If you’ve seen the Amazon voice control devices advertised and have been considering buying one but want to know a bit more then check out this review on the Echo (2nd Generation) – Smart speaker with Alexa. The Echo is a stand alone speaker that you can talk to and control with your voice. This is not just any old speaker though, you can use it to control other smart home products that you have with simple commands as well as listening to music.
If you landed on this page by mistake and just want to buy the Echo speaker, click here and it will take you through to the product page.
Echo (2nd Generation) Review
- Echo (2nd Gen) has a new speaker, new design, and is available in a range of styles including fabrics and wood veneers.
- Just ask for a song, artist, or genre from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, and more.
- Call or message almost anyone hands-free with your Echo device.
- New speaker, now with Dolby processing for crisp vocals and dynamic bass response.
- With seven microphones, beamforming technology, and noise cancellation, Echo hears you from any direction—even while music is playing
- Just ask Alexa to check your calendar, weather, traffic, and sports scores, manage to-do and shopping lists, control your compatible smart lights, thermostats, garage doors, sprinklers, and more
- Alexa is always getting smarter and adding new features and skills. Just ask Alexa to control your TV, request an Uber, order a pizza, and more.
The Echo (2nd Generation) – Smart speaker with Alexa just stands on any level surface in your room. It’s 5.8″ x 3.4″ x 3.4″ in size and you can get it in different finishes so that you can match it in will your décor.
The Echo along with other Amazon devices connects to the Alexa voice service which gives you the ability to enjoy playing music that you love, you can also set an alarm or a timer if you’re cooking something. Alexa can answer questions, very helpful to settle arguments and if you have any smart devices in your home you can ask Alexa to control them for you. All of this is done instantly.
The Echo (2nd Generation) has internal speakers consisting of a 2.5″ woofer and 0.6″ tweeter which can fill your room with music. You can listen to Amazon music free , you just need an account and wi-fi and if you’re a prime member you can get access to prime music. You can also link it to music subscription sites like Amazon Music unlimited or Spotify if you have an account. There is a skill called “my media” which will allow you to access your Itunes account if you have music on there too.
With multi-room music, you can play music on compatible Echo devices in different rooms although this is a subscription option. Echo can also play Audible audiobooks, radio stations, news briefs, and more.
Voice control other products
If you already have a product in your home that is marked up “works with Alexa” like a Roomba robot vacuum or bulbs that can be voice controlled then this is where the Echo comes into it’s own by allowing you to use skills to connect your products so that you can ask Alexa to either clean the room or turn on the lights.
You can turn on your Fire TV using the the Echo and select a movie to watch, it even works with lights, locks, switches, thermostats, and more. So you can sit on the sofa ask Alexa to lock the door (if you have an Amazon key kit), turn up the temperature, dim the lights and play a movie without moving. How cool is that!
Hands free calling and messaging
You can use the Echo for speaking internally or for external calls very easily. You can set up a voice profile so Alexa can recognise your voice then if you want to make an external call to your mother you can just ask “Alex, call Mum” and it will recognise who you are so it will know who’s Mum to call. Clever! You can send messages via voice or text to anyone with a supported Echo device or the Alexa App.
If you have an echo device in other rooms in the house you can drop in to speak to that room so if you have one of your children doing homework in their room you can drop in and let them know their dinner is on the table, no shouting up the stairs. If you have members of your family in different rooms in the house you can make an announcement through all of the echo devices to tell them all that their meal is on the table.
Skills are small programs written to link a voice command to an action. There are lots of skills available that you can look through that you might find useful. You can get you’re bank balance, listen to the news headlines, hear the weather forecast and many more. Check this page to learn what you can do.
If you are subscribed to Amazon prime you can enjoy ad free streaming of Prime music, you can check on any deals that are on offer, you can even place a voice order and check on the shipment all with voice commands.
Alexa for kids
Kids are so quick at picking up new technology and Amazon are tapping into that with the new free time unlimited option which is where you’re kids can listen to music, get kids jokes, listen to kids audio books and ask questions. Parents have the option to filter songs that might be unsuitable, can limit the time used and voice ordering is turned off for them. There is an Echo Dot Kids Edition now available with a years free time unlimited included and a 2 years guarantee against damage.
Buyers are finding this so easy to use and set up. Most people feel that the sound issues have been ironed out with firmware upgrades. They find that the Echo can hear commands very well even in a large room. People are liking the shorter, squatter design as it’s less likely to be tipped over and for those people that have more than one echo device they are loving the multi room music.
A lot of customers don’t feel that the sound is as good as the first generation echo. Some people have had problems with it just stopping working or having problems connecting to wi-fi. There have been complaints about the lowest sound being too loud.
Being able to voice control your home is the new technology that is growing every year and the Echo (2nd Generation) – Smart speaker with Alexa lets you join in the revolution. More and more home items are becoming voice activated and the Echo devices are perfect to take advantage of that.