Was initially impressed with alexa, we had a few arguments but we started to get there. She’s great at helping me in the kitchen with timers but can be awkward converting temperatures suitable for fan ovens. She won’t let me listen to encore radio insisting i’m saying on call radio. But a month after she arrived in my home, google home arrived, and punched alexa out. Google home is much better sounding, she knows the temperature to cook a baked potato and rarely argues back or says she doesn’t understand – she even found encore radio.
Amazon have done well with this gadget. The sound is not as bad as i’d feared from such a small device. What’s great about it?• the music playing without any extra set-up works remarkably well – ‘alexa, play bbc 6 music’ and it works every time• some of the responses to ‘alexa, good morning’ are entertaining summaries (famous anniversaries, etc). • the responses to ‘alexa, what’s up?’.Are usually very useful 🙂 (time, date, weather, any recent news items)what would make it better?• a line input so that the echo can mix into whatever i’m feeding to my amplifier. • i’d love a remote controlled mic-mute – ‘alexa, ignore us for one hour’ etc – even mic mute and un-mute from the app would be useful. One day, i hope we’ll see integrated video so we can automate av and do image searches as we can already do with other devices – i hope that we’ll see integration with our televisions. ‘alexa, show my holiday photos’ etc.
What a fantastic device and it just keeps getting better. . So why just 4 stars i hear you say?. Well i wish it was a bit louder at times, it’s not always easy to hear what she has to say, even on max volume and on occasion it drops off the wi-fi, but switching it off and on again always fixes the issue. Has paired to the now numerous and varied devices we have around the house with no problems at all. One thing i will say though is think carefully on which of the echo’s to buy and what you will actually use it for, for instance the dot doesn’t have a great speaker so is no good for streaming music etc but very handy on the bedside table to turn the lights on and off and to give you a weather report to help you plan what to wear that day, although if you can warrant spending the money the new version with built in screen would be even better. For any other room however the larger echo devices are the ones to go for.
For 40 quid, what’s not to like. In my limited home automation system, here’s my 2 days of use review of the dot. Plugged in, paired with wifi using app on phone. I have amazon prime so most of my ‘play george michael’ type requests result in ‘shuffling songs by george michael’. Or i can say ‘alexa, play radio 2’ and she’ll put radio 2. Now, speaker onboard isn’t great but fine for the spoken stuff, however here’s the cool thing, to me at least. Can use the onboard speaker for modest levels of personal listening music when working, but simply have a paired bluetooth device and power it on, then say ‘alexa, connect to bluetooth’ and it’ll pick that device and all following audio will come via that speaker. ‘alexa, disconnect bluetooth’ and audio reverts back to onboard. Random questions you might have asked google via your phone you can now do via alexa. ‘alexa, what is the distance from here to cairo’. ‘alexa, what is osteoarthritis’, ‘alexa, what are the headlines’. . To me, that alone is worth 40 quid. ‘alexa, set timer for 10 minutes’, ‘alexa, set alarm for every week at 7am on tuesday’. When i can invoke a logitech harmony activity via voice, i’ll be blown away. Apparently us have that feature now and we’ll get in soon. I also have a wemo on my bluetooth receiver hooked up to my marantz amp. I fire up the wemo, then tell alexa to connect to bluetooth, and then play streamed music via the amp.
As a prime member, i could not resist the prime day deals on the echo dots so bought 2- bargain at less than £40. Was tempted by the echo show price tag was too steep so this price was perfect. Having bought a new house recently i have been looking forward to slowly start setting up smart devices around the house such as lights, therosat etc as well as just having alexa devices around for music, questions and abit of fun. Initial setup was so intuitive and easy its incredible for such a cheap device. Once setup and downloaded the alexa app we started off with the usual stupid questions but quickly realised this product is more than a novelty but a wealth of information and updates, weather, music , general knowledge and controlling lights have been a breeze so far and have barely scratched the surface. I came in yesterday and my father who can barely get his head around his new smartphone was singing frank sinatra songs while doing some diy in our kitchen. Beyond being really surprised that even my folks can effortlessly use this device , my family have now all gone on to buy these. For the price you cant do wrong if you are gadget man like me or even totally new to o tech. Very happy with the purchase.
