Examine choices from Apple, Amazon, and extra

The number of good residence tech is sort of overwhelming. You may get all the pieces from smart bulbs and smart plugs to good vacuum cleaners and smart dishwashers. The difficulty is most of those merchandise include their very own proprietary apps, which means you must preserve switching between all of the completely different apps to regulate them.

A sensible residence hub means that you can join a variety of units from a number of completely different producers and management all of them from one place. The hub acts because the go-between for you and your good tech; you difficulty a command out of your telephone or utilizing a smart speaker, and your good residence hub will ship the message to the suitable machine. It means that you can do issues that must be easy, however in any other case aren’t, reminiscent of turning off all of the lights in your house, even when they’re all made by completely different firms and use completely different communication strategies.

Sensible hubs do not simply need to be ugly bits of package that sit subsequent your router, both. Many common units reminiscent of good audio system can work as good hubs, too. If you happen to’re able to get one hub to rule all of them, then listed below are among the finest good residence hubs you will get your arms on proper now.

Our picks for the best smart home hubs in 2023

amazon echo 4th gen on gradient background

Amazon / Pocket-lint

Amazon Echo (4th generation)

1. Best smart home hub overall

A great smart speaker with Zigbee and a temperature sensor built-in.

Amazon has a history of making great smart speakers at low prices. The latest Amazon Echo can also act as your smart home hub, with Zigbee and Thread support built-in. You can control your smart home just by asking Alexa to turn out the lights.


  • Zigbee built in
  • Works as Thread border router
  • Alexa voice control

  • Not the very best sound quality
  • No display
  • App isn’t the most user-friendly

You may already have a smart hub in your home without even realising it. That’s because the Amazon Echo is not only a nice good speaker with wealthy sound and Alexa smarts. It is also a sensible hub in its personal proper, with the flexibility to regulate good units over Wi-Fi, Zigbee, and now Thread too, due to the built-in Thread border router. This implies you could management an enormous vary of units along with your Amazon Echo, from Zigbee gentle bulbs to Thread good plugs.

Which Amazon Echo devices feature a temperature sensor? photo 1

And naturally, it is easy to regulate your good residence along with your voice, because the Amazon Echo comes with Alexa in-built. You’ll be able to even create routines within the Alexa app, to regulate a number of good units without delay. For instance, once you say ‘Alexa, good night time’ you’ll be able to have all your lights flip off, your good plugs energy down, and your good lock safe your entrance door. There’s even a temperature sensor inside, so you’ll be able to activate the good plug on your fan when it will get too heat.

apple homepod mini

Apple / Pocket-lint

Apple HomePod mini – Orange

2. Finest good residence hub for HomeKit

The right good residence hub for HomeKit, with respectable sound as well.

If you happen to’re an Apple family and have numerous HomeKit good residence tech, then the HomePod Mini makes the right good residence hub. It might act as a Thread border router, and affords nice sound for its dimension.


  • Works as Thread border router
  • Matter help
  • Good sound for a small speaker

  • Not suitable with Zigbee units
  • Siri nonetheless not the most effective voice assistant
  • Does not help Spotify

If you happen to’re an Apple person, then you might have numerous HomeKit suitable good residence equipment you could management by the Residence app in your iPhone or Apple Watch. You do not want a sensible hub to regulate many HomeKit units domestically; you’ll be able to management your Philips Hue lights from the Residence app with out every other tools, for instance. Nevertheless, if you would like to have the ability to management your good residence remotely, you will want a hub that is still in your house and might transmit the suitable instructions to your good residence units.

The HomePod Mini works as that good hub. You’ll be able to connect with HomeKit units over Wi-Fi, and the HomePod Mini can also be a Thread border router and Matter controller, which means you could management Matter units, such because the Nest Thermostat. The HomePod Mini additionally has built-in temperature and humidity sensors that you need to use to observe the situations of the room that the HomePod Mini is situated in, or to set off automations if the humidity or temperature attain particular values.

HomePod mini in gray on a GQ magazine

And naturally, with the HomePod Mini, you need to use Siri to regulate your good units along with your voice, even when you do not have your iPhone with you. It is also a fairly stable sounding speaker for the dimensions, however if you happen to’re in search of even higher sound high quality, the larger HomePod additionally works as a sensible residence hub, too.

amazon echo show 10 on gradient background

Amazon / Pocket-lint

Amazon Echo Present 10 (third Gen)

3. Finest good residence hub with a display screen

A ten-inch show that may comply with you around the room, with Zigbee and Matter help.

