Pros: This Amazon’s smart home speaker is undoubtedly feature-rich voice-activated device which is practical and accessible. You will easily get excited about the potential of Amazon Echo with its rapidly growing features and integrations.
Cons: At high volumes, it has weak bass and thus has an uneven sound quality. Alexa app can also be helpful for a better organization of Echo.
Bottom Line: Amazon Echo is the best-connected home product in the recent times even after a year of its launch.
After around two years of successful sale in the US, Amazon Echo is also available in the UK. It would be a great thing if this futuristic home product from Amazon to see on both sides of Atlantic at the same time, but it may be for a good purpose of an Alexa grow in a fair amount during this delay.
The original Amazon Echo launched in November 2014, and the Amazon Echo Dot (Second Generation) also launched on October 20, 2016. The first Echo dot version was launched in April 2015 which is a smaller version of Echo by expanding and refreshing the line-up of hands-free, voice-enabled speakers.
What is Amazon Echo?
The Amazon Echo is a voice-controlled device which comes with a built-in speaker. It connects with ‘Alexa Voice Service’ to provide information, news, weather, live scores, plays music, and lot more.
The Amazon Echo can hear you within your whole room, even when you play music at some accountable volume. Just say ‘Alexa, ’ and your Echo will respond you instantly. If you have multiple Echo devices in your room, then your closest Echo will respond you with the help of Alexa’s Echo Spatial Perception (ESP). You can also pick the words like ‘Amazon,’ ‘Alexa,’ ‘Echo’ to wake up your Echo device.
Examples of using Amazon Echo device with your voice
‘Alexa, what’s the weather in Washington?’
‘Alexa, what’s the live score of Wimbledon?’
‘Echo, play Katy Perry from Prime Music.’
‘Amazon, what’s on my calendar today?’
The design of Amazon Echo is similar to a portable dehumidifier, and this can make you confused sometimes. With a matt black exterior and a cylindrical 9.5 x 3.27inch shape give it the exact conceal design that you may want from an appliance like it.
Another thing that makes Amazon Echo different from the other portable speakers is that you need to plug it in and make it connected it with WiFi all the times. So these things make it out of the category of fully-portable speakers. So the sense makes of a user that this device cannot hear your voice until you connect it to your internet and a microphone which always should always be connected to a power and without it cannot stay the whole day. But, I have to admit that in the new era of technology WiFi connection is inexpensive, extremely common, and available everywhere.
Setup of Amazon Echo
Even if you are new to using the smart devices at home, you can easily set up the Amazon Echo. Plug in the Echo device then downloads the compatible application for your Android, iOS, or Amazon Fire device. You can also get help from the online resources.
Even if you put your Echo as far as you can from your Home WiFi Router, you will never see a drop off in the signal receiving due to the super-reliable connection of Echo. Download the Alexa app, and then you can manage all the stuff like taxi rides, latest news, using online tools, or even ordering your pizzas with just a tap.
You can easily link your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth with the Echo by just saying ‘pair.’ Your device will find Echo and then select it from the device settings. You can name it either Alexa, Amazon, or Echo. You can’t name it apart from these three.
Features of Amazon Echo
- Just use your voice to play music from Pandora, TuneIn, Spotify, Amazon music, or much more
- It has a slim cylindrical design with a built-in speaker in a 360-degree omnidirectional audio system which fills your whole room
- Voice controlling feature provides hands-free comfort
- Even when the music is on, it can hear your voice from across the room
- With the help of the smart home devices like Samsung SmartThings, Insteon, Nest, Philips Hue, etc. you can control the compatible switches, lights, and other home things through Amazon Echo
- The Alexa Voice Service will provide you the latest weather report, live sports score, answer your questions, plays audio, reads news, and do a lot of other things
As the Amazon Echo does not have a built-in battery, we can’t say it is a fully portable device. In other words, it is designed to stay stationary. If you want a fully portable version, then go for Amazon Tap.
The basic functioning of the Echo is to act as a speaker which it performs great. Though the Amazon Echo is louder than Google Home, it is unable to provide a fuller and richer sound as the Google device does. When you turn it at the maximum volume, you may get some distortion. But, on the additive side, it has an enough bass to produce a great sound effect.
If your primary need is a speaker, then Amazon Echo is a great choice. But, for the price it is available at, it has a tough competition against some better sound quality and power.
- The great Alexa app perfectly checks the difference between plural of words, i.e. it elicits between light and lights
- When you get guests at house, you will impress them with the presence of Amazon Echo
- The app may be slower on your phone network, so try it where the best WiFi signal is available
- You do not need to command it like a robot, treat it like a human to form a structure of commands and you will get better results
- If you know what you are looking for, then you will get the perfect results while buying products from Amazon
- Priced at $179.99 at the time of this review
- The toughest competitor is Google Home, but it is not currently available in the UK region
If you were only looking for a speaker, then there may be chances that you may not have read to this far. And there is nothing extraordinary that Amazon Echo does and your smartphone or a smartwatch can’t do. But, there is still something which is approached to offer something more than your smart device. Even if you do not love the sound power of Amazon Echo device, then also there are some options which are available with the Alexa App.
Going through this review, you will conclude that the Amazon Echo is surely one of the most exciting gadgets invented till the date. It has a wide range of skills with a huge potential. Only you should check whether your home gadgets will be compatible with it or not. Otherwise, it will be only half useful to its full capabilities. It is a perfect voice assistant-come-speaker and a true value for money.