If you just got an Echo Dot (or are thinking of getting one) it can be tough to know what will… or won’t work with Amazon’s amazing personal assistant.
I’ve created this guide to help you figure out the best Echo Dot accessories for each area of your home.
Here’s a clickable table of contents so you can quickly get to what you’re looking for…
With the Echo Dot, not only can you listen to music and check sports scores, you can also control an entire smart home with just the command of your voice, but where do you start?... Well...
If you are just starting out with your Echo Dot and want to get your feet wet, then I recommend you begin with a smart plug and a couple of inexpensive smart lights.
You’ll be able to turn off your television, turn on your plugged in lights, and control a wall A/C unit with the smart plugs.
Most things that have a plug can be controlled with the TP-Link Mini.
With the smart lights, you can screw them in anywhere in your house and control them with your voice via the Echo Dot.
With the TP-Link Smart LED bulb, you can turn them on and off and also set it to dim down for some really cool mood lighting.
Ok here’s a bit more in-depth explanation of both these products...
The first thing I purchased to go with my Echo Dot was a smart plug.
I used it to control my living room light so when I got home I could say “Alexa Turn On The Light” and like magic, the room lit up.
I’ve come a long way since then as you’ll see but I still have a few of these smart plugs in my home.
With the TP-Link Mini, you can attach it to most things in your house that can be plugged in and control it with your voice and or smartphone.
Things like lights, coffee makers, blenders, crockpots, and on and on.
The one downside to these plugs is that it can’t control anything with complicated control panels.
Like most newer coffee makers for example. If it doesn’t have a simple on/off switch it won’t work. Just be aware.
It also can’t dim your lights. If you want that functionality then check out the smart light bulbs below.
Another cool thing you can do with the TP-Link Mini is to group them together.
So if you have one setup in one kid's room and another one set up in the other kid's room you can turn them off individually or turn them both off with one command.
“Alexa Turn Off The Kid’s Rooms Off”.
With its new design, you can now plug in two per outlet. Before it was so big that it would take up an entire outlet for just one unit.
Now you can plug in a coffee maker and a crockpot into one outlet for example.
Easy to setup and use. Connects easily with the Echo Dot for voice control of many of your home electronics and appliances. Scheduling available. Ability to group them together for simple commands. This is number one on the list of Amazon Echo Dot must haves.
If you can get a smart plug to control your lights, you might be wondering why you would need a smart bulb.
A couple reasons.
First, they’re less expensive.
About $10 less. That’s pretty big savings, especially if you buy more than one.
Second, you can’t dim your lights with a smart plug.
With the TP-Link, Smart LED light bulb you can easily dim the lights with your Echo Dot.
Just say something like “Alexa Dim The Bedroom Light To 25%”... and... done.
Also, like the TP-Link smart plugs, you can group them together for better control.
You can, for example, group the kitchen and living room lights together to turn them all off or all on with a single command.
I also need to mention, other smart lights like the Philips Hue require you to purchase and use a hub just for the lights to work.
Not so with the TP-Link LED bulbs. Just plug them in, set them up on the app and go!
The one thing I don’t like about the TP-Link (and most other smart bulbs for that matter) is that it runs on the 2.4Ghz WiFi network instead of the better, stronger, faster 5Ghz network.
I haven’t noticed a slowdown but if you have a lot of devices on your network it can cause some lag.
One last thing I’ll mention is that these bulbs have an estimated lifetime rating of 22.8 years making them a pretty good investment.
Setting these bulbs up is really easy. No hub required! You can make groups and then control the group with your voice with the Amazon Echo Dot. They last a really long time and have a nice glow to them.
The living room is the entertainment center of your home.
Here are three Amazon Echo Dot accessories that will enhance your movie watching, music listening experience… and totally blow your friend's minds!
First is the Bose Soundtouch 300 Bar.
Not only is it a great sounding speaker with plenty of thump, it’s also Bluetooth enabled so you can pair it with your Echo Dot.
Next is the Lifx Light Strip.
These lights are soooo cool!
With the Echo Dot, you can turn them on and off with your voice, change the color and dim them down for a movie theater like experience. Most Awesome!
Finally, the Harmony Hub.
The Harmony Hub allows you to do a lot of different things which I’ll discuss in the review below.
The reason I included it here is because, with it, you can control the TV with your Echo Dot.
“Alexa Turn On HBO”... Oh Yes!
Ok here are the full reviews of these products...
The Soundtouch 300 Bar from Bose sounds absolutely fantastic!
