The Ultimate Man Cave: Create Your Dream Smart Home

asian man sitting on sofa and using smart home control app on mobile phone with augmented reality view of IOT connected objects in apartment

These 9 Smart Home Devices Graduated Top of Their Class

Make your life a little more convenient and a lot more intelligent. Add appliances and gadgets to your home that are controllable from your phone without needing to be home. Better yet, go hands-free with voice commands. This is lightyears beyond "Clap-on, clap-off." With smart devices holding your home together, you feel like you're living in the future of Star Trek.

If you're impressed with all the little features on your phone, look for these gadgets and prepare to have them blow you away.

HomePod 2nd Generation

by Apple 

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11/28/2023 12:46 pm GMT
1. Apple HomePod

The first device you need in your home for it to function seamlessly is a command center, allowing you to control every connected device. There are many different options, such as the Google Home or Echo Studio. However, a large portion of the population uses Apple's iPhone and completely assimilates into Apple's ecosystem. If you're one of those people, the Apple HomePod is ideal.

Using Siri through the HomePod works without issues. The HomePod's four-mic array even picks up your voice if music is playing loudly in the background. Siri is completely customizable in the Apple Home app, letting you toggle voice and touch commands to your liking. The HomePod receives support through Apple's HomeKit platform, where you're able to control other devices and use the HomePod as your smart hub for the entire house.

Essential Video Doorbell Wire-Free

by Arlo 

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11/28/2023 12:38 pm GMT

2. Arlo Video Doorbell

One of the many essential smart devices for your home is the video doorbell. Everyone knows about Ring doorbells, but Arlo's Video Doorbell works with Alexa and Google Assistant, along with many third-party devices. Not to mention it's a completely wire-free doorbell, meaning you don't need to have any electrical experience to install it.

Unfortunately, you need to sign up for an Arlo Smart Plan if you want access to recorded video. If you own a Smart Hub with an attached USB drive, however, you're able to get around that. Otherwise, the doorbell provides 180-degree views with 1536p resolution. It also comes with night vision and two-way communication, as any good video doorbell does.

Wi-Fi Smart Lock (4th Generation)

by August Home

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11/28/2023 12:38 pm GMT

3. August WiFi Smart Lock

The August company gives you a simple-looking device that appears unsuspecting to outsiders, but you recognize it as a smart lock, keeping your home secure. August's WiFi Smart Lock completely replaces your front door's interior thumb while maintaining the rest of its locking hardware, such as the keys. Furthermore, it supports Apple's HomeKit, Amazon's Alexa, Google's Assistant, and multiple third-party platforms, making it easy to integrate with the rest of your smart home system.

More importantly, this smart lock comes with Auto Lock and Auto Unlock features that use your phone's location to know when to activate. If, for whatever reason, the WiFi or Bluetooth is out, you're always able to unlock it or lock it manually simply by turning the mechanism to the left or right.

Writers for CNET Molly Price and David Priest say, "Assigning virtual keys to additional lock users remains free, a highlight of August's policies, and you'll also get plenty of options for setting notifications when something happens, or doesn't, at your door. The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock comes with a DoorSense sensor, so you can know if someone leaves the door open or closes it but leaves it unlocked."

Home Security System

by Arlo 

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11/28/2023 12:43 pm GMT

4. Arlo Home Security System

Arlo is a large company that offers a variety of security devices, including video doorbells and exterior security cameras. By using the Arlo Home Security System, you're able to connect all Arlo devices to its security hub. With Arlo, you have the option of keeping an eye on things on your own or paying for a 24/7 monitoring service that opens up access to numerous emergency response options.

This security system doesn't require a contract even if you pay for the monitoring service, and it integrates seamlessly with the rest of your smart home platform. Voice commands are available. Furthermore, it gives you access to multifunction sensors capable of detecting water leaks, freezing temperatures, and other environmental hazards.