You probably have good cameras or a video doorbell, a sensible hub with a display screen is a superb possibility, permitting you see the stay video feed out of your cameras. The Echo Present 10 has Zigbee and Matter help, and the display screen can comply with you once you’re on a video name.


  • 10 inch show
  • Zigbee and Matter baked in
  • Nice for video calls

  • Cannot be used as a Thread border router
  • Costly
  • Not probably the most trendy design

You probably have good residence tech reminiscent of safety cameras or video doorbells, you’ll be able to view the feeds from these units in your telephone, however that is not all the time optimum or notably handy. That is the place a sensible residence hub with a display screen could be a actual recreation changer. For instance, when you’ve got a video doorbell, it may routinely show the video feed on the display screen when the doorbell rings, so you’ll be able to see at a look who’s on the door.

Amazon Echo Show 10 review photo 10


The Echo Show 10 is a superb alternative if you happen to’re in search of a sensible residence hub with a built-in display screen. It might management Zigbee and Matter units, though in contrast to the Amazon Echo (4th Technology) it may’t be used as a Thread border router. The ten-inch display screen is right for monitoring video feeds from smart security cameras or video doorbells, and once you’re making calls on the Echo Present 10, the display screen will even comply with you across the room in order that you do not exit of body. And utilizing Alexa you’ll be able to management all the pieces along with your voice; instructions reminiscent of ‘Alexa, present me the entrance door’ will carry up the stay video feed in your display screen.

samsung smartthings station


Samsung SmartThings Station

4. Finest good residence hub for SmartThings

An excellent good residence hub for SmartThings, that may additionally cost your telephone.

Samsung’s new SmartThings Station is the right good residence hub when you’ve got numerous SmartThings suitable package. It helps Zigbee and Thread, and can even wi-fi cost your telephone. There’s additionally a bodily button for when voice instructions simply will not minimize it.


  • Zigbee and Thread help
  • Can be utilized as a wi-fi charger
  • Bodily button to set off automations

  • No Z-Wave
  • Not probably the most trendy design
  • SmartThings app is not the most effective

If you happen to’re all in on the SmartThings smart home ecosystem, for some time there was no official hub you can use. Samsung stopped making the wonderful SmartThings Hub, however you can nonetheless purchase the Aeotec Sensible Residence Hub which was primarily the identical factor with a distinct badge. However in 2023 Samsung launched the brand new SmartThings Station hub, and it is glorious.

The SmartThings Station has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Zigbee in-built, affords Matter help and might act as a Thread border router. It would not embody Z-Wave just like the Aeotec Smart Home Hub or earlier SmartThings Hub, nonetheless, so when you’ve got numerous Z-Wave units, this is not the hub for you.

There is a bodily button on the hub that you need to use to run three completely different automations with a brief press, lengthy press, or double press, and you’ll even use the SmartThings Station as a wireless charger supporting as much as 15W. Utilizing the SmartThings app, you’ll be able to create routines to regulate the big selection of suitable good residence merchandise, and it really works with voice assistants reminiscent of Alexa and Google Assistant, too.

google nest hub max on gradient background

Google / Pocket-lint

Google Nest Hub Max

5. Finest Google good residence hub

A sensible show with Thread in-built that may monitor your sleep.

The Google Nest Hub Max is a superb good show with a 10-inch display screen that may act as a Thread border router to regulate a variety of good residence units. You’ll be able to stream your Nest Doorbell to the show, and even management it utilizing gestures.


  • 10 inch display screen
  • Movement-activated
  • Thread in-built

  • Costly
  • No Zigbee help
  • Google Residence app not good

Google could not have fairly the identical degree of supported units as Alexa, however there’s nonetheless an enormous vary of good residence merchandise that may work with Google Assistant. For hands-free voice instructions and distant management, you are going to want a sensible hub. The Google Nest Hub Max is a superb possibility, because it has a built-in 10-inch touchscreen show that means that you can see the stay feed out of your Nest Doorbell with a single voice command.

Google Nest Hub Max review images image 1

The Google Nest Hub Max can connect with a sensible residence package by way of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Matter, and might act as a Thread border router. The smaller Google Nest Hub (2nd Gen) additionally has a Thread radio inside, however for some purpose, you’ll be able to’t at the moment use it. Hopefully, this must be rectified in a future replace. The Google Nest Hub Max has another good options to, reminiscent of the flexibility to play or pause a music simply by waving your hand and might even monitor your sleep when you’ve got one in your bed room.

apple tv 4k 2022 on gradient background

Apple / Pocket-lint

Apple TV 4K (2022)

6. Finest good residence hub for streaming

A 4K streaming field that may act as your private home hub and helps Thread.

