You may already know Ring is a smart home and security company offering a wide variety of DIY equipment, from its revolutionary video doorbell to smart lights and locks that cater to every inch of your home. Ring started out as an idea for a video doorbell on the television show “Shark Tank,” and ended up being sold to Amazon for over $1 billion.
One of the more interesting options Ring offers is its Ring Alarm Smoke & CO Listener. It’s a product you place within 6 feet of your existing smoke and carbon monoxide detector. Then, if your detector goes off, the Listener will sense the alarm and send an alert to your smartphone—so long as you already have a Ring Alarm security system base station.
You may be wondering why you shouldn’t just buy a smart smoke and carbon monoxide detector that gives you smart alerts in case of trouble. If you have the capability to purchase and install a smart smoke and carbon monoxide detector, such as the First Alert Z-Wave Smoke/CO Alarm (which works with Ring), you can certainly do that instead of purchasing the Listener. However, the Ring smoke detector listener will allow you to turn your existing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors into a smart detector, letting you know on your phone if any issues arise, without having to install a new unit.
This is ideal for a renter who is not allowed to install equipment, for someone who already has hard-wired detectors, or perhaps for someone who may be hard of hearing and who’d benefit from seeing an alert on their phone.
- Low cost: If you have a traditional smoke and carbon monoxide alarm but no capability of installing a smart alarm, this is a low-cost option ($34.99 at the time of this review) that will allow you to receive smart alerts on your phone in case there is an issue at home.
- Simple installation: Users give this product high marks when it comes to installation. It has simple setup and links quickly with Ring’s existing security equipment, which is required in order to use this listener.
- Good for the hard of hearing: This system is perfect for those with hearing issues that only have traditional smoke alarms. Traditional alarms tend to emit sounds that cannot be picked up by someone with hearing problems. Adding the Ring smoke detector listener means they can get an alert on their phone that something is awry without having to hear the alarm itself.
- False alarms: Unfortunately, the Ring Alarm Smoke & CO Listener cannot tell the difference between a test and an actual alarm. So if your alarm does random tests or chirps because it’s out of batteries or senses steam, you may get false alarms as more than one Ring smoke detector listener review has shown.
- Battery life: The company says the battery life on the Ring Alarm Smoke & CO Listener is about three years. However, online reviews show some customers having to replace the listener’s battery long before the three-year timeframe.
- Requires Ring Alarm security system: If you want the Ring Alarm Smoke & CO Listener, you’ll also have to have Ring’s Alarm security system along with the hub in order for it to work. This may turn off customers who are looking for a simple smart alarm, and not an entire security system.
- Smart sound sensor: The sensor will pick up industry standard T3 and T4 alarm patterns and let you know your smoke or carbon monoxide alarm is going off, if you’re in a different part of your home or away.
- Smart app: The Ring Alarm Smoke & CO Listener is just one of many products that connect to Ring’s app. You can control what’s happening at your home from your fingertips.
- Professional monitoring: If you choose professional monitoring with Ring, if the Ring Alarm Smoke & CO Listener goes off, authorities will automatically be called to your home.
- Three-year battery life: Ring says the battery for the Listener will last three years, although multiple reviews say it may not quite last that long.
Ring Alarm Smoke & CO Listener Installation and Pricing
This product is incredibly easy to install, especially if you already have a Ring Alarm security system plan. Just open up the Ring app and tap “Smoke and CO Listener.” From there, follow the step-by-step directions in order to link the product to your security system. Pull out the Listener’s clear tab and install it near your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. (If you are installing those for the first time, you should also know the best areas of your home to place detectors.)
Know that the Ring Alarm Smoke & CO Listener costs roughly $35—just $5 less than the First Alert Z-Wave Smoke/CO Alarm, which is compatible with Ring devices. So if you have the capability of installing the First Alert alarm with your Ring system, our SecurityNerds recommend you do that, instead of purchasing the Listener. The only way the Listener is helpful is if you have a traditional alarm that you’d like to use along with a Ring Alarm security system. It makes more sense to spend an extra $5 for the smart alarm if it’s something you can install where you live.
- With a Ring Protect subscription (sold separately), Ring Alarm Smoke and CO Listener alerts you on your smart phone when your existing smoke...
- This device does not detect fire, smoke or carbon monoxide. For best performance, use with detectors that are 10 years old or less and...
- Easy setup in minutes—without tools or professional installation. Requires Ring Alarm Security System (sold separately).
- With a Ring Protect subscription (sold separately), manage Ring Alarm Smoke and CO Listener and other Ring products through the Ring app.
- Battery life 3 years max. Batteries are replaceable.
Ring Home Automation and Security Plan Offerings
The Ring Alarm Smoke & CO Listener is only compatible with the Ring Alarm security system, and there are many home automation options with Ring, including smart locks and lights along with cameras. If your Ring Alarm Smoke & CO Listener is activated, you will get an alert on your phone. If you elect for professional monitoring under the Ring Protect Plus plan, authorities will be dispatched to your home to check things out.
With Ring Alarm, you’ll have two options for professional security monitoring:
- Ring Protect Basic: $3/month or $30/year
- This plan includes perks like access to video history for 60 days, video saving and screenshot capture. If your Ring Alarm security system has a camera, this would be something you should purchase to ensure you have enough video storage.
- Ring Protect Plus: $10 month or $100 year
- This plan includes everything in the Ring Protect Basic, plus 24/7 monitoring to all Ring Alarm devices in your home, which includes the Ring Alarm Smoke & CO Listener.
Smoke & CO Listener vs. Smart Smoke Detector
It’s important to note if you are in the market for a smart smoke detector that’s compatible with your Ring products, it’s ideal to go with the First Alert Z-Wave Smoke/CO Alarm that Ring suggests on its website. The Listener is really an alternative for those who can’t or don’t want to install a new smoke and CO detector in their home.
- Help keep your family safe with this battery powered smoke and carbon monoxide detector alarm
- Unit uses wireless Z wave technology to send mobile alerts if the alarm goes off, so you are aware whether you're at home or away
- Certified to work with smart home systems such as ring alarm security system, Samsung Smart things, and Nexia Home Intelligence when...
- Photoelectric smoke sensor helps reduce false alarms caused by cooking or shower steam
- Electrochemical carbon monoxide sensor offers advanced detection technology
If you’re a renter and can’t install a new smart detector, or perhaps you’re hard of hearing and need smart alerts to your phone when your traditional alarm goes off, then the Listener is a good option. Otherwise, for just $5 more, you can purchase the smart smoke detector outright and not need the Listener at all.
The Bottom Line
This product is an amazing choice if you have a traditional smoke and carbon monoxide detector that you’re not looking to replace. As long as you’re a Ring Alarm customer, your traditional smoke detector can be turned into a smart detector by adding this gadget. You’ll get an alert within your smartphone app if the Listener picks up the sound of your traditional smoke and/or CO detector. And if you have the professional monitoring plan with Ring, authorities will be dispatched to your home if the alarm is tripped.
It’s fair to say there have been a number of instances where customers purchased this item thinking it detected smoke. That is not the case. This item can enhance your traditional detectors and help those who are hard of hearing to get alerts on their phone. If needed in your particular circumstance, it is a great addition to your Ring Alarm security system that has the ability to help keep you safe from smoke and carbon monoxide.
This article has been reviewed and approved by Officer Banta.
Officer Banta is the official SecurityNerd home security and safety expert. A member of the Biloxi Police Department for over 24 years, Officer Banta reviews all articles before lending his stamp of approval. Click here for more information on Officer Banta and the rest of our team.