This is one of those gadgets that u thought you could live without until somebody you know gets one then u think i need me one of those really useful uncn get alexa to do all sorts for u so much linkable tech can be controlled from hive heating to smart light bulbs or she can just play dab radio stations great for the non tech savvy mabe older people will find the voice activevation really useful.
- Don’t think you’ll enjoy it on it’s own
- Alexa the new friendly smart speaker
- Stepping into the Future
This is the scaled down version of the more expensive and audibly superior amazon echo (2nd gen. ) but i got a pair of these during the black monday sale for around £30 each (now sells for £50). ) or alexa device is a smart speaker that connects to your mobile phone and allows audio commands and sounds through the device. I wanted to replace my analogue radios i had, the echo dot connects via internet (wifi) to any radio stations there. I also have a prime account and have access to lots of music which is perfect for this device. The sound is so clear and i like the compact size of it. It has several rgb colours also, mainly a blue ring when you say the command ‘alexa’ followed by whatever you wish like ‘set alarm for. Or ‘play radio one’, after which a friendly female voice confirms and implements your command.
I have this on landing and it can hear me if i am in bedrooms upstairs and 95% of time gets what i say straight away. Only time it doesn’t is if there is background noise or if i am not clear in what i am saying. I have belkin switches which it controls so i can say alexa light off and my bedroom lap is switched off. Great when your that tired you cannot even reach over to switch it off yourself lol. It gives me traffic news for my morning commute and the weather forecast for the location i am at. I have it paired to bluetooth speakers but the volume from it is more than adequate and surprisingly good. It tells me the football results, sets a timer to alert me not to burn my dinner and plays whatever music i want.
I purchased and amazon echo prior to this purchase and so far i have been very satisfied with that product. The echo dot initially proved a little less reliable with poor wifi connection and less accuracy on voice commands. At the suggestion of customer support i removed the device and added it back again. After re-installing the dot i have since found that the accuracy has improved and the wi-fi has been reliably held. Early days yet but so far so good. My echo show is on order :-).
Bought a couple of these for myself and boyfriend for christmas. Easy enough to set up and works well with wifi smart bulbs and plugs that we have. Takes a bit of getting used to and if there is a moderate amount of background noise, like the tv going, alexa doesn’t always ‘hear’ or respond. I use it as a smart home device, alarm, timer, and for getting general info so far. There is a lot more you can do with it, i just haven’t had a chance to explore them all yet. She tells some cheesy jokes :d.
The best thing since sliced bread. I use it with my sonos speaker and have them dotted about the house so i can drop in. Have hive and smart plugs and sensors. I can see amazon have really thought this through. I was looking at google but just found the price proposition and the amazon experience more seamless. Bought these under promo for between 35 and 49 pounds. Yes it needs to get smarted and it isn’t quite as sharp as google but so what.
Features of Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Generation) – Smart Speaker with Alexa – Black
- Amazon Echo Dot is a hands-free, voice-controlled device that uses Alexa to play music, control smart home devices, provide information, read the news, set alarms and more
- Connects to speakers or headphones through Bluetooth or 3.5 mm stereo cable to play music from Amazon Music, Spotify and TuneIn. Play music simultaneously across multiple Echo devices and speakers connected via cable with multi-room music (Available for Amazon Music and TuneIn. Bluetooth not supported)
- Call or message anyone hands-free who also has an Echo device or the Alexa App. Also, quickly connect to other Echo devices in your home using just your voice
- Controls lights, switches, TVs, thermostats and more with compatible connected devices from WeMo, Philips Hue, Sony, Hive, Netatmo, Nest, tado° and others
- Hears you from across the room with 7 microphones for far-field hands-free voice control, even in noisy environments or while playing music
- Includes a built-in speaker so it can work on its own as a smart alarm clock in the bedroom, an assistant in the kitchen, or anywhere you might want a voice-controlled device
- Always getting smarter – Alexa updates through the cloud automatically and is continually learning, adding new features and skills
Amazon Echo Dot is a hands-free, voice-controlled device that uses Alexa to play music, control smart home devices, provide information, read the news, set alarms and more
To set the tone of my review :-1. I am not a computer programmer but like gadgets that just work with minimal fuss. I accept not everything is perfect every time. I put off buying this for a long time deeming it ‘unnecessary’ in-spite of further detail below. With lightwave rfi already have a quite a number of rf lightwave products in the house (remote lights, sockets etc. ) so when i was informed that it could control this it did appeal. It works great 99% of the time with a few adjustments required in the names for recognition. Probably my favourite part is now telling alexa to turn on the christmas tree . – good fun and the development of this skill seems to be on-going too with lightwave rf. With sonoswe have two sonos ones in the downstairs that are now linked and 80-90% of the time when you ask for something to be played on sonos,not alexa speaker, its works great. One minor side issue is the linking to amazon prime music rather than unlimited with the ‘samples’ being played but it’s good enough most of the time. When asking for volume changes and stopping etc its very good. Setting it all up was again, easy.