It’s part of a complete home surround sound system but you can just purchase it by itself.
Unless you really want an excessive amount of bass in whatever movie you’re watching, the soundbar will be all you need.
The mids and highs sound great just like all other Bose speakers and the bass sounds surprisingly deep and full.
It comes with something Bose calls an ADAPTiQ headset that allows you to calibrate the sound to whatever room you put it in.
Unlike the Sonos Playbar (or the newer Playbase) The Soundtouch Bar is WiFi AND Bluetooth enabled.
That means that not only can you make the Soundtouch part of an entire wireless whole home music system but you can also connect it to your Echo Dot.
One downside that you need to be aware of is that the Soundtouch has an auto on/off feature that can’t be disabled because of some weird law in the EU.
Because it turns off automatically you will need to pair your Echo Dot every time you want to use it. Not a big deal. Only takes about 3 seconds but I just wanted to let you know.
You couldn't ask for a better sound for your TV or when you're listening to music. Even at a lower volume, it feels like you're watching a movie at the theater. Pairs easily with the Dot so you can listen to music w/ voice control.
IMHO there is nothing more awesome in the universe than colored lights.
Check out the pictures below and tell me I’m wrong 🙂
Now, I used to have a Philips Hue setup but then the Lifx Light strip came along and totally blew them out of the water.
I don’t want to do too much of a comparison here but I’ll just say that the Lifx lights are brighter, allow for zones (I’ll explain in a minute) and don’t require an extra hub to get them to work.
These things are just fun to play with.
You can put the strip anywhere you want but for this setup, I recommend you stick it to the back of your television.
Personally, I like to turn the lights to white and dim them down to about 20% while watching a movie. Gives you that movie theater type experience.
Like I said earlier, you have different zones with these lights so you can get multiple colors going at the same time (instead of just one like the Philips hue).
You can control the lights with the Echo Dot but be aware that the color choices will be a bit limited.
Dimming works like a charm but you can only turn it one color at a time with the Dot.
All in all, these are fun and addicting to mess around with and will really add some pop to your living room.
I recommend you start out by placing a set of these light behind your TV. It will make the colors on the TV stand out and reduce eye strain when watching in the dark. There are millions of colors to choose from and the effects are available through the app are really freakin' cool.
Not only can you control your TV with voice through the Echo Dot with the Harmony Hub but you can also control your entire entertainment setup.
The Harmony Hub is a smart home controller that allows you to group devices together to pull off some really cool things.
For example, I have a routine setup on the Harmony called Movie night.
I say “Alexa Tell Harmony Movie Night” and my TV turns on, sets itself to Netflix, the Lifx light bulbs turn off and my Lifx light strip behind the TV turns to white and dims to 20%.
This is just one possibility.
Among other things, you can turn on gaming consoles, set the input to your AV receiver and control other smart home devices like smart door locks.
One downside is that it can only control 8 devices. A bummer for me since I have so many smart home devices but most people won’t have an issue.
This hub is pretty versatile and at the moment, it’s the only way to control your TV through the Echo Dot (you, unfortunately, can’t yet do it through the Fire TV).
Easily allows you to control your TV through the Echo Dot. You can also create really cool routines for your smart home. Setup is simple and you can now turn on your TV apps with your voice.
The kitchen is where the Echo Dot really shows off its utility value.
You can play music while cooking, ask it to convert measurements and you can even order items that you’re running out of from amazon.
Here are a few great kitchen compliments for the Echo Dot.
First is that Bose Soundlink Mini ii.
You are going to want to upgrade the sound from the Echo Dot and the Bose Mini speaker is perfect for most kitchens.
Next is the Lutron light switch and hub.
You’ll be able to turn the lights on and off and it also has a dimming feature that isn’t common with most smart wall switches.
I’ll discuss in the review below why you might want this dimmer switch instead of buying smart light bulbs for your kitchen.
Finally, we have the Wemo Smart Coffeemaker.
Asking Alexa to make you a cup of coffee is one of the coolest things that you can do with your smart home.
There are also a couple of other mind-blowingly awesome things that you can do with this smart coffee maker. Read the review below for more info.
The Bose Soundlink Mini ii is a more than capable companion to pair with the Echo Dot.
Like most Bose products… it sounds great.
It should be more than enough for kitchen listening. If you have a really BIG kitchen then you might want to consider getting the Bose SoundTouch (non-mini edition).
I chose this exact Bluetooth speaker to go with the Dot for a couple reasons.