New Smart Thermostat Premium

by ecobee 

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11/28/2023 01:07 pm GMT

5. Ecobee Smart Thermostat

One of the most used devices in the home is the thermostat. Families fight over the temperature constantly, always having to get up from the couch or bed to change it. Modern technology makes it easier than ever to settle these arguments. In fact, you don't need to be in the house to change your home's temperature anymore.

The Ecobee Smart Thermostat lets you control your home's climate with your phone, voice commands, and even access to a schedule. The temperature never stays the same throughout the day, and your comfort level changes with the temperature. By setting a schedule, you're able to keep your house set at your ideal temperature during all times of the day.

Smart Home Wi-Fi Outlet

by Kasa Smart 

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11/28/2023 12:17 pm GMT

6. TP-Link Kasa Smart Plugs

The TP-Link Kasa Smart Plugs are nice little devices that turn non-smart gadgets into the smart devices you want them to be. Additionally, this smart plug monitors the energy usage of connected devices. If you download the Kasa mobile app, it takes energy monitoring to the next level. Not only does it tell you how much energy each connected device uses, it helps you estimate what your monthly bill is for each month.

Even if you're not interested in a feature like that, the Kasa smart plug lets you turn any device from a lamp to a Christmas Tree into a phone-controlled device. And yes, voice commands work with this plug, letting you control it without ever using your hands.

Precision Smart Oven

by Anova 

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11/28/2023 12:53 pm GMT

7. Anova Precision Oven

Owning an appliance that lets you control its settings and monitor its process from your phone is one thing, but one that roasts, bakes, slow cooks, and steams (much like an air fryer) is like having Gordon Ramsay in your kitchen. Speaking of Gordon Ramsay, MasterChef's USA season 13 finale airs on August 26, 2023.

Anova's Precision Oven is a must-have appliance whether you upgrade your home with smart devices or not. It provides step-by-step cooking instructions from its companion app, producing delicious results, while also letting you load cooking presets with a simple tap of a button. All without ever stepping foot inside your kitchen.

SpinWave Hard Floor Expert Pet Robot

by Bissell 

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11/28/2023 12:32 pm GMT

8. Bissell SpinWave Wet and Dry Vacuum

One aspect of the home everybody struggles with is cleaning. Vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping, they're all a burden that homeowners wish didn't exist. Luckily, technology makes it easier thanks to automatic vacuums. It becomes even easier when you have access to a single device that both mops and sweeps for you. It definitely makes life more convenient.

Bissell's SpinWave Wet and Dry robotic vacuum lets you schedule times for it to sweep and mop from your phone. If you know a time you won't be home, the SpinWave does its job while you're away. It automatically detects carpet and area rugs when it's mopping and avoids them. What it lacks in voice controls, it more than makes up for in its performance.

Smart Sprinkler Controller

by Rachio 

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11/28/2023 12:23 pm GMT

9. Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller

If you're a homeowner, you know how frustrating a manual sprinkler system is and how often it requires reconfiguration. The Rachio 3 Smart Controller gives you a more efficient upgrade that comes with voice commands through Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant while also integrating easily with other smart home platforms.

If you notice it's going to rain one day, simply turn off the sprinkler system from your phone while you're running some errands. Don't worry if you don't notice the weather, though. The sprinkler controller comes with premium weather intelligence technology that pulls weather data from over 300,000 weather stations and satellites, providing you with an efficient weather-based watering schedule for your area.

High-Tech Amenities

The best feature on all these devices isn't the voice command abilities; it's the ability to set schedules that coincide with your day-to-day life. Set your lights up to turn on along with your phone's alarm while the thermostat simultaneously decreases the temperature in your home to account for the hot day. If you have a smart coffee maker, set it up in a routine to brew coffee at the same time every day.

With the right central command center, like Apple HomeKit or Google Hub, you're able to control everything from a single application. No need to fumble through every individual app that comes with each smart device. Make your home work for you.

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