What would we all do without our phones? They have everything that you need for modern living, and this even extends to our cars now. We can choose what music we want to listen to, make and take calls and even place orders for our favourite coffee on the move.
Obviously, it's illegal to use your phone when you're driving, so that's where a voice-activated assistant comes in handy. Amazon's Alexa, in particular, is great and can be easily installed in any car. Read our guide and pretty soon you'll wonder how you ever coped without one.
Alexa for your car
1. Echo Auto
Believe it or not, buying an Echo device is not essential to have Alexa in your car, but it is probably the best place to start. This model is specifically designed to be used in a car (paired to your mobile) and can even clip onto the air vents of certain cars so it's out of the way. Pros:Designed for car useCompact designCons:You'll probably need an additional mount
2. Kenwood KMM-BT506DAB DAB Car Stereo
This car stereo has Alexa built-in, so you won't need to buy the Echo Auto. You'll be able to request your favourite songs using nothing more than your voice, making an aux cable a thing of the past. The Bluetooth feature enables you to take and receive phone calls, as well. Pros:Great for audiophiles Bluetooth is a welcome additionCons:Expensive option
3. Qunions Echo Auto Mount
Although the Echo Auto fits some air-vents, to place it where you want you'll need to buy a mount. This magnetic one is great quality and will allow you to mount your Echo Auto wherever you want in your car.Pros:Limitless places to put your EchoCons:You'll still need to buy an Echo
4. iOttie Easy One Touch Connect Pro
If your smartphone has an Alexa function, then this mount is a great way to legally use it while driving. This mount allows you to use the voice functions of your phone safely and legally. Just remember that this mount won't charge your phone.Pros:You don't need an Echo Cons:Expensive for a phone mountWill not charge your phone
5. Kenwood KMM-BT206 USB Car Radio
This is a great budget stereo from Kenwood that offers full Alexa voice control. It lacks a built-in microphone like more expensive models so you won't be making any phone calls with it, but for such good value, that doesn't matter so much. Pros:Great value for Alexa integrationGood sound quality Cons:Cannot take phone calls
6. Echo Dot
If having Alexa in your car is good, introducing it to your home can be life-changing. As well as checking the time, news and choosing music, you can wire up your entire home to be voice-activated. Imagine being able to switch on the lights without having to stand up; perfect.Pros:All the benefits of Alexa in your homeGood built-in speakerCons:For smart-home features you'll need to spend more cash
7. Avantree CK11 Bluetooth Car Kit
If you're on a tight budget but still want voice-activated tech, this Bluetooth speaker is a great option. It supports Siri and Google Assistant and can do largely the same things an Alexa can do but is a cheaper alternative.Pros:Get voice-activated tech for lessCons:The speaker is not the most powerful
What you need to know about Alexa:
What does an Alexa do?
Almost anything you could want. There are the obvious things like checking the time, requesting music and taking phone calls that'll undoubtedly be used often. Yet, an Alexa system can also make lists, set reminders and even allow you to order products through Amazon. In short, there are so many things one of these devices can do that you're sure to find some use for it. What's the Best covers some of the more unusual things that an Echo system can do, so head on over there if you'd like a full rundown.
What are the alternatives?
There are a number of voice-activated systems just like Alexa; Apple has Siri and Google offers Google Assistant. Both of these are available on various smartphones and can be used when driving using a phone mount. Amazon's Echo Auto, however, is specifically designed to be used in cars - a big bonus over the other two.
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