The Apple TV 4K (2022) is a superb streaming field in its personal proper, but additionally makes a superb good residence hub on your HomeKit equipment. There’s Thread constructed into the 128GB mannequin, and Matter help too.


  • Thread help
  • Big selection of streaming companies
  • Works with Apple Arcade and Apple Health

  • Cheaper streaming containers accessible
  • 64GB mannequin would not help Thread
  • No Zigbee help

The Apple TV 4K (2022) is slightly completely different from the opposite hubs on this listing, as a result of its most important goal is as a video-streaming machine. Nevertheless, if you happen to’re in a family with numerous HomeKit suitable good tech, your Apple TV 4K (2022) can act as a sensible residence hub, permitting you to regulate these units remotely, even if you happen to’re on the opposite aspect of the planet. It is also an ideal streaming field, with apps to stream common companies reminiscent of Apple TV+, Disney+, and Netflix, in addition to permitting you to play Apple Arcade video games, or to comply with Apple Fitness+ exercises on the large display screen.

Apple TV 4K Dolby Vision working with Sony TVs following tvOS 113 update image 1

The Apple TV 4K (2022) is available in two sizes, a 64GB model that does not have an Ethernet port, and a 128GB model that does. The opposite key distinction is that the 128GB mannequin can act as a Thread border router, however the 64GB model cannot. Bizarrely, each fashions of the older Apple TV 4K (2021) work as Thread border routers, so when you’ve got Thread units, you may need to go for considered one of these cheaper fashions as a substitute. Matter units will nonetheless work no matter which mannequin you purchase.

aqara smart hub m2


Aqara Sensible Hub M2

7. Finest worth good residence hub

A low-cost good residence hub with Zigbee help and an IR transmitter.

$60 $64 Save $4

A low-cost Zigbee good hub that additionally has an IR transmitter to regulate units that use an IR distant. There is no microphone, however you’ll be able to combine with voice assistants reminiscent of Alexa and Google Assistant utilizing different units.


  • Zigbee help
  • IR transmitter
  • Nice value

  • No Thread help
  • No voice management in-built
  • Does not help 5GHz Wi-Fi

If you happen to’d moderately not need to pay by the nostril for an all-singing, all-dancing machine to behave as your good residence hub, there are extra economical choices accessible. Aqara makes a variety of affordable smart home devices, from movement sensors, water leak sensors, and temperature and humidity sensors, to video cameras and even good pet feeders. The vast majority of these units talk over Zigbee. The good thing about Zigbee good residence units is that they kind a mesh community; every machine can cross on instructions or information to different units, making certain that you simply by no means have units which are too far out of vary.

With a view to make the most of Zigbee, nonetheless, you will want a Zigbee hub to speak along with your units. The Aqara Sensible Hub M2 is a Zigbee good residence hub that plugs into your router. Instructions from voice assistants reminiscent of Siri, Google Assistant, and Alexa are then translated by the hub into Zigbee instructions which are despatched to your units. There’s Bluetooth connectivity, and there is additionally a really helpful infrared (IR) transmitter. This lets you ship IR indicators to in any other case dumb units. You probably have an outdated TV, for instance, you’ll be able to energy it on and off utilizing the Aqara Sensible Hub M2 to ship the identical indicators that your TV distant would ship.

home assistant yellow

Nabu Casa / Pocket-lint

Residence Assistant Yellow

8. Most versatile good residence hub

Residence Assistant is software program that means that you can create your personal bespoke good residence hub.

If you happen to really need to make your private home good, then Residence Assistant is among the strongest choices on the market. It is software program that means that you can make your personal good residence hub on something from a Raspberry Pi to an outdated laptop computer. With an enormous variety of integrations, you may have unbelievable management however there’s a steep studying curve.


  • Arrange your personal good residence hub
  • Large variety of integrations
  • Create highly effective automations

  • Steep studying curve
  • Just one pre-produced hub accessible
  • Overkill for a lot of customers

This good hub could be very completely different from the others on this listing. That is as a result of though it is attainable to buy Home Assistant Yellow, a ready-made good residence hub for Residence Assistant, nearly all of Residence Assistant customers create their very own. In actuality, Residence Assistant is not a sensible residence hub in any respect; it is the software program that it’s essential to run your personal good hub. The software program will be run on all kinds of units, from a cheap Raspberry Pi to a Mac or PC. The fantastic thing about Residence Assistant is you could create the precise system that you really want; when you’ve got numerous Zigbee units, for instance, add a Zigbee dongle to your Residence Assistant hub, and you’ll management all of them. Favor Z-Wave? Add that dongle as a substitute.

