Since Amazon Alexa speakers were launched at the end of 2014, they have revolutionized how we control our smart homes. At first, it was just fun to control the lights and heating with Alexa voice command and add things to your shopping list with her. But now, it is an essential part of many of our lives, and we can’t imagine doing many of those things without Alexa’s help.
If this sounds like you, then obviously, you will want your TV box to integrate with Alexa, so you can control your watching with the smart speaker. But for this, you need a TV box that is compatible with Alexa.
While the majority of new Android TV boxes will work with Google Now voice control, there are actually a relatively small number of Android TV boxes that are compatible with Alexa. Naturally, any Amazon Fire TV devices integrate with Alexa in a native way, and then there are a couple that will work with an Alexa speaker.
In today’s article, I am going to take a look at these boxes, so if you are dead keen on Alexa, you can find the best TV boxes you can control with Alexa. While the choices are limited, there is something for everyone, whether you already have an Alexa speaker or need one, and whether you want to go high end or budget.
Let’s jump in!
Product Quick Links
- Fire TV Cube With Alexa Built-In – Best With Alexa Built-In
- Fire TV Stick 4K – Best Stick With Alexa Built-In
- NVIDIA Shield Android TV Pro 4K – Best Premium Box
- Roku Ultra 4K – Best Affordable Box
Best Alexa Control Android TV Boxes
If you are looking for the best Android TV boxes independent of Alexa, read 25 Best Android TV Boxes.
1. Fire TV Cube With Alexa Built-In – Best With Alexa Built-In
If you are investing in an Android TV Box and you don’t already have an Alexa speaker, and would quite like one, then get the Fire TV Cube. It comes with Alexa built-in, which means you can use Alexa to control your device. But, you can also use your Cube as an Alexa speaker independent of your TV.
This makes the Cube one of the cheapest ways to get both an Alexa speaker and an Android TV Box, as you get them both for just $100.
The Cube is also a pretty good quality TV box on its own, though it doesn’t rival any of the premium TV boxes on the market.
It uses a sophisticated S922 processor and hexa-core CPU, but only has 2 GB of RAM and 16 GB of ROM. Arguably, it doesn’t need a heftier 4 GB of RAM as the Fire OS is better at controlling background activity than the Android OS alone. And the Cube is up to date with both of its operating systems, running Android 9.0 Pie and Fire OS 7.
It is powerful enough that it can deliver 4K Ultra HD at 60 fps, and it does this without a lot of bandwidth thanks to H.265 decoding. This is good as it only offers 100 Mbps over ethernet rather than the gigabit you see with premium boxes.
But when it comes to what matters, the Cube delivers. Not only does it deliver 4K, but it is Widevine certified, so it also unlocks 4K and Ultra HD content on the likes of Netflix and, of course, Amazon Prime TV.
Plus, it is just amazing that you can use the Cube not only to control your TV but as a fully-fledged Alexa speaker for your entire home.
2. Fire TV Stick 4K – Best Stick With Alexa Built-In
If you are keen on Alexa as native, but you are looking to spend a lot less, check out the Fire TV Stick 4K. This little device, which costs only $35.00, delivers a lot. Get up to 4K and Widevine certification to unlock the most popular 4K content.
So, why would you pick the more expensive Cube? Two reasons. First, the stick just isn’t as powerful. It only has a quad-core and 1.5 GB of RAM. Plus, if you want to use ethernet, you need to buy an additional dongle. It also operates only on Android 7.0 and Fire OS 6.
The second reason, while the stick lets you control your TV with Alexa, it is not a fully-fledged speaker, so it only works with your Fire Stick. If you want to make the rest of your home smart with Alexa, you’ll need to buy a speaker separately.
But if you already have a speaker, it will seamlessly integrate, and if you don’t, you can still use Alexa voice command with your TV. Considering the price tag, it is not a bad deal, especially if you remember that it comes with the Alexa remote, which usually costs $30.00 on its own.
For a more in-depth comparison of the Fire Cube and Fire Stick 4K, read our comprehensive review.
3. NVIDIA Shield Android TV Pro 4K – Best Premium Box
If you are looking for a proper premium box that also works with Alexa, then look no further than the NVIDIA Shield. It is one of the top range boxes on the market, as reflected by its $200 price tag.
But that investment gives you a lot of bang for your buck. It starts with a Tegra X1+ chip for optimum processing, which means it can get away with just 3 GB of RAM and run off Android 8.0. The box still delivers 4K Ultra HD and is again Widevine certified to unlock 4K on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and YouTube.
On top of this, it has all the bells and whistles. We are talking 5.1 audio passthrough, H.265 decoding for faster speeds, OTA firmware updates, HDMI 2.0, USB 2 and 3, dual-band Wi-Fi, and Gigabit ethernet, and it even comes with the latest version of Kodi installed. Basically, tick, tick, tick on the checklist.
It actually comes with Google Now voice commands already activated, but if you prefer to use it with Alexa, it is entirely compatible; all you need is the speaker.
4. Roku Ultra 4K – Best Affordable Box
The problem with the Roku box is that it is quite locked down, and you need to work with what they give you rather than being able to customize it. But what they give you is a lot. Roku boxes tend to come “fully loaded” with access to a lot of premium channels. We are talking about Disney, HBO, and much more. It is also one of the best options if you want to watch live TV.
If both content and Alexa control are priorities, this box is definitely worth researching further.
If you already have a smart TV, they too may work with Alexa without the need for an additional box. At the moment, Samsung, Sony, LG, Hisense, and a few smaller brands are making TVs that are compatible with Alexa.
Amazon currently has a page on which they list all of their Smart TVs that are compatible with Alexa voice control.
FAQs For Best Alexa-Controlled Android TV Boxes
Is There A Monthly Fee For Alexa?
There are no ongoing fees for Alexa, just the one-off charge for the hardware. After that, you will need to connect it to your home Wi-Fi for it to work effectively. Also, if you are a member of Amazon Prime, you can unlock premium functionality. Prime membership currently costs $12.99 per month, with discounts for an annual membership.
What Is The Difference Between Alexa And Echo?
Alexa is the virtual assistant software provided by Amazon, while the Echo is the name of the hardware of the speaker on which you can access Alexa. But you can get Alexa without the Echo speaker. For example, the Fire TV Cube also functions as an Alexa speaker.
Do You Need An Amazon Account To Use Alexa?
Yes, you need an Amazon account to use Alexa, but a free account is sufficient. You don’t need an Amazon Prime account, although this can unlock additional functionality.
If you are keen on Alexa and you want to integrate your TV into your Alexa controlled smart home system, you need to choose a TV Box or Smart TV that is compatible with Alexa.
If you are looking at TV boxes, you probably want to go with one of Amazon’s own boxes, such as the Fire Cube or the Fire Stick. If you are looking for a premium box that also works with Alexa, then consider the NVIDIA Shield.
Several Smart TVs are also already compatible with Alexa. Look for TVs made by Samsung, Sony, and LG.
Do you use Alexa to control your Android TV Box or Smart TV? Share your experience with the community using the comments section.