I ordered this originally to test the water but it was on backorder. Being the impatient type i plumped for the echo and then, finding that fun, decided not to cancel the order for the dot. I thought it would be useful for use in my study as my dab radio was playing up. I find the sound disappointing, however, when compared to the echo. It is better with a bluetooth speaker that i had but less convenient to use that way. I have a vaux speaker/battery on order hoping that will be better sound and more portable. Learning what alexa can do is fascinating.
Basically a search engine with voice recognition and voice response, both of which are excellent. (no need to type, or call search engine. There are a range of home appliances, so that you can switch on your lights, or change your thermostat, with spoken commands. I have used the flash briefing, which reads out news and other information at my convenience, it has an excellent range of pre-programmed music playlists (i connect through blue tooth to my speaker system). Some of the programmed answers are intentionally amusing. Children love it (constantly asking for the theme tune to peppa pig etc. You will still use google (a superior search engine), but unlike google, there are no intrusive adverts. But to listen to music you will still need an decent external speaker system. It isn’t battery driven and is dependent on your wifi. Everything you do is recorded by amazon and there is no easy way of deleting that. Once you trigger (by saying ‘alexa’) it starts recording and that will include snippets of background conversation in addition to your request. The echo at £50 is worth it.
This is one of those products where you think ‘i’ve managed so far without one of these things, why do i need one now’. The short answer is, you don’t and if the only option was the echo at about £150, i wouldn’t have one. But, i was brought up on star trek and all those space operas where people didn’t sit at keyboards interacting with their ai, they spoke to it and it replied. So, my inner captain kirk won the day and i ordered one of the cheaper dots, plus a tp-link wifi-enabled electrical plug. First of all, let me say that if you’ve used siri or cortana or whatever google’s equivalent is, alexa is much, much better. Checking back on the alexa app, i have to go back several days for a misunderstood command or inquiry, that’s not to say that you don’t have to be a little bit careful about how you phrase things and speak clearly. Setting up is a doddle – download the alexa app, plug in the dot and the app guides you through the setup. In the alexa app you can then select topics (skills in alexa-speak) that you want alexa to access (news, travel info etc. ) and you then ask alexa for the information that the skill provides. For example, the tp-link plug mentioned above you download the tp-link kasa app, plug in your plug and set-up, access the alexa app and load the kasa skill, alexa now knows about your plug so you can tell her to switch it on and off.
Received as a christmas present, not being tech minded, i did find it fairly easy to set up, and took me about half an hour. Frustrating part was i found that you need to go onto your amazon account to open apps to get a lot of the features to work, nothing automatically. Have still not worked out how to get it to link to my spotify account and play music from there, it just wants you to set up an amazon account, 30 day free trail, then pay for music.
Use the small one at work hooked up to an old mini hifi system. It’s early days so the ai is a bit behind some other voice assistants like google and siri. I don’t mind the trigger words being limited – not a problem. If this is gen 1 (which it is really) then i have high hopes for the 2nd and 3rd gen units with more native features. One thing i would like is to have voice control of podcast playback – it’s not currently possible to skip forward or back, jump to x minutes etcthe only skills i added was for smart plug controls which do work consistently well. The other stuff is pants really.
Connects to speakers or headphones through Bluetooth or 3.5 mm stereo cable to play music from Amazon Music, Spotify and TuneIn. Play music simultaneously across multiple Echo devices and speakers connected via cable with multi-room music (Available for Amazon Music and TuneIn.
