The Alexa Voice Remote Pro close up

Roger Fingas / Android Authority

If you’ve got a Fire TV device or you’re shopping for one, Amazon is eager to sell you the newly-released Alexa Voice Remote Pro as an extra accessory. I had the opportunity to try it out and compare it to other Fire TV remotes in order to see if it really makes a difference to the media streaming experience.

Fire TV Alexa Voice Remote Pro

What is Voice Remote Pro?

The Alexa Voice Remote Pro

In short, the Voice Remote Pro is a $35 replacement for the stard Alexa Voice Remote that’s compatible with most media streamers and TVs based on Amazon’s Fire TV platform. It’s not available as an in-pack — even the top-of-the-line Fire TV Omni QLED comes bundled with the vanilla Voice Remote. It adds buttons, backlighting and a Remote Finder feature. There are minor upgrades. We’ll dive into all of these shortly.

You’ll want to check Amazon’s official compatibility list before buying one, but there are relatively few products it won’t pair with. These include the Echo Show 15 and the Element Fire TV Edition, as well as the Fire TV Stick and Fire TV 2nd gen. Most conspicuously, you can’t pair it with the Hisense U6HF ULED, despite that TV being released in May 2022. It also won’t work with Insignia HD or FHD TVs, though it will work with that brand’s UHD and F20 sets.

The Pro replacement remote is $35 and adds additional buttons, backlighting, as well as a Remote Finder feature.

I tested the Voice Remote Pro with a Fire TV Stick 4K Max, which is second only to the Fire TV Cube in Amazon’s line-up of streaming boxes and sticks. Amazon provided both the Max remote and the Max. During the first-time setup, I discovered that you absolutely have to pair the Max’s bundled Voice Remote before you can add the Voice Remote Pro — the stick refused to acknowledge the Pro in its setup wizard. This wasn’t a big problem, since I just added the Pro later using the Fire TV’s Settings menu. You can use both remotes simultaneously and, in fact, having a backup remote may be handy for reasons we’ll explain in a minute.

What is the Voice Remote Pro’s advantage over other Fire TV remotes, and how does it compare to them?


Three Alexa Fire TV remotes compared

Roger Fingas / Android Authority

From top-to-bottom: the Voice Remote Pro standard, Voice Remote Pro, Insignia models.

The Pro adds several small but important conveniences. There’s a dedicated Settings option, a channel selector, and a headphone button that jumps to the Bluetooth menu for quicker wireless audio pairing. The last one is kind of niche, but it’s a mystery why a Settings button isn’t on the standard Voice Remote — Fire TV users need to open Settings on a semi-regular basis to check notifications and force app updates, never mind other controls.

The greatest improvement is the addition to two customizable shortcuts.

You’ll find a Settings button (and/or a channel selector) on some third-party remotes like the Insignia one above, so the biggest deal here is the addition of two customizable shortcuts, labeled “1” and “2”. You can assign a variety actions by pressing and holding them. The primary options are to launch apps or run programs. Alexa voice commands. I assigned 1 to YouTube for instance, and 2 to “Alexa, turn on the Living Room lights.” You won’t hear any vocal reply if you trigger an Alexa command this way.

Setting a shortcut on the Alexa Voice Remote Pro

Roger Fingas / Android Authority

App shortcuts that you can customize are very useful since they aren’t available on other Fire TV remotes. Yes, you’re probably streaming from the likes of Netflix, Disney Plus, and/or Prime Video Fire TV devices can be used to access all three subscriptions. However not everyone has the Fire TV device. Other services may be more important to some viewers. The only catch with custom shortcuts is that you have to remember what you’ve assigned to each of them, and share that info with other people in your household.

Remote Finder

If you lose the Pro, you can ask an Alexa device (or the Alexa and Fire TV apps) to “find my remote.” That triggers a loud ringer, making the Pro easy to track down, at least if it’s within earshot.

There are some other caveats. The feature has a range of 30 feet (about 10m) around your TV, and your Fire TV device has to be on, which might be a Catch-22 if it’s the reason you’re looking for the remote in the first place. As a backup, you can keep the standard Voice Remote.


The buttons on the Pro can dim the lights to create a mood. It’s a smart addition that makes it easier to tell what you’re pressing, although in a pitch-black room you may still have to fumble a bit to find the remote, what with it being nearly all black to begin with.

Better construction

The Pro is strong and well-built. It’s still made of plastic, but feels sturdier in the hand than many Fire TV remotes, and its texture is less slippery. It’s also easier to access the battery compartment, certainly versus Amazon’s default Voice Remote. While that one requires odd hand and finger placement, and sometimes too much force, the Pro opens just by pressing down on the arrow marker and sliding — the way it should be.

Is the Voice Remote Pro worth it?

The Alexa Voice Remote Pro in box

Roger Fingas / Android Authority

Do you need the Pro to use Alexa? No, especially if you’re comfortable using Alexa. While adding buttons can save a few seconds, voice commands are able to accomplish most of the same tasks. You can use a Fire TV Omni, Fire TV Cube, or linked Fire TV Cube to control your Fire TV. Alexa speaker, you don’t even need to have a remote in your hand. Voice can be used to launch apps even before you sit down.

Fire TV’s Pro remote speeds up common tasks, making it more enjoyable.

It doesn’t matter if you like physical controls or don’t like Alexa. The standard Voice Remote is adequate, but the Pro smooths out common actions and makes Fire TV more enjoyable. Remote Finder is worth it if you live with people who misplace things all the time.

If you’re interested in the Pro and have the spare cash, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get one. The upgrade is valuable enough that the product should be automatically bundled with higher-end Fire TV products.

Fire TV Alexa Voice Remote Pro

Fire TV Alexa Voice Remote Pro

Customizable shortcut buttons • Remote Finder • Backlighting

Compatible with most Fire TV models.

The Voice Remote Pro improves upon the regular Alexa Voice Remote by offering customizable shortcuts and backlighting. You can also trigger the Remote Finder feature with Alexa. There are settings and buttons to select channels, unlike other Fire TV remotes.

Source link