Amazon’s clearly tapped into an alluring idea with the Echo, and even though the company won’t admit how many it’s sold so far, by all accounts it’s a successful product. In light of that, the latest version doesn’t rock the boat too much. It doesn’t improve the Echo’s rather poor audio quality, nor does it introduce any new, groundbreaking features. It just does the same things in a smaller, cheaper design. That’s enough to keep Amazon ahead of its competitors, which are all a step or two behind the Echo line-up. In all honesty, Amazon really didn’t have to do much to the Echo to make it more appealing. It just had to make it less expensive, which is exactly what Amazon did here. The real product Amazon is selling is Alexa, and for an in-home virtual assistant, Alexa is very good. And if you want the best way to use Alexa, the new Echo is it.
- Echo connects to Alexa to play music, read the news, set alarms and timers, answer questions, control compatible smart home devices, and more.
- Just ask for a song, artist, or genre from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, SiriusXM, and more. With multi-room music, you can play music on compatible Echo devices in different rooms. Echo can also play Audible audiobooks, radio stations, news briefs, and more.
- Powerful speakers with Dolby technology play 360° audio with clear vocals and dynamic bass response. You can also use your voice to adjust equalizer settings or pair with another Echo (2nd Gen) for stereo sound.
- Call and message almost anyone hands-free. Instantly drop in on other rooms in your home or make an announcement to every room with a compatible Echo device.
- With seven microphones, beamforming technology, and noise cancellation, Echo hears you from any direction—even while music is playing.
- Use your voice to turn on lights, adjust thermostats, lock doors, find TV shows, and do more with compatible connected devices.
- Alexa is always getting smarter and adding new skills like tracking fitness, playing games, and more.