Absolutely love the echo dot. Works straight about of the box, especially if you link it to your prime account during purchase. So useful, so much information on command such as weather (both local and worldwide), time, alarms, calendar and appointments, access to masses of free music (or almost limitless if you subscribe to amazon prime music) again on command – either by song name, singer or group name, genre, or even by lyric. Accesses hundreds of radio stations, all you have to say is i. ‘alexa, play radio 5 live’ lots of fun by enabling multiple other skills through the alexa app – find out when the space station is above your house, get alexa to tell you a personalised bedtime story, or access information from wikipedia on any subject, and get the answers to millions of questions such as ‘why is the sky blue?’. – and of course an on-demand news service. Also easily connects to a bluetooth speaker for better quality playback for music etc, so no need to buy the more expensive version where the speaker is inbuilt.
I absolutely love my echo dot bought for me at christmas. It’s versatile & easy to use. I have used it to find out about the weather, tell me a joke, for my calendar, a game & so on. The most important feature so far (& i’m sure as i learn how to use it there will be many more things i can do with alexa) is music. Alexa is getting to know me too, as yesterday when i asked her to play me a song she suggested a radio station suited to my needs. I was most impressed & it played all the music i love. There is nothing i dislike, it’s small & compact & fits in anywhere. I am planning on learning about ‘home’ functions & making telephone calls next. The echo dot is a perfect gift for people of all ages & technical ability, it’s easy to set up & learn about, there are plenty of tips to help, the app is easy to download & use too.
I have only my echo dot for a few weeks, but so far i have been very impressed and extremely surprised at how useful it is. Setup was very easy – just connect to the iphone app and follow the on screen instructions. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, so i tried a few of the obvious things like asking for a weather report and the news, and the response was both accurate and prompt (alexa easily understand my rather broad west-country accent). What i wasn’t expecting was the music streaming (i thought i needed the full-blown echo) – but this little echo dot is able to stream just about any music from amazon’s music service (it probably helps that i have an amazon prime subscription, but even if you don’t it works with spotify). The sound quality won’t blow you away but is adequate – and you can connect an external speaker. I decided to stretch the echo dot a little further and see how it worked with other devices around my home – again, i was very impressed and surprised at what it could do. With very little effort i was able to use the echo dot to control my heating (hive), and to switch lights on and off (belkin wemo). I had limited success with sonos via a 3rd party app, but i understand that proper sonos integration is being looked into so fingers crossed. In summary, this is a fantastic little toy, but it does also have some very practical applications. Great value, and i have been so impressed that i have just purchased the big-brother ‘echo’.
So i’ve lived with alexa now for a year and i wouldn’t be without her, she’s expanded into all the rooms, 2 dots, 2 echos. Fire tv etc and she controls my lights, get’s me up in the morning, plays my favourite music and gives me my morning traffic update. Next will be the echo show and possibly some philips lighting arrangement. Genuinely not a fad and extremely useful, even my 73 year mother uses alexa to play all her music and this christmas she’ll be asking alexa to turn on the lights.
This is one amazing piece of technology. The kids and us love requesting music from prime and getting the news and weather updates. There’re so many skills to enable and use it untrue. Our dot is bluetooth connected to out bose so we have unlimited music access playing from the bose. All connected via bluetooth which is also voice activated.
I have been living with two dots in my house since black friday now. And these little devices have made a massive difference in my automated home. Shopping list, reminders, timers, lights all at just a simple voice command. I have two devices, one up and one down in an ordinary 3 bedroom house, and that is enough to be able to tell them whatever to do from anywhere in the house. I cant wait for proper sonos integration, to play my music in a nicer way, as the audio quality is limited as is to be expected from the little dot, but since i have a couple sonos devices, the decision not to go for a full sized echo was easy. I am receiving weekly mails with things that alexa has learned. And trust me, its me that is not keeping up. Great development, and i hope much more integration is to come. My girlfriend was getting proper annoyed with the smart bulbs in the house, and having to use an app chage the lights, so half the time she started using the switches again. With all negative effects as result, but since she can just tell alexa to turn on and off lights, dim them or change colours and what not, she is proper happy with them too.