One, because you can disable the auto on/off “feature”.
That allows you to stay connected to your Echo Dot without having to re-pair every time you want to use it.
Two, it allows for dual pairing.
This allows you to pair more than one device at a time to the speaker. So you can your Dot always connected and if you want to use your phone to stream, you can without a lot of hassle.
The only complaint you’ll get out of me is that the buttons are a bit small. If you have to use them that could be a problem.
Other than that these little speakers are a powerhouse of awesome. They sound fantastic and work great in the kitchen.
Bose always creates a great listening experience. This little unit sounds strong and clean while taking up almost no space in your kitchen. You can also dual pair so you can use your Dot and a smartphone.
The smart dimmer switch by Lutron will allow you to add smart lighting capabilities to your kitchen.
If you have more than 3 lights in your kitchen then this is the way to go.
The reason is that purchasing multiple smart lights can get expensive.
Imagine having to buy smart bulbs for all of these sockets…
With one Lutron dimmer switch, you can turn the lights on and off with a voice command to the Echo Dot and…
You can also dim down the lights for a romantic dinner with your significant other.
It does require a hub which kinda stinks but you only need one and if you decide to install another dimmer switch in another room, they can all connect to the single unit.
Another nice feature is geofencing. This allows the light to automatically turn on when it senses your smartphone is within distance.
Makes it easy to turn on a light when you get home instead of fumbling in the dark.
You will love having your lights connected to the Echo Dot. Unlike some other smart switches, the Lutron Caseta starter kit allows for dimming.
When I found out that Mr. Coffee makes a smart home coffee maker I almost lost my mind!
“Alexa trigger brew coffee” is just as sweet as it sounds.
I have mine set to start at a certain time during the week because I always wake up at the same time.
On the weekends when I like to sleep in, I can wake up whenever and have it start before I even get out of bed.
My Fitbit registers when I’m awake sends a command to IFTTT and the coffee starts. How rad is that?!?
You do need to preload it.
I’ve made this part of my routine after I finish pouring my last cup of coffee, I reload the coffee maker.
This also allows me to have Alexa start a fresh brew whenever the feeling strikes.
I wish it had direct Echo integration though. For now, you have to set up an IFTTT trigger.
I’ve had a couple times where the trigger failed to fire because of Internet slowdowns and whatnot.
I’ve read about some issues with leaking but I haven’t experienced that so I can’t speak to it. Maybe they fixed the issue? The coffee maker has been out for a while now.
All in all, pretty cool. I wish I could get a grind n brew Wemo coffee maker but it doesn’t exist (hopefully soon).
If you want a way to easily make coffee with your Echo Dot then get this coffee maker 🙂
Who knew that a simple coffee maker could bring so much joy? Being Echo Dot enabled, you can now begin brewing your coffee before you even get out of bed. It works really well with Alexa and I highly recommend it.
When I had only one Echo Dot, I first put it in my kitchen and then I moved it to my bedroom where it still resides today.
I find that of all the rooms in the house, the Dot is most useful in the bedroom.
In the morning the (Alec Baldwin) alarm goes off, I tell Alexa to turn on the lights and read me the news.
That’s just one of the many things you can do with The Echo dot in your Bedroom.
Honestly, there aren’t a lot of Echo Dot accessories for your bedroom or bathroom at the moment but I have a couple you should consider.
First is a pair of really cool speakers from Bang & Olufsen.
Next is a portable, great sounding shower speaker.
Finally, I know this is kinda cheating, but I put a smart thermostat here because adjusting the temp in the house is one of the more common things I do when I’m in the bedroom (before I go to sleep and when I wake up).
The Bang & Olufsen Beoplay 3’s are one of the top rated Echo Dot speakers and for good reason…
They sound amazing!
You can purchase just one but I have a dual speaker setup in my bedroom. One on each side of the headboard.
The look really cool and with the two unit stereo setup, they have more than enough thump!
There are a couple ways you can set these up. Wireless and wired.
I recommend wired.
When I set them up at first I had them daisy chained wirelessly but I noticed that when I was watching a youtube video (you can connect your phone to the Echo so that you can watch videos, listen to music etc through the speakers) the voices didn’t match when the mouth was moving.
So, I got some inexpensive 3.5 in audio cables and wired it up. Not only did that remove the lag but they now sound even better!
These speakers look great, sound great and make an excellent set of Echo Dot speakers for any room but the especially look good on a headboard and will fill your bedroom with crisp bass thumping sound.
