You don’t need a new vehicle to get fancy features like Alexa or the Google Assistant in your car. While there are many ways to add tech to an older vehicle, putting a hands-free virtual assistant in your car is one of the easiest. So, here are some of your best options to help you keep your eyes on the road.
Adding a voice assistant accessory to your car will work like the smart speakers you might have in your home. Whether you use Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, these devices will let you play music, answer calls, control smart home devices, and a lot more with your digital assistant while driving.
What to Look for in a Car Voice Assistant
When choosing this type of car accessory, you’ll want to find what suits your comfort level. You’ll interact with this device with voice commands in an effort to keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. So, if you prefer Alexa, get an Alexa-enabled device. Those who use Google Assistant in their home should get our Google pick.
- Features: Look for car accessories that have extra features in addition to adding a personal assistant to your vehicle. We have one that doubles as a car charger, a dashcam, or a Bluetooth speaker for your car.
- Hands-free: Anything that has too many buttons or is overly complicated should be avoided. As again, we’re trying to be safe drivers with fewer distractions.
- Installation: And lastly, choose something easy to use and install. We’ve only chosen items that are simple to use. Not everyone can replace their stereo, so instead, get something like a car charger with Amazon Alexa built-in. That way, it’s easy to install and very useful.
Best Overall: Amazon Echo Auto
You can put Alexa anywhere these days, and adding it to your car is a logical next step. Alexa is great for hands-free help with calls or messages, navigation, news, weather info, and more. You can even ask Alexa to open your garage or turn on smart home lights as you’re driving home.
Our first choice and the best overall option is the Amazon Echo Auto for several reasons. It’s one of Amazon’s top-selling items, it mounts to your dash, then easily plugs right into a USB or 12-volt outlet in your car. It pairs with your phone and plays through the car stereo with AUX or Bluetooth. Plus, with 8 microphones and far-field technology, Echo Auto can hear you over music, A/C, and road noise, ensuring it always works, and you can keep your eyes on the road.
Best with Google Assistant: Anker ROAV Bolt
If you have many Google/Next Home products and prefer Google Assistant, we have you covered. Personally, I prefer the Google Assistant, which is why I have the Anker ROAV Bolt Charger. Yes, this is a 2-port USB charger for your phones and tablets that also happens to have the power of Google built-in.
Obviously, you can ask your phone questions, but the point is to keep your phone put away. Pair the ROAV bolt to your stereo over Bluetooth or with an AUX cable, and it’ll have the same power as your phone. Delivering voice-controlled navigation and music streaming, read messages aloud and let you reply with your voice, take hands-free calls, and more.
Best Car Charger with Alexa: ROAV Viva Pro
Another great option for those who want Alexa in the car is the ROAV Viva Pro. This is very similar to the model above, only it’s designed to work exclusively with Amazon. It’s basically a 2-port car charger that also does navigation, voice calls, music playback, and more.
What we like about the Roav VIVA Pro is that it works with almost any vehicle, no matter how old or new it is. You can connect it (and your phone) to your car over Bluetooth, an AUX 3.5mm cable, or transmit Alexa through your FM radio and speakers. It’s more expensive than the Echo Auto, but it works with more vehicles and will charge your phone simultaneously.
Best Budget Choice: Avantree Smart Bluetooth Speaker
If you’re on a budget or don’t want to deal with aux or power cables, consider the Avantree smart Bluetooth speaker. This gadget mounts right to your vent or visor, pairs to your phone over Bluetooth, then encourages safe driving by using Siri or Google Assistant to make phone calls, send texts, or get driving directions. The speaker is only 2 watts, but it’s plenty loud and has noise-cancellation technology to hear you over the radio or wind noise.
With a built-in battery, there’s no messy installation or wires to try and hide either. Avantree promises nearly 600 hours of standby battery life and 22 hours if you use it daily. You can pair two devices to the speaker, too, which is nice, and the big volume knob makes it hassle-free to use.
Best Alexa Car Mount: iOttie Easy One Touch Connect Pro
As we said earlier, if you’re going to buy an accessory for your car, you might as well choose one that has several functions. This is why we’re recommending to iOttie Easy One Touch Connect Pro. iOttie makes the best universal dash mounts for phones, and this model has Alexa built-in.
Easily mount your phone on the dash or windshield so you can keep your eyes on the road and only glance at your phone. Then, with Alexa included and two noise-canceling microphones, this mount will always be ready to turn on smart lights, open your garage, get directions, or respond to a text message. We wish it had wireless charging included, too, but sadly it doesn’t.
Best Multifunction: Garmin Speak Plus Smart Dashcam
Another solid option is the Garmin Speak Plus. It’s an excellent dashcam that happens to also feature Amazon’s Alexa. That way, you can ask for driving directions, respond to messages, answer calls, and more hands-free, all from a device that’s recording as you drive.
This one device can give you forward collision and lane departure warnings or turn on your smart home lights as you pull up the driveway. It’s genius, really. More and more people are buying dashcams, so having additional features like Alexa included in the same device just makes sense.
Best Do-It-All Device: Car & Driver Intellidash+ Display
Last but not least, we want to offer up one more hands-free voice assistant for your car, but one that can do a little of everything. That device is the Car & Driver Intellidash display. A mountable 7-inch HD screen with Bluetooth, a multimedia player, MirrorLink, SiriusXM radio, Google Assistant, Siri, podcasts, audiobooks, and more all in one device.
Some vehicles don’t have room for a big new touchscreen stereo you can cram into the dash. If that’s you, consider this display instead. It’s compatible with voice assistants and even has CarPlay, so it’ll do a little of everything.
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