Call or message anyone hands-free who also has an Echo device or the Alexa App.
It’s a pity i can’t make its audio come through my pc through bluetooth, but that’s just a small complaint. Ask her for a joke, a riddle, a rap, or even what the weather is going to be like, and she’ll answer. I presumed it would be like siri, where she’d just link you to some wikipedia page and that would be it, but no, alexa has opinions, answers, and an attitude. I can only see this getting better. The downside is that when the audio is turned up, it sounds quite distorted, but no doubt the 3rd generation will sort that out.
I got the dot a few weeks ago and i must say i think it’s brilliant. Yes it has its flaws but if you take the time to learn what it can do it’s well worth the investment. I can ask alexa to play any piece of music from over 40 million songs. Turn on my lighting and all sorts of other things as well as general reminders and calculations. There are certain third party skills that you need to get the most out of it which are not really advertised but once alexa has learned what you teach it, it works a treat.
I had heard of these alexa machines before as my daughter owns one. I thought they were a waste of time until i started using the amazon echo dot my wife bought me for xmas. Although i haven’t synced it properly with my iphone app i’m totally impressed with it so far and cant wait to get it fully operational. The funny thing is my wife liked my daughters alexa so i bought her the larger version for xmas. Imagine our faces xmas morning when we opened each others presents and found we had bought each other the same thing.
I love it – and considering its not designed to have speaker capabilites offers great sound if you just want a kitchen radio / bedside radio. So easy to set up and pair with smart products, gives news, weather – even the time strictly is going to be on. Am considering getting another next time the price comes down as the prime days / black fridays always offer amazing value for amazon products. Really really impressed – i’m not a techy person at all but already can’t imagine not having this.
Had one for xmas of the wife, very easy to set up and get going. Only draw back is so far i can see is i can’t add my local footy team (wolves) to the team selection for news updates. You can add 4 or 5 teams, with some being very remote american teams but apparently not an english championship team or even real madrid or barcelona. Usa, there’s a whole wide world outside of america please update asap .
Some devices work well with it, but some skills leave a lot to be desired. This is largely out of amazon’s control though, as it has more to do with the specific product developer. Was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the sound from the in-built speaker, much better than i had expected. Should continue to improve as more skills are developed and existing skills are improved. The voice recognition is very good. Overall i am pleased with it and hopefully will find more uses for it with time.
Great way to spread alexa remote control around your house. Sound quality is nowhere near as good as the echo but is improved dramtically if you plug in an external speaker (or blutooth). On it’s own it sounds only slightly better than a mobile phone but all of the functionality is exactly the same as the echo as far as i can tell. Fairly easy to set up on wifi network. We now have set up some remote control sockets and lights and are very happy with the way it works. Streaming music is a breeze and also controlling amazon fire tv systems. You realistically need either amazon prime / amazon music or a paid spotify account to get the most out of the alexa range though.
Controls lights, switches, TVs, thermostats and more with compatible connected devices from WeMo, Philips Hue, Sony, Hive, Netatmo, Nest, tado° and others
Very interesting piece of kit. As it was a present and not a choice, not sure what i am going to use it for yet. To control household items, i will have to purchase several pieces of expensive kit. I am able to dim my own lights and control my own central heating. I like the jokes and the weather reports, although it does not seem to know where i live just yet. Hmm i may find a use that does not end up costing me more cash as i already have much music on my p.
As a family used to talking to gadgets (‘hi galaxy’. Etc) but this is our first foray into home iot control. Considering this is still early days, this is a fantastic gadget that links seamlessly to the various gadgets so far – phones, tv, bluetooth speakers, ipad. We’re yet to go as far as thermostat, lights etc but we’ll get there. It’s a great entry-level introduction with the dot a much smaller sister to the ‘full integrated speaker’ bigger sister, and only a third the price. The dot’s internal speaker is more than adequate, but it comes into its own when linked to a hifi bluetooth speaker – awesome soundvoice recognition – actually not bad at all – although it helps if you’re specific about what you ask for, but not too specific. For example, if i ask alexa to play a very specific piece of music, it’s a bit hit and miss – if i specify ‘prime’ in the request, it gets better, if i am quite generic, it’s brilliant – eg ‘ ‘alexa – play prime relaxing music’ came back with ‘acoustic pop from amazon music’. Excellentcan be frustrating when you ask general questions that you know a quick google search would give an accurate answer in the first result and alexa says ‘i’m sorry, i can’t find that’ (or something along those lines) – but i can forgive that. My command of language wasn’t great at birth, but improved as i learned.