The Roll 2 from Ultimate Ears makes a great all around Echo Dot speaker but with its IPX7 waterproof rating, it makes for the perfect shower speaker.
I love being able to change the song with my voice and the Echo Dot while I’m taking a shower. It’s really great!
I also set a timer so I don’t stay in too long (which I tend to do).
The UE Roll also allows you to pair your smartphone and Echo dot at the same time for those times that you want to stream from your phone (like listening to youtube videos) and don’t want the hassle of un-pairing your Dot.
This speaker sounds really good, it isn’t let's say Bose quality but for what it is, you won’t be disappointed.
It has about 9 hours of battery life. I usually have to charge mine once every 3 weeks or so.
One other thing I’ll mention here is that it’s also portable. If you want to take it camping or whatnot, it is a really durable unit.
You’ll love listening to music while in the shower with this speaker. Having it right next to you sounds so much better than having a speaker outside the tub. The sound quality is really good and changing the music with your Echo Dot is most excellent.
The EcoBee is the best smart thermostat for your smart home and for your Echo Dot.
Better than Nest.
The Ecobee allows you to place sensors in each room in your house that records where you are in the home and sets the temp FOR WHERE YOU ARE!
Sorry didn’t mean to yell but this solves a problem that I can remember having since I was a kid.
It would be nice and cozy in the living room but my room was blazing hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winter.
You can also set the temp with your voice through the Echo Dot.
I do this quite often at night when I’m about to go to bed.
All I can say is that if you are in the market for a smart Thermostat then the Ecobee is the one to get.
Easy to install and setup. The interface is clean and simple to understand. With its multi-room sensors, you can now control the temp where ever you are automatically. You can also adjust the temp with your Echo Dot.
Can you use the Echo Dot in your car? You sure can. It does require a mobile hotspot (If you wanna minimize dropping) and also a bit of hacking but it can be done. Here are some mobile hotspots if you wanna give it a try...
Netgear Unite 815S
The Automatic car dongle is a cool little device that you plug into your car's OBD 2 port and it will allow you to among other things...
Ask Alexa where your car is and how much gas is left in the tank.
Here are what you would consider "traditional" accessories for the Amazon Echo Dot...
Amazon Echo Dot Accessories
The remote comes in handy if you don’t want to put an Echo Dot in every room.
You can control your smart home devices by pressing the button on the remote and communicating with Alexa wherever you are in the house.
The battery comes in handy when you want to place your Echo Dot in places where you have no power like the back porch.
I have one connected in my bathroom because I only have one outlet.
You can use this mount to place your Echo dot on the wall or under cabinets.
Works really well for hiding your Echo Dot or creating counter space where you need it.
Do you like your Echo?
Do you like Owls?
If you answered yes on both accounts then you’ll wanna check out the Owl statue Echo Guard.
If you want to give your Echo Dot a different look than the standard “hockey puck” then you can choose from one of about 6 different covers to place around Alexa.
What can Echo Dot do?
At its core the Echo Dot a personal voice assistant.
It can play music, check news and sports scores and order things for you on Amazon.
When you throw some skills in the mix (Amazon’s fancy way of saying apps that you can install on the Echo) you can also order a drink from Starbucks, call an Uber or order a pizza from Dominos.
Here is a list of its basic functions:
1. Play music
2. Get the news
3. Listen to audiobooks
4. Check weather
5. Set a timer or alarm
6. Check sports scores
7. Get traffic information
8. Check movie times
9. Get the hours of a local business
10. Control smart home devices
11. Order products from Amazon
12. Create reminders on a to-do list
13. Ask basic questions
14. Ask math questions
15. Ask it to spell something for you
16. Play games
You can also have it find your phone (skill required) and another one that I just recently figured out… Voice cast.
With voice cast, If you are listening to a playlist in the living room from your Echo Dot and you want to continue listening in the kitchen on your other Echo Dot while you cook, you can tell it to send it to the kitchen. Pretty cool!
Amazon is always expanding the universe of awesome things that it can do. To keep up to date go to the things to try page.
What can Echo Dot control?
The Echo Dot can control many smart home devices with smart home skills that you install by simply saying “Alexa install the xxx skill”.
Here are some of the more popular devices and hubs that the Echo Dot can control with skills...
2. August Smart Door Lock
3. Automatic Car Adapter
5. Ecobee Smart Thermostat
6. GE Appliances
7. Harmony Hub/Universal Remote
9. Hue Lights
12. Nest Smart Thermostat
14. SmartThings Hub
15. TP-Link Smart
17. Wemo Smart Plugs
18. Wink Hub
If it doesn’t have a skill (like Arlo Smart cams) you might still be able to control your devices through IFTTT or Yonomi.
