Alexa makes an almost perfect holiday gift for just about anyone on your list, whether they already own any Amazon Echo devices or not. From the softball-sized Echo Dot speaker to Amazon’s (AMZN) - Get Amazon.com, Inc. Report flashy new wall-mounted Echo Show 15 display, there’s an Amazon Echo to fit just about any room or budget.
Skill level doesn’t matter with Alexa, either -- Amazon Echo devices are simple enough for a novice to use yet have enough customization options to keep even the most tech-savvy tinker busy. Best of all, the mobile app is available for both Apple iOS and Android, so you don’t have to check compatibility before giving an Echo as a gift.
Just because the gift of Alexa is a surefire way to brighten someone’s holiday, however, shopping for an Amazon Echo device isn’t necessarily easy. With over a dozen Echo-branded Alexa gadgets to choose from, picking out the right one to give as a gift can get confusing, especially if you’re new to Alexa.
That’s why we put together this guide -- to help you pick out the perfect Alexa gifts for everyone on your list no matter who they are, how much experience they have with Alexa, or how much you may already know about the Amazon Echo line of smart devices.
So whether you’re shopping for aging technophobic grandparents or their digital native grandkids -- or for that one friend with more Alexa devices than an Amazon warehouse -- here are the best Alexa-powered gifts to give this holiday season, based on who they’re for.
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For The Alexa Newbie: Amazon’s Flagship Alexa Device
Amazon Echo ($59.99, originally $99.99)
Amazon’s original smart speaker -- Amazon Echo, now on its 4th generation -- has evolved from a tinny-sounding metallic cylinder into a cloth-covered sphere capable of producing remarkably crisp, clear audio, given its cantaloupe size.
Just one Amazon Echo is more than enough to pipe dynamic, clear music and other audio across an entire room. And while the smaller, cheaper Echo Dot may look just like a full-size Echo, it doesn’t sound nearly as good. Amazon Echo comes in dark gray “charcoal”, light gray “glacier white” and light “twilight blue”.
Alternatives for newbies: Echo Dot & Echo Show 5
For The Office Gift Exchange
Echo Dot, 3rd Gen ($19.99, originally $39.99)
This older model of Amazon’s smaller Echo Dot speaker happens to be on sale for a price that falls within most gift exchange budgets. The third-generation Echo Dot (3rd Gen) neither looks quite as nice as the newer models, nor does it sound quite as good, but it does connect to the full-fledged Alexa voice assistant and, worst-case scenario, it can connect it to a better speaker either wirelessly with Bluetooth or using the AUX port on the back.
Alternatives for coworkers: Echo Dot, 4th Gen
The current fourth-gen Echo Dot ($29.99, originally $49.99) is our Secret Santa gift of choice if your office’s gift exchange has a higher limit (or you don’t mind going over).
For The Established Alexa Household
Echo Dot with Clock ($34.99, originally $59.99)
For the friend or family member with Alexa speakers already sprinkled throughout the house, the Amazon Echo Dot with Clock makes a great addition. The palm-sized speaker with a small, simple LED display only costs $10 more than its non-clock sibling (or $5 more when Alexa devices are on sale, like now), but the value of not having to constantly ask Alexa for the time is, well -- priceless. The small white dashes on the display usually show the current time, however, ask Alexa about the weather and the display will show the current outdoor temperature. Available in glacier white and twilight blue.
For The Alexa Guru
Echo Show 15 ($249.99)
What do you get for the Alexa fan who already owns every conceivable Amazon Echo device? The latest and greatest, of course, which in this case means the Echo Show 15. Measuring 15 inches diagonally (hence, the 15), Amazon’s biggest smart display ever just began shipping in December, so almost nobody owns one yet.
As Amazon’s first wall-mounted Alexa display, the Echo Show 15 is poised to serve as the digital center of the smart home, with onscreen widgets that let users control their connected lights, plugs, thermostats, door locks, and more.
