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Amazon Echo (2nd Generation)

Voice-activated speaker with Alexa virtual assistant (Heather Grey Fabric)

7 Reviews

Overview

Our take on the Amazon Echo (2nd Generation)

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.

Amazon Echo

Amazon designed the next-gen Echo (pictured in Sandstone) to fit in better with your furnishings.

Alexa voice-control from a restyled speaker

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.

Call out your song requests

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.

How to get better sound from your Echo

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.

Alexa blue light

On the top panel, you'll find optional touch controls and Alexa's responsive blue light.

Have a Sonos system in your house?

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."

Hands-free control over smart devices

But it's not only about music. Alexa can control smart home lights, switches, and thermostats from companies like WemoPhilips HueSamsung SmartThingsNest, and more. You set everything up with the Alexa app, a free download for your Fire OS, Android™, or Apple® device.

Always getting smarter

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.

Product Highlights:

  • powered wireless speaker that connects to your home Wi-Fi® network
  • stream music, perform tasks, and control compatible smart devices with your voice
    • use the word "Alexa" to start a voice-activated command
  • low-profile design to fit into your furnishings
  • array of seven built-in microphones picks up voice commands from all directions
  • Dolby processing for full 360° sound
  • dual speaker design:
    • 2-1/2" down-firing woofer with reflex port
    • 5/8" up-firing tweeter
  • 2-way Bluetooth for wireless music streaming and transmitting
    • send audio wirelessly to a Bluetooth-enabled stereo or speaker
Alexa Voice Control:
  • "Voice profile" recognizes different voices for personalized answers
    • each person can sync their calendar, news preferences, and Amazon Music profile to their voice
  • make hands-free calls and dictate messages
  • wirelessly stream from Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn, IHeartRadio, Amazon Music, and other online music services
    • multiple Amazon Alexa devices can be grouped together so you can play the same song in every room
  • free Alexa App is compatible with Fire OS, Android, and iOS devices and also accessible via your web browser
  • access to Alexa skills, such as news updates, weather reports, smart home commands, and more
General Info and Specs:
  • must be connected to Wi-Fi for Alexa voice control
  • microphone mute button lets you choose when Alexa is listening
  • +/- buttons let you control volume manually
  • 3.5mm stereo input for connecting a portable music player
  • requires AC power (power cord included)
  • 3-1/2"W x 5-7/8"H x 3-1/2"D
  • weight: 1.8 lbs.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Voice-activated powered speaker
  • AC power adapter (attached 69" DC cord)
  • Quick Start Guide
  • "Ask Alexa" booklet

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.

Tim, Mechanicsvlle, VA

Reviews

Amazon Echo (2nd Generation) Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(7 Reviews)

Amazon Echo (2nd Generation)

Tim from Mechanicsvlle, VA on 2/20/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

Amazon Echo

Linda from Tulsa, OK on 1/16/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

Amazon Echo (2nd Generation)

Anonymous from Lewes, DE on 1/13/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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.

Pros:

Cons:

Amazon Echo (2nd Generation)

Anonymous from Palmyra, MO on 1/1/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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.

Cons:

Amazon Echo (2nd Generation)

Anonymous from Lynchburg, TN on 12/31/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great product

Pros:

Cons:

Simple intergration

Marty from Oklahoma City, OK on 12/27/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

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

Amazon Echo (2nd Generation)

Anonymous from Bothell, WA on 12/24/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

It's great to have Alexa as part of my household. The speaker has good quality sound. No complains at all!

Pros:

Cons:

Accessories
Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

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 ]
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