I had thought about getting 1 of these for the last 6 months finally took the plunge. Set up was quite tricky as the directions said i had to go to settings and turn off smart switch to enable it to connect it. However my phone didnt have smart switch. So spoke to a team member on libe chat. Refered me to live chat to an echo expert. Was begining to think i’d wasted my money. Decided to google my phone and smart switch. Where i found the answers on how to connect it. Once connected i havent looked back.
Bought an echo as my first foray into ‘clever’(?) speakers. Overall i’m quite impressed – i wanted a replacement for a defunct kitchen radio – i got that & a host of other useful features. The good stuff – playing live radio is simples – althou there is a small gotcha. Bluetooth linking to iphone was easy and sorts out offline radio like the excellent iplayer radio app. The ability to ask for some music and get an interesting selection provided is excellent – the music quality is very good – maybe not if you are audiophile who really can tell the difference between ‘warm vinyl’ & ‘cold digital’ but for the rest of us its good. Nb, i think you need amazon music to make this work. The ability to tell alexa to add stuff to your shopping list is very handy – you can do it as you remember so no more back of envelope lists that get left at home. Setting multiple timers whilst cooking is useful. The less good stuff – if you launch bbc radio direct, then you can’t control the volume with the alexa app. Like apps, everyone seems to have a alexa skill.
Alexa is a gimmick (see my review of the dot), but this is probably the nicest streaming speaker you can buy for the money. As a device to stream spotify or amazon music to, this is a great speaker. Plenty of volume to fill a room and a rich, full range sound. Bass is surprisingly good for such a small speaker, with none of the exaggerated thump of the sonos equivalent. Direct streaming (spotify and amazon music only) but you can also stream to it via bluetooth from your phone or tablet if you use other music services. For sound i thoroughly recommend this. You can spend far more on bluetooth speakers and get a lesser quality result.
Key specs for Amazon Echo (2nd Gen) – Smart speaker with Alexa – Charcoal Fabric:
- Amazon Echo connects to Alexa-a cloud-based voice service-to play music, make calls, set alarms and timers, ask questions, check your calendar, weather, traffic and sports scores, manage to-do and shopping lists, control compatible smart home devices, and more.
- Just ask for a song, artist or genre from Amazon Music, Spotify, TuneIn and more. With multi-room music, you can play music on Echo devices in different rooms, available for Amazon Music, TuneIn and Spotify; Bluetooth not supported. Echo can also play audiobooks, radio stations, news briefings and more.
- Call or message anyone hands-free who also has an Echo device, the Alexa App or Skype. Also, quickly connect to other Echo devices in your home using just your voice.
- New speaker with Dolby processing that fills the room with immersive, 360° omnidirectional audio, and delivers crisp vocals, deep bass, and clear highs at louder volumes.
- With seven microphones, beam-forming technology and noise cancellation, Echo hears you from any direction-even while music is playing.
- Just ask Alexa to control your compatible smart lights, switches, TVs, thermostats and more
- Alexa is always getting smarter and adding new features and skills. Just ask Alexa to request an Uber, order a pizza, get train times, and more.
Comments from buyers
“Actually pretty fantastic!, Great addition to a smart home!, 2nd generation Alexa”
I was unsure whether i would really use an alexa device but i was pretty interested. Because of this i made the cunning decision to purchase this as a christmas present for my husband (of course i would have just as much use out of it)a few months down the line, i have to say that alexa has become a very welcome member of the family. The husband uses it for the digital radio function. The kids use it for music streaming function and the various other apps mean that alexa is carried around the house by everybody. She was the heart and soul of the party at christmas, she was taken outside in summer and she played some great chillout music and she is a constant companion to anybody doing house work. We are currently looking into purchasing some echo dots to put in the bedrooms and the kitchen, and we are also looking at doing the whole smart lighting and appliance thing. The verdict is: if you don’t have alexa in your home, do yourself a favour and purchase her today.
This is really a superb speaker. I’m very fussy about my speakers and will say it won’t compete for sound with sonos or hifi set up. However it is not supposed to. As a speaker to use in a kitchen etc. The sound is good for a speaker that size. I have mine hooked up to multi room with my hifi using an echo. It’s great for that adding sound at my level. I use it independently for when my kids are around as hifi too loud.
Well i gave it a few days before i left a review so here goes. I was really surprised how easy it was to set up once i had downloaded the amazon alexa app to my phone. The set up between my echo and our broadband hub just took a few moments and away we went. A first class piece of equipment well built and superb sounding speakers and we are really pleased with our purchase and we wish we had bought one before.
I have succumb to alexa through my partners christmas present to me. Firstly i have read a lot about setting up echo and it’s so easy i set mine up using my android phone. Secondly the sound simply it has superb sound it can easily fill a room i have now a bluetooth connection with my vintage hifi. Thirdly joined the music unlimited and now i can choose from millions of songs playlists albums anything. In all a fantastic product i like also i can still listen to my favourite radio stations. So many more alexa things added everyday you can have a lot of fun and i have.
