Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
Amazon designed the next-gen Echo (pictured in Sandstone) to fit in better with your furnishings.
The original Amazon Echo speaker was a breakthrough product — it quickly got many of us accustomed to using voice control in the house. But that tall, techy-looking cylinder really stuck out when you placed it in the middle of the living room. Since we've now welcomed Alexa as part of our home, Amazon redesigned this next-generation Echo to blend more neatly into all types of décor.
Each compact speaker includes a removable outer "shell" that's splashed in low-key, muted tones. But don't worry, you still get the same Alexa voice assistant treatment and the already iconic "pretty blue light." Order pizza, ask questions, or control smart home devices — all hands-free.
Our favorite use for Alexa voice control? Has to be music. If you want the Echo to play some background tunes, just say "Alexa," and tell it what you want to hear. It's easy to select songs and playlists. Tell Alexa to mix and match from Pandora®, Spotify®, Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, and more.
And when you need more volume? Say, "Alexa, turn it up." You can even group two or more Echo speakers together to play the same song in different rooms.
I mentioned in my article Voice Control for your Home Stereo that convenience is only part of the story here at Crutchfield. We always ask ourselves: how can we get better sound? One way is using the Amazon Echo's built-in Bluetooth transmitter. It lets you send audio wirelessly to any Bluetooth-enabled speaker, sound bar, or home theater receiver.
This made for a clean setup when we paired an Echo wirelessly with the powerful Klipsch R-15PM powered speakers. I found it more convenient than a wired connection. You can sit in your favorite chair and request songs without having to shout across the room to where your speakers are set up.
On the top panel, you'll find optional touch controls and Alexa's responsive blue light.
Sonos recently added Alexa voice control. So if you have Sonos speakers and add the Echo (or the smaller Echo Dot), you can tell Alexa what to play in each room. Or say, "Alexa, play my Tom Petty playlist in the whole house."
But it's not only about music. Alexa can control smart home lights, switches, and thermostats from companies like Wemo, Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, Nest, and more. You set everything up with the Alexa app, a free download for your Fire OS, Android™, or Apple® device.
Alexa can answer questions, read audiobooks to you, and give you sports scores. Amazon refers to these types of abilities as "skills." Just ask, and you might be surprised what Alexa can do — order food, check the weather — more and more skills are added all the time.
And since this speaker is connected to the cloud, Alexa can learn something new in the blink of an eye.
PAUL, Marietta, GA
Average Customer Review(s):
Works Great and lots of Fun!
Pros: Home automation control, music, fun to converse with, and great Apps!
Highly impressed. Great sounding music. Good recognition to voice commands, even from a room away. Easy setup via laptop took 5-10 min.
I like it a lot it's speakers are very powerful
amazing. Sound is better than I expected. Set up is simple as long as you have info re: your router. As usual info from Crutchfield rep. was right on.
Had a "dot" before and that gadget had pretty decent sound but, this "Echo" has a more throaty deep sound so that you can enjoy music with more bang.
Pros: Much more bass than I had before with just the dot.
Cons: The vocal part of this gadget is not quite as clear as the dot.
Great product enjoy the music and weather/joke telling
Cons: bandwidth problem with my system
Great choice, good buy. Reviews from others convinced me.
Pros: Good sound for an item under $100
This was our 5th Amazon device. I wanted one with a little better speaker for my office. We love Alexa for the music and smart home controls. The speaker is not as good as some other devices, but this was $100 less, and it's great for my use.
Pros: Speaker Voice Control Cost
Cons: Not quite as good as some other speakers available
After seeing how the Amazon Echo worked at a friend's home recently, we knew we wanted one. Very happy with it and still learning everything Alexa can do.
Pros: Great addition to our home
Cons: So much to learn
Bought this for my daughter for christmas and she loves it she said she plays it every night while shes making dinner and it sound great.She tells me its the best.
Ordered for my wife for Christmas and she loves it. Still trying to figure it all out and what it can do.
Pros: Looks great and sounds great.
Very easy to setup control. Alexa is controlling all of my Sonos ,Samsung smart T.V. S and my ecobee thermostats. Works well with all these products..
Pros: Ease of setup
Cons: Non so far
It's great to have Alexa as part of my household. The speaker has good quality sound. No complains at all!
Voice-Activated Powered Speaker: The Amazon Echo (2nd gen) is a hands-free speaker you control with your voice. Echo (2nd gen) connects to the Alexa Voice Service to play music, make calls, set alarms and timers, control smart home devices, and provide information regarding news, sports scores, weather, and more.
