlier today at my local Amazon store and I’m here to say it’s a “good look.” These seem to be a vast improvement over the “Day 1” version of the frames (designed for early adopters) previously released. The frames have Alexa built-in so you can pretty much take her anywhere. Swipe along the side of the frame to issue commands aloud and Alexa will reply from the frames and send audio backward toward your ears. Wow, talk about futuristic. There is plenty of privacy built-in so that you can lower the volume, and mute the mic, etc. I think the new 2nd gen frames look pretty stylish too.
Here is a nice review from Brian of the Day 1 version over at AutomateYourLife:
My understanding is that the updated 2nd-Gen frames were made via an Amazon partnership with Burberry there are a few different design choices so they look even nicer and they are easier to set up. You can see the latest models over at Amazon at the link above. Also, Amazon has added support for iOS in addition to Android. I’ll post an updated video as soon as something is available.
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 (affiliate link over to Amazon) 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 Show 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 an Echo Show 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! If you want to see some additional accent lighting options, check out this post I wrote comparing Philips Hue Play vs Bloom vs Go vs Iris.
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 the 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. If you are interested in comparing this with additional subwoofers, don’t miss my review of Echo Sub Vs Sonos Sub Vs Bose Sub.
If you want to see it in action, check out this Digital Trends video review here:
16. Nebula Soundbar
Next on my list of the best Amazon Echo device gifts is the Amazon Nebula soundbar (affiliate link over to Amazon). What a cool name, right? So what is a Nebula anyway? 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. 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 Amazon Echo Wall Clock (affiliate link) 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 have one hanging on my kitchen wall and 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 visually 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 makes a super gift.
Stu’s Reviews does a nice job with his review of the Amazon Wall Clock:
18. Amazon Smart Oven
The Amazon Smart Oven (affiliate link) 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 can get a free Echo Dot as part of a bundle deal too.
19. Amazon Basics Microwave
I was so happy to replace the sadly-out-of-date Sharp microwave on my kitchen counter with the Amazon Basics Microwave when my son bought it for me last year. My previous microwave was 10 years old, and several of the buttons no longer worked, including the one and zero. When I heat my coffee in the morning, I would heat it for “22” seconds, because “20” wouldn’t work. LOL.
No longer with my new Alexa microwave and smart voice control. Now I just do this:
Forgive the new YouTube long-form video format (#shorts). [It works with any Echo device; you don’t need the Show.]
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.
I just ask Alexa things like:
- “Alexa, microwave for two minutes.”
- or “Alexa, reheat rice.”
Optionally, I can skip the wake word by pressing the Alexa button on the front of the unit. Then I just need to say:
- “Defrost vegetables.”
- “Microwave popcorn.”
- or “Stop the microwave.”
The 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. The turntable does come off its base occaisionally but still this is a great deal and I love it.
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.
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 as documented in my early review of Echo Auto, I recently received mine and have been loving Alexa in my car.
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 Amazon Echo Device Gifts – Your Turn
We hope you liked my review of the best Amazon Echo device gifts.
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.