These are the best wire devices for the smart home

Thread is a promising way for all of your smart home devices to connect to each other. With a little forethought, you can create a network that’s super-responsive and doesn’t require a dedicated hardware hub. As a widely adopted standard, Thread continues to gain momentum, but you can already start to support it with some of the best smart home devices available.

In one look

Apple HomePod mini

John Velasco / Digital Trends

Apple’s entry into the Thread family of devices marked a big spike in interest in this feature. The HomePod mini is one of the few Thread Border routers available, which is sort of a keystone for the home network. Once configured, all of your other Thread devices can connect to your home’s Wi-Fi network, including the Internet and other non-Thread devices.

As a smart speaker, the mini performs admirably when it comes to sound – and just as well as you might expect from Siri. Airplay’s seamless integration lets you send audio to the speaker from the rest of your Apple devices.

Read our review for all the details on the Apple HomePod mini.

Nanoleaf Essentials Bulb

Nanoleaf Essentials bulb on the desk.The Nanoleaf Essentials Bulb is currently the only Thread compatible smart bulb. Its cousin Lightstrip also works on Thread. The Nanoleaf Essentials bulb offers all the functions you could ask for from a smart bulb: a wide color gamut, control via Google Assistant and Siri, personalized schedules and even PC screen mirroring.

Integration with Google Home and Apple HomeKit provides a unified interface for managing the also. This feature is very handy to include with all of your other non-Thread smart home products.

Eero Pro 6

Eero Pro 6 establishing a connection.

Eero has made a name for itself as a user-friendly mesh router system. Along with a sleek app that lets you explore the details of your Wi-Fi usage, it also supports some of the latest networking technologies including Thread.

the is a natural fit for building the backbone of your Home Thread network, since you are building coverage anyway. Eero Pro 6 devices are designated border routers, so you can start expanding your Thread network immediately. As a bonus, the Eero Pro 6 also supports Zigbee, for any legacy devices you may still have around the house.

Read our Eero 6 review to learn more about its performance in the real world.

Google Nest Hub Max

Nest Hub Max on a table.
John Velasco / Digital Trends

As the physical centerpiece of the smart home, it’s hard to go wrong with the Google Nest Hub Max. The 10-inch screen serves as a portal to control all connected home devices, watch videos and enjoy video calls.

The camera is very convenient in many ways. Activate facial recognition so that different household members have personalized options when they approach them, or set it up as a security camera to alert you if strangers pass in the line of sight. The device also acts as a hands-free smart speaker, so you can ask the Google Assistant questions at and get answers.

Read our Google Nest Hub Max review to find out more.

Eve Energy

Eve Energy smart socket installed with oscillating fan.
Day before

Eve Energy is a great way to bring your current home appliances into the future. These smart outlets offer full control over scheduling, the ability to use voice command, and the ability to configure automations. HomeKit support is included, so you can manage your recently upgraded devices alongside ones that are already smart enough.

Like the icing on the cake, Also monitor the power consumption of connected devices and provide cost estimates through the companion app.

Apple TV 4k 2nd generation

Apple TV 4K 2021.
Phil Nickinson / Digital Trends

It’s hard to talk about a smart home without TV getting into the mix. The latest Apple TV provides an AirPlay target for your TV to mirror whatever is on your iPad, iPhone, or Mac. It also has its own ecosystem of apps, not to mention a fancy new remote control with a built-in Siri microphone.

The Apple TV 4K Gen 2 is a border router, which is great news if you want to enable a larger thread network and don’t have a border router yet. Damn, even if you do, there are additional border routers that provide nice redundancy so all your bases stay covered.

Read our Apple TV 4k review to get into the details.

These are our top picks for Thread devices, but check back soon. New Thread-compatible products are coming out all the time, and it’s worth benefiting from the standard as it gains momentum.

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