For Amazon Prime subscribers, it’s often possible to augment their collection of connected home tech at lower costs when the online retail giant hosts its annual Prime Day event. But this year, you can begin deal-shopping earlier since Amazon has begun quietly releasing some deals on popular tech products in the days before the official Prime Day on July 15-16.
Here are our top picks of the best connected home deals before Prime Day kicks off. Remember, you need to be a Prime member to get the reduced prices. And in many cases, you may not see the reduced price until you add it to your cart and begin check-out.
Even better, use your new Ring doorbell with an Amazon Echo Show 5, and you can simply say “Alexa, show me the front door” to see what’s going on outside your home.
Ring, the smart doorbell pioneer founded by entrepreneur Jamie Siminoff, was sold to Amazon for a cool $1 billion in 2018. Ring products work seamlessly with Amazon’s line of Echo speakers, though you can still use them with the standalone Ring app.
The speaker that started it all, the Amazon Echo, is still a good option for adding Alexa voice command capability to your connected home. Now in its second generation, the Echo has a 2.5-in. woofer mounted in downward-firing fashion, and a 0.6-in. Dolby-enabled tweeter for crisper vocals and more bass output.
Whereas the original Echo was available in any color you wanted—as long as it was matte black—recent Echos are available in a range of colors. They can be ordered wrapped in soft fabric, in charcoal, sandstone, or heather gray. Or wrapped in synthetic walnut, if wood is more your style. It might even match the panels on that classic Ford Woody Wagon you are restoring.
The Fire TV Recast, an over-the-air DVR that can store up to 75 hours of HD video, is also available on the pre-Prime Day deal docket.
Perfect for cable-cutters, this compact DVR is used with your local over-the-air HD channels. At this low cost, it might be time to finally cut the cord from your high-priced cable company, yet still record many of your favorite shows.
The Echo Input, one of Amazon’s recent additions to the Echo product line. The Echo Input adds Alexa voice control capability to non-smart speakers, a cost-effective way to make them a part of your connected home.
In order to use Echo Input with your speaker, it needs to be able to connect with an included 3.5 mm audio cable or Bluetooth. Wi-Fi speakers are not compatible.
Tom Kolnowski is the Chief Content Officer & Founder of Digitized House Media, LLC, the publisher of Digitized House | Guide to the Connected Home. When he isn’t writing about smart home technology, sustainability, and high-performance architecture, you’ll find him exploring faraway destinations with his family.