I’ve already reviewed the Echo Dot, so now it’s the turn of the Amazon Echo, which it has to be said is near enough identical, other than the fact it comes with built in 360º omni-directional audio, allowing you to listen from all angles.
As mentioned in my Echo Dot review, setting up the Echo is as simple as taking it out the box, downloading the app and hooking it up to the internet. From there, depending on how connected your home is, Echo makes for lots of possibilities, be that telling Alexa to turn your Phillips Hue lights on and off, adjust your heating and more. Of course, even if you don’t have a smart home at the moment, Alexa allows for this in the future, all just by using your voice.
While you’ll need an extra speaker to hook up the Echo Dot to (unless you don’t mind it’s small, built-in speaker), the Amazon Echo already has this covered. There are likely better speakers for the price you will pay, however, we’ve found it good enough for our tastes and loud enough too, making listening to Audible, Music Unlimited and Spotify a breeze. All you need to do is say the magic word ‘Alexa’ and she’ll carry out your command with ease.
I’ve found Amazon Echo to be the perfect upstairs speaker for me, allowing me to listen to books and music in the comfort of my bedroom, while also being able to say good morning for the fact of the day, ask what the weather is going to be like and even ask the time. It’s also great to use Alexa to set an alarm, which I’ve found wakes me up gently. I’ve no Phillips Hue lights or light strips upstairs yet, but I’m already imagining asking Alexa to dim the lights at bedtime.
Whatever you want Alexa to do, it’s pretty easy to find a skill for it with the downloadable app. Skills range from various games you can play, to interesting facts, news briefings and information about your favourite country, sports team and more. You can ask Alexa to tell you jokes, information about public transport, pick your lottery numbers, make a list, give you a recipe. The list is pretty much endless and she’s learning all the time.
The design of Amazon Echo means it fits right into a bedroom, thanks to it being tall and slim. I opted for the white model, although the black is just as sleek. The system itself is not hugely heavy, but robust enough to stop it being knocked over by children or your cats. It doesn’t really matter where you place the Amazon Echo as Alexa can generally hear you from across the room, providing your TV is not blasting too loudly.
You can read more of what I think about Alexa in the Echo Dot review, but whatever version of Alexa you opt for, you’re sure to be very pleased. I for one can’t wait to hook the Echo up to my Sonos and have it as my main system downstairs, with the Amazon Echo staying upstairs, as my bedtime and morning system.