Review: Amazon Echo and Echo Dot, A Good Thing Just Keeps Getting Better

Amazon Echo

Let me get this out of the way, right from the start.  I will write a whole bunch of words about the Amazon Echo, some of them may even be over three letters and on rare occasions be multisyllabic words.  I will show you not one, but two videos on the Amazon Echo.

When all is said and done, you will still not really understand why you need an Amazon Echo.  The weird thing is, at some point you will get an Amazon Echo and then think, wow, why didn’t I get one of these sooner.

Let’s get things started by watching our video review of the Amazon Echo -

Here is our video review of the brand new Amazon Echo Dot -

The Features of Amazon Echo

Here are the key features of Echo -

  • Plays all your music from Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and more using just your voice
  • Fills the room with immersive, 360º omni-directional audio
  • Allows hands-free convenience with voice-control
  • Hears you from across the room with far-field voice recognition, even while music is playing
  • Answers questions, reads audiobooks and the news, reports traffic and weather, gives info on local businesses, provides sports scores and schedules, and more using the Alexa Voice Service
  • Controls lights, switches, and thermostats with compatible WeMo, Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, Wink, Insteon, Nest, and ecobee smart home devices
  • Always getting smarter and adding new features and skills–over 100 added since launch, including Domino’s and Uber

What Do You Do With Amazon Echo and Echo Dot?

In its most basic form, the Amazon Echo is a cloud connected speaker with an array of microphones that are always listening for its wake-up word.  Say “Alexa” and the Echo comes to life, ready to answer your questions…

Alexa, Who Was the 23rd President?

Alexa, What is The Weather?

Alexa, Tell Me a Donald Trump Joke

Alexa, Define Creepy

Alexa, Play The Beatles

Alexa, Turn the Lights Off

Alexa, Get Me An Uber

Isn’t That What Siri and Ok Google Do On Your Phone?

Not exactly. While the concept is similar, Echo has a number of advantages.  First, Echo stays in one place and is always listening.  Echo is also very fast with its response and is constantly learning and improving as everyone uses it. The connection with Amazon Prime also means you have access to Prime Music and the ability to order items via Amazon.

By far the most impressive difference between Echo and your phone is the far-field voice recognition –

Tucked under the light ring is an array of seven microphones that use beam-forming technology and enhanced noise cancellation. With far-field voice recognition, Echo can hear you ask a question from any direction—even while playing music.

Simply put, Echo is very impressive in hearing your questions and answering them accurately and quickly.

Simple + Quick + Accurate +Helpful = Useful Gadget

Amazon has done a great job of keeping the Echo simple and useful.  Ask Echo a question and it answers you.  Give Echo a task and it does it.  One of the coolest thing about the Echo is it keeps getting better.

Amazon is constantly pushing new features and skills to the Echo, so it is the rare gadget that gets better with age.  We have had an Amazon Echo since Day 1 and it is a much improved product since it was first released.

Now, if you love the idea of Echo, but already have an external speaker, you can get the Echo Dot.  The Dot is $89 as opposed to $179 for Echo.  The Echo Dot has all the same functionality of the Echo, it just does not have the large, full of bass speaker.

Simply put, if you have not tried Amazon Echo yet, give it a shot.  Once you experience the thrill of saying commands and having Echo carry them out seamlessly, you won’t know how you survived without it.

More Information:

Learn more about Amazon Echo ($179)

Learn more about Amazon Echo Dot ($89)

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