The power of Home Assistant is that it really works with an unlimited vary of good residence tech, with greater than 2,500 official integrations, and lots of, many extra unofficial ones. This lets you combine nearly something you’ll be able to think about into your good residence; if it is good, the possibilities are that there is an integration for it. You’ll be able to then construct extremely advanced automations that enable all your good residence units to work collectively. The choices are nearly limitless, however there’s a caveat: the system comes with a fairly steep studying curve, so you will want an inexpensive degree of tech know-how. If you happen to’re prepared to place within the time, nonetheless, Residence Assistant could make your private home really good.

Finest good residence hub: The underside line

If you happen to’re in search of a sensible residence hub that integrates simply with a variety of good residence units, is straightforward to arrange, and within reason priced, then you’ll be able to’t go far improper with the Amazon Echo (4th Gen). It is an ideal good speaker with good sound and stable bass for its dimension and is suitable with a variety of good residence units due to the native help for Wi-Fi, Zigbee, Matter, and Thread good residence units. Controlling your good residence utilizing your voice with Alexa additionally makes you are feeling such as you’re residing sooner or later.

amazon echo 4th gen on gradient background

Amazon / Pocket-lint

Amazon Echo (4th era)

Editor’s Alternative

The usual Echo is the decide of the vary for most individuals.

If you happen to’re in search of a low-cost various, then the Aqara Sensible Hub M2 is filled with options at a superb value. You’ll be able to management units over Wi-Fi and Zigbee and might even management some dumb units utilizing the built-in IR transmitter.

How I selected the most effective good residence hubs

When choosing the right good residence hubs, I wished to make sure that there have been choices that will work with the most well-liked good residence ecosystems, reminiscent of Apple HomeKit, Alexa, and SmartThings. I additionally wished to incorporate hubs that lined the most well-liked communication strategies, together with Wi-Fi, Zigbee, and Thread. I made positive that there have been a variety of value factors, from price range choices to dearer good audio system with built-in shows. Lastly, I included Residence Assistant within the combine as a result of though it is not a sensible residence hub in its personal proper, for my part it is one of the vital highly effective methods to make your private home good; my very own good house is managed by Residence Assistant working on a Raspberry Pi.

What do you have to search for when shopping for the most effective good residence hub?

There are a selection of concerns when selecting a sensible residence hub on your residence. Listed below are among the key questions you will want to remember.

What units does my good residence hub help?

Constructing a sensible residence is way extra irritating than it must be, as a result of there’s nonetheless no actual overarching algorithm how good residence units ought to function. Every firm has its personal set of protocols, which means that only a few good residence units will play properly with one another. A sensible residence hub may help, permitting you to attach a variety of good residence units from completely different manufacturers, however not each good residence machine will work with each good residence hub.

The Amazon Echo was the primary good speaker to actually acquire essential mass, so understandably there are numerous good residence units that may work with Alexa. This is not the case for each good residence machine, nonetheless. If you happen to’re in search of a sensible residence hub, it is best to take a look at the package you already personal, and select a hub that clearly states that it’ll work with what you have already got as a leaping off level in your analysis.

What voice assistants will work with my good hub?

Many good residence hubs have voice assistants in-built, such because the Amazon Echo, Google Nest Hub Max, or Apple HomePod Mini. As soon as once more, not each good residence hub will work with each voice assistant, nonetheless. Some good residence hubs additionally have no built-in microphones, such because the Aqara Sensible Hub M2, so if you wish to use voice instructions, you will want to make use of your telephone or a separate good speaker. You probably have a most well-liked voice assistant, be certain it is suitable along with your good residence hub of alternative.

What communication protocols do I want?

There are quite a few methods for good residence units to speak, from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to Zigbee and Thread. Not each good residence hub can talk over all of those strategies, nonetheless. If you happen to solely need to management Wi-Fi good plugs and lightweight bulbs, then this is not a difficulty, however when you’ve got Zigbee movement detectors, or Thread lighting, then you definitely’ll want a sensible residence hub that is suitable. Matter and Thread are an effort to attempt to introduce a typical language for good residence units, so selecting a sensible residence hub that helps Matter and Thread could give you some degree of future proofing.

What else can my good residence hub do?

Lots of the good residence hubs on this listing do extra than simply talk along with your good residence units. Selecting one may come right down to the opposite options that you simply’re in search of. You may want a brand new good speaker, or a smart display, otherwise you is perhaps in search of a brand new streaming machine. If that’s the case, yow will discover one with a sensible residence hub inside that provides you with the most effective of each worlds.

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