Still in early stages, but i have to be silly, best thing so far was ‘alexa – tell me a bedtime story’. ‘how much is that doggy in the window?’. – or you can just ask it / her to tell you a joke. Good response to music requests too. Not sure she will make me breakfast in the morning though.
I am something of a technophile and certainly keen to try out new and innovative gadgets which claim to make life easier or at least enriched. I think for the moment the amazon echo dot fits into the latter category. The far field voice recognition technology is excellent, certainly at least as good as siri. I have spent a few days working with alexa understanding how to ask questions, sorting my daily news summary, sports team and building my music playlists, organizing amazon music, for those with a spotify premium account this will be awesome. The echo dot does have a speaker and its pretty decent comparable to a smartphone, and setting up bluetooth is easy. I would also encourage linking a google calendar, now adding appointments, planning your day is much more fun and available for everyone to see on their devices but also asking alexa is quite intuitive. Shopping lists and todo lists are useful. The skills (equivalent to apps to you and i) are for the moment limited, although the magic door is really good fun with children, as is bartender for the grownups. The potential for skills is the best bit around the echo, if amazon can really engage developers with this, the echo dot could move to a really integral component of running your daily life. Having invested this time with alexa is becoming increasingly useful and is a lot of fun and the capability will only grow.
Wow, it’s great and i’ve only just scratched the surface with its skills, i am currently awaiting delivery of a second one (the first was a present) there was none in stock when i ordered it on january 4th. . But it will be here january 31st. The more you use her the cleverer she gets. I shall update on post in time. But even now it’s already absolutely amazing. And that’s with just 100 skills of the hundreds that are out availablewould definitely recommend this product.
I bought these for the whole family and we all love them. I originally got them to communicate with family, but now i have it controlling my lights and sockets and we find more and more uses for alexa every day. I have had a go with a gen1 dot at a friends house and these gen2 dots are a big improvement. Except for the lack of a big speaker they are as good as a full size echo. If you don’t need hifi quality sound or want to use an external audio system then i recommend the dot.
Hears you from across the room with 7 microphones for far-field hands-free voice control, even in noisy environments or while playing music
Got three and networked them. Can now wake daughter up in her loft bedroom from kitchen by saying ‘ alexa, play bat out of hell on (daughters) room. I can hassle the kids hands free. It also barks when i’m out (guard dog skill) and sounds convincing. Planning to get smart lighting, boiler etc. Reminders and timers functions are so useful as are alarms and digital radio. Loads of skills available including help me sleep. Sound quality on the dot not great , get echo for fab sound, and alexa often can’t answer questions.
I did a fair amount of research before purchasing the echo dot. I was unsure how much it would get used but love gadgets. It’s brilliant and so useful for the whole family. There are loads of additional skills you can activate on it too. Voice recognition is better than most others, it does struggle when background noise or others talking, but that’s understandable. Bluetooth linked to my onkyo amp for full 7. 1 stereo sound when playing spotify or amazon music. The more you talk to it asking it to do things or answer questions the better it gets.
This is something to hook up to other things and add voice control. You will get bored of saying ‘i’ll be back’ just to have it reply ‘asta la vista, baby’ or ask it a few simple questions that you don’t really need to know the answer to. This little beauty is best enjoyed with all the wonderful add ons. The most basic one that you will have is music, just sit back and ask it to play whatever pops into your head. After that you start looking at home automation and if you already own rf plugs then you need to team this up with the broadlink rm pro, in fact you just need to get that anyway. It’s a brilliant piece of kit that comes in around £30 and controls radio and infrared devices and voice control is added via alexa and an app called rm tasker (£3. After that you will wonder how logitech can charge £80+ for their harmony stuff. Alexa has a lot of useful skills but unless you like voice controlled music then you will probably think this is expensive, if you have home automation then you’ll wonder how they can sell it for the peanuts they do. This device does so much for me now but it is only because i already had the tech that this complements such as smart plugs, smart thermostat, spotify premium, smart lighting etc etc.