360° Omni-Directional Sound: The Amazon Echo (2nd gen) with Dolby processing has been fine-tuned to deliver crisp vocals with dynamic bass response. Its two-way driver design produce 360° omni-directional audio to fill any room with immersive sound. An upward-firing 0.625" tweeter delivers crisp highs, while a down-firing 2.5" woofer produces deep midbass response.
Built-In WiFi (MIMO): The Amazon Echo (2nd gen) comes ready to connect to your home's WiFi network. It features Dual-band (2.4GHz/5GHz), dual-antenna MIMO WiFi (802.11a/b/g/n) for faster streaming and fewer dropped connections than standard WiFi. It does not support connecting to ad-hoc (or peer-to-peer) WiFi.
Alexa Voice Service: When you want to use the Echo (2nd gen), simply say the wake word, "Alexa," and the Echo (2nd gen) lights up and streams audio to the cloud, where the Alexa Voice Service is leveraged to recognize and respond to your request instantly. Once you say "Alexa", the audio stream includes a fraction of a second of audio before the wake word, and closes once your question or request has been processed. Alexa (the brain behind Echo) is built in the cloud, so it is always getting smarter. The more you use Echo (2nd gen), the more it adapts to your speech patterns, vocabulary, and personal preferences.
Note: Alexa is developed to get better over time. Alexa uses your voice recordings and other information, including from third-party services, to answer your questions, fulfill your requests, and improve your experience and our services. When you set up the Echo (2nd gen) or link third-party services with Alexa, Alexa begins processing some information, such as your music playlists. You can also help Alexa improve its voice services by providing feedback within History or by using Voice Training in the Alexa App.
Far-Field Voice Recognition: Tucked under its light ring is an array of seven microphones that use beam-forming technology and enhanced noise cancellation. With far-field voice recognition, the Echo (2nd gen) can hear you ask a question from any direction - even while playing music. When you want to use Echo (2nd gen), just say the wake word "Alexa" and the Echo (2nd gen) responds instantly.
Note: You can turn the Amazon Echo's microphone off by pushing the microphone on/off button on the top of the device. When the microphone on/off button turns red, the microphone is off. The device will not respond to the wake word, nor respond to the action button, until you reactivate the microphone by pushing the microphone on/off button again.
ESP (Echo Spatial Perception): If you have more than one Echo or Echo Dot, Alexa responds intelligently from the Echo you're closest to with ESP (Echo Spatial Perception).
Note: You cannot connect multiple Alexa devices to each other and play the same requested audio at the same time.
Alexa Calling & Messaging: Now you can quickly call and send/receive voice messages for your family and friends via Alexa-all just by using your voice. You can send and receive Alexa messages, as well as place and receive Alexa calls, between Echo (2nd gen), Echo (2nd gen) Dot, Echo (2nd gen) Plus, Echo (2nd gen) Spot and Echo (2nd gen) Show, as well as the Alexa App. You can place outbound calls to most phone numbers in the United States, Canada, and Mexico using the Echo (2nd gen), Echo (2nd gen) Dot, Echo (2nd gen) Spot, Echo (2nd gen) Show and Echo (2nd gen) Plus.
- Alexa Calling & Messaging supports receiving Alexa calls only; it does not support inbound calls from phone numbers.
- You cannot call 911 and other emergency services using Alexa.
Music Apps: The Amazon Echo (2nd gen) provides hands-free voice control for Amazon Music, Pandora, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, Spotify Connect, & SiriusXM. You can also upload your personal music collection from iTunes, Google Play Music, and more to your music library on Amazon and then stream your music through your Alexa device. Simply ask for your favorite artist or song, or request a specific genre or mood. You can also search for music by lyrics, when a song or album was released, or let Alexa pick the music for you.
Note: The Amazon Echo (2nd gen) supports Spotify Connect (requires Spotify Premium subscription), which allows you to play music on the Echo (2nd gen) and use the Spotify app on your phone or tablet as a remote.
Multi-Room Music: Multi-Room Music allows you to play and control music from Amazon, Amazon Unlimited, Amazon Prime, and some other 3rd-pary music providers across multiple, compatible Echo devices at the same time. You can tell Alexa to play music across your compatible Echo devices on the same WiFi network. Tell Alexa to play jazz in the kitchen, top pop in the family room, or play the same song throughout your whole home. To stream different music on multiple devices or on more than one Multi-Room Music group at the same time, you must have an Amazon Music Unlimited Family plan.
Home Entertainment Control: Amazon Alexa now offers home entertainment skills for select multiroom audio systems - including Sonos, Heos by Denon, Bose SoundTouch, & Yamaha MusicCast (all sold separately); as well as Sony Android TVs and LG AI ThinQ TVs (sold separately). You'll be able to control key functions and features by simply using voice commands.
