Amazon Echo Smart Speaker – Reasonably Priced, Dolby-Powered Dual Speakers

/ 01:14 AM January 30, 2019

In the past years, smart speakers may have truly reached worldwide phenomenon status but 2014 was the year that introduced AI-voice enabled assistants as Amazon launched the first Echo version into the market. However, with the vast array of available smart speakers available ranging from tiny portable speakers to speakers with smart screens; making a choice that suits your budget, your home and your needs isn’t easy. Judging from our Amazon Echo Smart Speaker Review and regardless of growing competition, the Echo remains one of our top choices for your modern day living.

It will check the news, play music and functionally keep your smart home rolling; because it is not only a crisply designed and sturdy speaker, it is also a marvellous AI smart home assistant, thanks to Alexa.

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Specs

  • Review Price:  US- $89.99 
  • Height: 5.8” x 3.4” x 3.4”
  • Weight: 29.0 oz
  • Speakers: 2.5” (63.5 mm) woofer and 0.6” (16 mm) tweeter

DISCUSSION

The newest model of the Amazon Echo Smart Speaker comfortably rests on a high tier- it’s reasonably priced, yet a completely efficient smart speaker.

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It comes with Dolby powered dual speakers which translates to it having way more better sound than the smaller sized Amazon Echo Dot. But, measuring it on the smart speaker price scale, it turns out to be a mid-range option as against the more expensive Echo plus.

From our Amazon Echo Smart Speaker review, we are of the opinion that it delivers more than optimum sound quality for normal everyday use. Nonetheless, if you’re an audiophile, we would warn you not to take this as a replacement for your present sound system or hi-fi, just yet. Rather, it’s an amazing starter choice for trying out the smart home environment without making a huge financial investment or if you’re not into playing a lot of music.

Amazon has made considerable yet subtle improvements to the Echo’s appearance since its first release in 2015. The newest 2017 Echo smart speaker features fresh modern fabric and wood finishes, which  would probably suit your home décor much better than the former brushed Aluminium design Amazon used . And to be frank, the previous design looked a bit crude.

The new and improved echo is also wider and smaller than its forerunner. This is a welcome development as it translates to the smart speaker being more balanced on its feet.  We used to feel an accidental push would send the previous Echo crashing but this latest version with its steadier balance bids our worries goodbye.

The latest Amazon Echo’s sound quality is crisp and clear. The Echo’s seven mic array enables it to always respond when called.

The Amazon Echo leaves little room to find faults, however one of its few problems is its lack of the volume dial feature we’ve grown to appreciate on the Echo plus speaker

Generally, the Echo functioned quite well though it occasionally tripped itself and messed up commands. In the process of our Amazon Echo Smart Speaker Review, we discovered we could get our desired radio station by adding “on Tunein” when speaking to Alexa.

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This little hack is necessary if you have two or more music accounts synced to the speaker as well

You could choose through the app, say Spotify as your main music service to prevent constantly repeating commands.

Another fault we discovered was that some content would be played on an Echo device in a different room after our command was given;when we wanted it to be played on our new Amazon Echo smart speaker

But these flaws are just occasional and the Amazon Echo Smart Speaker is actually an efficient slick speaker. Alexa and Echo have contributed to making operating your smart home easier and they deserve applause for their efforts.

Though not exclusive to this version of Amazon Echo, Alexa has been upgraded noticeably with amazing new features recently

Being able to receive calls through the Echo is a pleasant new feature and the Drop in feature is welcome as well- it is basically a home intercom between Echo devices

The Routines feature is appreciated as well. This feature collates a couple of smart activities together and they can be set off with just one command. For example, your lights can come on and a morning briefing would be given to you just by saying “Alexa start my day”. It’s a feature with promise for growth as more skills are added.

As against the original Amazon Echo, the latest model holds its own, which is remarkable considering its significant reduced price.

While the Amazon Echo’s Alexa digital assistant doesn’t appear to be as intelligent as Google Assistant (this may be more of a subjective inclination) , we are still very very pleased with this smart speaker and it would take a ton to erase it from our top list.

CONCLUSION

The newest Amazon Echo (2nd generation) smart speaker is a remarkable improvement to the Amazon array. Lower priced, stunning enhanced design and Alexa all rolled into one.

But due to the fact that this new improvements are not especially major, this new release lacked the “wow power” of the previous Echo.

It’s obvious that there is strong competition against Amazon from Google Home, Apple Home Pod and the Sonos One (due to its top notch sound delivery) but most reports say the Amazon Echo Smart Speaker will outshine its rivals.

Based on our Amazon Echo Review, even if you’re not crazy about the smart home tech movement, you can still enjoy the Echo as a Bluetooth music speaker.

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