Echo Dot vs Echo
The only difference in hardware between the Echo and the Echo Dot is that the Echo comes with a large speaker already attached to the unit.
The Dot does have a small speaker attached but the sound is very weak and you will want to upgrade if you plan on listening to music.
Here is a review I did of the best Echo Dot speakers.
The larger Echo is also about three times the price.
What’s great about the Dot is that since it’s inexpensive you can buy a bunch of them and put them in different rooms in your house. That allows you to control all your smart home devices wherever you happen to be.
Echo Dot vs Echo Dot 2
The Echo Dot is currently in its second generation.
Here is a quick list of the changes from the previous version:
1. Added volume buttons and removed rotating volume dial
2. Changed the finish from matte to glossy
3. Removed 3.5mm cable
4. Added new speech processor for better voice recognition
5. New software that makes sure that only one echo responds to commands
6. Lowered price
If you want an in-depth on the new Echo Dot changes click here.
How to connect Echo Dot to a Bluetooth speaker...
Pairing an Echo Dot to a Bluetooth speaker is (usually) pretty easy.
The first time you pair a speaker you need to go into the Alexa app on your phone or tablet.
You press the pairing button on the speaker and in the Alexa app go to >>Settings >>Amazon Echo Dot >>Bluetooth >>Pair New Device >>Select The Device From List.
After you pair it for the first time you will be able to pair it by just saying “Alexa Connect My Speaker”.
Also, you want to make sure you choose a speaker that doesn’t go into auto off mode. If it goes off then you will have to pair it anytime you want to use it.
That becomes a hassle after a while.
What about Sonos?
Sonos isn’t quite there yet.
You can’t easily setup and use your Echo Dot with the Sonos whole-home system.
That’s because Sonos is WiFi only and you can only pair Bluetooth devices with the Echo Dot.
Sonos is currently working on a skill to allow for easy use with the Dot though. From what I understand it was supposed to be ready by now but they have had some setbacks.
There is one exception and that is the Sonos 5 speaker.
The Sonos 5 comes with an aux-in port. That means that you can simply plug the Dot into the Sonos with a 3.5mm jack.
Other than that you can hack it but that requires a high degree of technical knowledge and experience.
How Echo Dot plays music...
The Echo plays music in one of several ways.
First is through a streaming service. It currently supports Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio and Amazon music.
If you have a Prime account you can listen to a fairly decent selection of music.
If you’re a music lover I’d recommend signing up for Amazon Music Unlimited or Spotify Premium where you can listen to just about anything out there.
The next way is through Amazon’s My Music.
That allows you to upload your own music from iTunes, Google Play or your own music collection to listen to on the Echo.
Finally, you can pair your phone to the Dot and stream from your phone. I personally use this to listen to Youtube Videos.
For a full list of music, commands check out Amazon’s Listen To Your Music page.
Echo Dot Skills
Skills are what Amazon calls apps for the Echo.
There are now thousands of skills for the Echo but to be honest most of them are junk.
Some are genuinely useful though. Here’s my top 5…
If you’re a productivity nerd like me you’ll love Quick Events.
It allows you to access your google calendar through the Echo.
You can quickly add events and check to see if there are any conflicts in your schedule.
Need to quickly order your favorite drink from Starbucks to pick up on the way to work?
There’s a skill for that! (sorry, I couldn’t resist :))
Anyhow, it’s a bit limited. You can only get what you previously ordered and you can’t set a pickup time but hey, it’s a start.
SMS With Molly
This skill allows limited texting ability with the Echo.
I really hope that someday the Echo integrates this directly but until then you can use this skill to quickly send a text.
If they can pull it off, Mastermind will be the missing link for everything you ever wanted to do with Alexa but couldn’t.
It will allow you to make phone calls, send and receive texts, get caller ID, get notifications and launch apps on your mobile devices.
It’s only in closed beta right now so we’ll have to see where it goes once it’s released. I’ll keep you updated.
This one is for the smart home crowd.
Yonomi allows you to create and control routines for many of your smart home devices.
You can, for example, create a good night routine where it will turn off your TV, lock the door and shut off all the lights.
Final Words - Wrapping It Up
There it is… The 17 best Echo Dot accessories that I’ve come across in my 3 years of living with Alexa 🙂
Feel free to comment below.
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