It so cleaver and i can control my tv, fans and play all sorts of music with voice commands. People that say the speaker is bad – i am an audio professional and i tell you it is not bad at all. I have played some of the hardest techno through it and it holds up very well for a small speaker. It is mono though, but that’s great for me to test out mixes on a small, popular mono speaker. 1 problem though – why does alexa cut out (stop for a second) when i use my android phone?. Pressing a button or opening any app makes alexa pause.
I was undecided about this until i visited my friends who have one. I bought one the very next day i was so impressed. I’ve got amazon prime and music, which means i can ask her to play pretty much any song i love. The size of the unit is compact, but the sound from it is amazing. I keep it in my kitchen/family room and it’s a total hit with my 3 kids. They love asking her questions, playing games and she even helps with their homeworkthe voice recognition is great, especially with me being a geordie.
How we managed before alexa i dont know. The kids all her questions and are constantly learning from her. We use her to play whatever music we want to hear. Even to set a timer for dinner. There are sooo many functions and we are yet to discover all the different functions of her. Simply asking her to perform is so much easier than searching the internet or hunting for a cd. Can’t wait to try the wireless lighting/ heating devices and will be purchasing a couple of mini devices.
I got this along with a sony 4k tv and this alexa was added on. The european sector is still waiting for a full-featured alexa, however, i’ve connected this unit to my new tv with no problems at all, no skill needed to be installed, i’m a little frustrated with the calender, alexa can not setup repeated events, like birthdays?. Seriously, of all things, no repeated events?. I’m assured by amazon, all features will be available soon, they’re still in some process of setting the european market. All in all, i’m happy knowing it’ll all be as it should, one day.
I think that the amazon echo is fantastic. I required help to set it up, but once it was set up, i have had the time of my life with it. I have been able to add music to my library for it to play, and i have also been able to ask alexa to set up some alarms for me. I recommend this product to anyone who, like myself, is blind or visually-impaired – i am sure they would not regret purchasing an amazon echo.To me, alexa is a real friend.
Generally i like the echo and i think, in fairness, most of the issues i have are generic to smart speakers. Setting up was just a little tricky with the first one not seeing the external wifi for a while. Pairing was okish; i found some of the menu items hard to find at first. One issue i have is with the pairing; if one speaker gets turned off for some reason the pair doesn’t automatically reform when power is restored. More generically; when the internet is not working the speakers are totally dumb. Not everyone lives in a securely connected world, certainly not me. They ought to be able to do somethings e. Play music from a source on the same wifi but they simply become useless. Smart they may be in the modern definition of connected but smart in the sense of intelligent they are not. It’s very early days yet and i’m sure the connected devices in a few years will be much better but they really are thick as.
As a huge apple fan, i have to admit that i came to the world of alexa as a huge sceptic. I hold my hands up that i was purposefully looking for fault and trying my best to not like alexa. Overall its a great product, it looks good and has a load and surprisingly decent speaker for the price.It’s no bang & olufson, but it is still impressivethe alexa ai does seem to be able to answer questions more often and to a higher standard but like all competitors can still be easily tricked but is mostly there. Where the echo/alexa falls down is how it handles third party software; while it is true that it can handle third party apps, it feels a bit convoluted and is a bit annoying that you have to ask alexa to use an app – it does feel easier to do things yourself sometimepros:good bit of kit at a great pricereally handy for controlling smart home elementsalexa will make a lot of small tasks in your life far easiergood speaker for the pricecons:using third party software is not the best and can be annoyingalexa still misses/misunderstands certain questionswould definitely recommend and cant wait to try the new model.
Very very happy with this purchasei purchased the echo on prime day along with the eufy lumos smart bulb-white bulb. It came to about £65 at the time. I wish i had bought two in hindsight as a gifti chose the echo rather than the dot purely because of reviews that the quality of speaker on the echo is better. A few friends of mine have the dot so i knew of the benchmark quality, and i can say that the echo is far better. It’s crisp and fills the room. I mostly use this for listening to audiobooks on audible and it’s fantastic. In the day i might have this sat in the living room where my friends and i can ask alexa to play various songs we call out. And in the evening i often move it (because i only have the one 🙁 ) into my room and ask alexa to play one of my audiobooks for a given time – e. ‘play the secret barrister on audible’ and ‘stop playing after 30 minutes’.
As a smart speaker the echo is good value for money, it gives good sound but wasn’t expensive. It is good for connecting to radio stations online and for playing via bluetooth from other devices. I have it on my desk and it is great when i am working to ask it to play a radio station for background music etc. The setup was not as easy as i had anticipated. Initially i tried my (wi-fi & bluetooth only) android tablet, but the app refused to proceed unless i turned off the phone connection on my tablet, which i couldn’t do, of course, because it didn’t have one. I then did the set-up for the echo using the alexa app on my (windows 10) laptop and it worked fine. Once the echo was set-up, control etc. , from my tablet, laptop, desktop has been easy/fine. Only a small niggle, and more with the alexa app rather than the echo. Once set-up the echo was set-up it has been great, very pleased with it.