Smart Home: The Amazon Echo (2nd gen) works with devices such as lights, switches, thermostats, and more from WeMo, Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, Insteon, Nest, ecobbe, Wink, and more. Control multiple devices at scheduled times or with a single voice command, like locking the doors and turning off the lights when you go to bed. Some products work directly with Alexa and other smart home ecosystems require a compatible hub.
IFTTT: The Echo (2nd gen) with Alexa supports IFTTT, or "IF This, Then That," a third-party service that automates how your devices, apps, and websites work with each other through rules (or "Applets"). After you activate an Applet through the IFTTT website, Alexa can then trigger that IFTTT Applet when you interact with the Echo (2nd gen).
Note: Currently, the Echo (2nd gen) and Alexa can't be the action in an Applet. For example, you can't allow Alexa to notify you of new tweets on your Twitter account.
Amazon Prime Shopping: If you're a Prime member, Alexa has exclusive deals for you every day on everything from home goods to electronics. Amazon Prime members can ask the Echo (2nd gen) through "Alexa" to order eligible products ordered before, many Prime products, and digital music tracks and albums. Your default payment and shipping settings will be used to place your order. You can require a speakable confirmation code, turn purchasing off, and see product and order details in your Alexa App. Just like orders placed through Amazon.com, orders placed through Alexa are subject to Amazon's Conditions of Use & Privacy Notice.
News & Information: The Amazon Echo (2nd gen) with Alexa can help you stay connected to the news that matters most to you - like world & local news, traffic, weather, sports, and movie times.
Questions & Answers + Fun & Games: The Echo (2nd gen) with Alexa taps into Yelp to provide you with info on local restaurants, shops, and other businesses. It also makes a great calculator and dictionary. You can even get fast facts on all type of topics from Wikipedia. Alexa also offers funny jokes and fun games for the family.
Alexa App: With the free Alexa App on Apple iOS 9.0+, Android OS 5.0+, Fire OS, and desktop browsers, you can easily setup (including WiFi network) and manage the Echo (2nd gen) voice-activated powered speaker. The free Amazon Alexa App is a companion to your Alexa device for setup, remote control, and enhanced features. Interactions with Alexa are automatically mirrored visually on your Amazon Alexa App, providing more information as you want it. The Amazon Alexa App lets you easily manage your alarms, music, shopping lists, and more.
Skills: Skills are voice-driven capabilities that enhance the functionality of the Amazon Echo (2nd gen) with Alexa. The Echo (2nd gen) uses tens of thousands of skills and counting; new skills are being added all the time. You can search for and enable skills in the Alexa app or from the Alexa Skills store on the website. You can also see ratings and reviews to learn what other customers are saying about the thousands of skills available in the Alexa App. To use an Alexa skill, first enable the skill, and then make your request based on the example phrases shown in the app. If you know the exact name of the skill you want, you can say, "Enable [skill name] skill." Some skills may require you to link to an existing account and a separate subscription in order to use the skill.
Note: At this time, you cannot customize which content is available on specific devices. For example, music, skills, shopping lists are available on all Alexa devices registered to the same account as the content.
Bluetooth Audio Streaming: The Echo (2nd gen) is also Bluetooth-enabled (A2DP/AVRCP) and acts as a Bluetooth receiver, transmitter, or controller. Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) support provides audio streaming from your mobile device to the Amazon Echo (2nd gen), or from the Amazon Echo (2nd gen) to a Bluetooth speaker or headphone. Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP) offers voice control of connected mobile devices - like your smartphone or tablet.
Note: Hands-free voice control is not supported for Mac OS X devices. Hands-free phone communication (HFP) is not supported. Bluetooth audio streaming cannot be multiroom distributed.
Aux Input: The Echo (2nd gen) is outfitted with a 3.5mm Aux input for connecting an external audio source. The Aux input cannot be multiroom distributed.
AC Power Adapter: The Amazon Echo (2nd gen) includes an AC power adapter that will need to be plugged into an AC power outlet, surge protector, or power conditioner.
Note: The Amazon Echo (2nd gen) is not battery powered.
Auto Updates: Because the Amazon Echo (2nd gen) is always connected to the internet, updates are delivered automatically.
At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.
use with my equipment [ CLAUDIO D Jul 25, 2018 ]
Because i need something easy to use and easy to executed [ Rafael May 13, 2018 ]
It is a very good gadget [ RAMON Nov 25, 2018 ]
Now my wife can ask Alexa what the forecast is, instead of asking me! [ John Jan 01, 2018 ]
Better speaker, smaller size, choice of colors. [ John Dec 31, 2017 ]