Flashy Alexa gear like this comes at a price, however, and as a brand-new device it’s doubtful Amazon will discount it anytime soon.
Alternatives for have-it-alls: Echo Dot Midnight Kiss
The Echo Dot Midnight Kiss ($59.99, originally $69.99) is dressed in a pattern from fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, making it truly one-of-a-kind. After this limited-edition Alexa speaker sells out, no more will ever be made.
For People Always On The Go
Echo Frames ($154.99, originally $249.99)
They don’t have a heads-up display, nor do they impose any kind of augmented reality layer over anything, but Echo Frames are still a surprisingly useful gadget. For one, they put Alexa right up on your head, which may seem a little invasive until you consider Alexa usually lives in the most intimate place you go -- your home. Otherwise, Echo Frames basically work like a Bluetooth headset, except you can hear the world around you perfectly well when you’re wearing them. Also, they’re designed so the world cannot hear them -- only you can.
Alternatives for go-getters: Echo Buds & Echo Auto
For Music Lovers
Echo Studio ($199.99)
As good as most Alexa speakers sound, none offer truly high-fidelity sound, except for the top-of-the-line Echo Studio. Echo Studio uses Dolby Atmos sound processing to extract a remarkably room-filling sound from a speaker enclosure small enough to put on an end table. Inside you’ll find five finely tuned speaker cones that produce what Amazon rightfully calls “3D sound.”
Alternatives for music lovers: Echo Sub
For True Audiophiles
Echo Link ($139.99, originally $199.99)
The Echo Link was designed for audiophiles who’d rather listen to music on their own (sometimes quite expensive) equipment but would still like the convenience of queuing it up using Alexa voice commands.
Alternatives for sound snobs: Echo Link Amp ($209.99, originally $299.99) includes a 120w powered amp, so they can skip the stereo receiver. Since all Amazon Echo devices include an AUX jack, any of them can actually be connected to a hi-fi system.
Echo Show Kids ($49.99, originally $94.99)
Wrapped in what looks like a lizard-skin print, the Echo Show Kids smart display even looks like it belongs in a child’s room. Its kid-friendliness, however, is far more than just skin-deep, as every kids-edition Echo device includes one free year of Amazon Kids+, normally $3 per month as an Amazon Prime member.
Kids+ gives you and your child access to a massive collection of stories, games, puzzles and other kid-oriented fun.
On top of that, as a device meant specifically for children, Echo Kids also limits certain Alexa communication features and enables parental content controls to help keep kids safe.
Alternative for kids: Amazon Echo Kids
Amazon Echo Kids ($34.99, originally $59.99) these tiger- and panda-wrapped speakers lack a display, but otherwise include everything available with the Echo Show Kids, including the free year of Kids+.
The next suggestion is the Echo Show 10 ($249.99), which can follow fidgety kids and keep them on-camera during video calls.
For Grandparents and Other Aging Family Members
Echo Show 10 ($249.99)
The first thing you’ll notice about the Echo Show 10 is its screen swivels so it’s always facing you no matter where you go in the room. If that sounds a bit creepy, consider how usefully that would be during a video call when you’re doing something else -- cooking or cleaning, for example. For grandparents and other aging relatives -- especially those who live far away from family -- video calling with kids and grandkids using the Echo Show 10 is a fun and truly unique experience.
Alternatives for grandma and grandpa: Echo Show 8
The screen on the Echo Show 8 ($94.99, originally $129.99) is smaller and won’t move around on its own, but the webcam does have a pan-and-scan feature that keeps video callers centered on screen similar to the Echo Show 10, plus it costs way, way less.
For Home Chefs, Bakers, and Cooks
Echo Wall Clock ($29.99)
Sure, an Alexa display comes in handy in the kitchen for looking up and following recipes and whatnot, but do you know what’s even handier? A wall clock that displays how much time remains on any timers you set. That’s exactly what the Echo Wall Clock does and why it’s a must-have in any home cook or baker’s kitchen.
Prices are accurate and items in stock at time of publishing.