Was actually my son that wanted it and his brother thinks it’s a great gadget too. I’m not keen on having one in the lounge given it’s listening all the time. To those that say it only listens when the word alexa is mentioned i say how does it know you have said alexa if it’s not listening?another star added by my wife given that when she wakes my eldest son up for school he invariably goes back to sleep. Now she repeatedly shouts ‘alexa, play loud music’ and he gets so irate he starts shouting and is up before you know it.
I don’t have a smartphone and i don’t have an amazon prime subscription. Despite this, the dot has been a lot of fun and useful, particularly with controlling my hive home devices (active lights and active plugs). As well as being able to play streaming radio, i discovered that i have an amazon music library and can play pre-loaded online versions of some cds that i have purchased in the past. Even better, i can access my wife’s amazon music library due to having a family relationship set up (which also allows her to log into the dot’s alexa account using her own email address & password). I wasn’t expecting much with the sound due to previous reviews and amazon pitching the dot’s loudspeaker as ‘for speech’. However, i was pleasantly surprised to find it quite nice quality for music, even if lacking in bass (i guess i am not much of an audiophile)alexa seems to have improved its speech recognition over several days. Initially it seemed necessary to go through pedantic requests such as ‘alexa tell hive to turn the living room lights on’ but now it is accepting shortened versions such as ‘alexa living room lights on’ and ‘alexa living room lights 50%’. Another example is that initially i was using ‘alexa play b. Radio 3’, but after forgetting the ‘b. ‘alexa play radio 3’) was surprised that it did indeed play b. One shortcoming is that it is not very good at hearing the letter h.
They must have done update for this. Because when i bought it straight out of the box it used to be amazing. It used to be able to hear commands over my tv sounds. I could turn the lights on, change channels on tv. However recently i have to turn down tv volume down first or the echo struggles to hear me. Also some skills can get annoying to use like the harmony skill – sometimes echo thinks u want ur tv channel changed other times it thinks ur talking to it and tries to turn on radios station on the echo.
Early days but on initial testing this product works very well, voice response is pretty good, access to prime music works well and the news/weather/timer functions all seem fine. Linked to the philips hue lights it becomes even more powerful and futuristic. Now i can see why people would want one in every room****update 5th december 2016 – the amazon echo is still working just as you’d expect, voice commands in general are excellent and the only time it trips up is when you don’t speak clearly enough or there is too much background noise. Linked to the philips hue lighting system the echo really stretches its legs, i don’t think telling your lights to turn on and off or fade will ever get old. With the echo connected to some speakers using the 3. 5mm output socket you really do get excellent sound, playing songs from prime music you would struggle to notice much difference compared to cd quality. The shopping list function is very useful, simply say ‘alexa – add apples to my shopping list’ and it is done, then say ‘alexa – what’s on my shopping list’ and the contents gets read back to you. Downside to the shopping list which may get resolved in time is you can only clear items via the alexa app not by voice command. Overall a thoroughly impressive bit of kit, even more so when on the black friday deal price.
Simply amazing but better if you link it up to external usb speakers which improves the volume immensely – it’s still loud without but if you want music then speakers are a must. Nb it is very sensitive to the voice command alexa so be warned but it’s very intuitive and you can learn it new skills from the alexa app on your phone once you’ve paired it up. This isn’t just a gimmick it’s a game changer – as it evolves it will just get better and better. I got this on special offer 34. 99 and i can’t fsult it, it looks good , robust build and does exactly you what the box promotes. Note also it’s english only it does not translate commands from a native tongue to english so i assume they’ll address that at a later point in time. If your english is poor then this may not work for you. (it does have english to other language translation but all commands must be in english).
I connect this to my anise docking station because unlike the full sized version the sound isn’t great. I use it daily, mostly for music but it does come in handy for the westherbetc. Stops my wife asking me all the time, like i’m a meteorologist, which i’m notmy only gripe is that i’d like them to be able to link up like sonos and play the same music around the house.