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Amazon - Echo (2nd generation) - Smart Speaker with Alexa - Charcoal Fabric

What is Echo Amazon Echo is a hands-free speaker you control with your voice. Echo connects to the Alexa Voice Service to play music, ask questions, make calls, send and receive messages, provide information, news, sports scores, weather, and more-instantly. All you have to do is ask.

Echo is also an expertly tuned speaker that can fill any room with immersive sound. It has seven microphones and beamforming technology so it can hear you from across the room-even while music is playing. When you want to use Echo, just say the wake word "Alexa" and Echo responds instantly.

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    Overview

    What's Included


    • Amazon Echo (2nd generation)
    • Echo Shell
    • Power adapter/cable
    • Quick start guide
    • Things to Try card

    Ratings & Reviews


    Overall Customer Rating:
    98% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (2882 out of 2949)

    Included Free


    Plex - 6-Months Plex Live TV and DVR Software Access Subscription [Digital]
    Plex - 6-Months Plex Live TV and DVR Software Access Subscription [Digital]
    Plex organizes all of your movie, TV, music, and photo collections and magically streams them to all of your favorite devices, at home and on the go. With an intuitive setup, options for personalization, and tons of features including Live TV & DVR, Plex empowers you to stream smarter.(New Plex subscriptions only. Valid credit card required to enable subscription).

    This item cannot be returned or refunded, please visit to learn more.

    Features


    Voice control your music

    The 2nd generation Echo has a 2.5" down-firing woofer and 0.6" tweeter to deliver crisp vocals and dynamic bass throughout the room. You can play music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn and more.

    With Amazon Music, you can search by lyrics, time-period, or let Alexa pick the music for you. You can also listen to audiobooks from Audible, podcasts, radio stations, news briefs and more.

    Play in every room

    Want to play music on an Echo in another room? Now with multiroom music, you can tell Alexa to play across your compatible Echo devices.

    Tell Alexa to play jazz in the kitchen, top pop in the family room, or play the same song throughout your whole home.

    Voice control your home

    Use Echo to switch on the lamp before getting out of bed, turn on the coffee maker on your way to the kitchen, or dim the lights from the couch to watch a movie — all without lifting a finger.

    Ask Alexa to turn on the TV, turn up the volume, change the channel, or play your favorite movie. Echo can control your Fire TV and select devices from Sony, Dish, and Logitech.

    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.

    Echo works with lights, locks, switches, thermostats and more from WeMo, Philips Hue, SmartThings, Insteon, Nest, ecobee, and Wink.

    Hands-free calling and messaging

    With Echo, you can instantly talk to anyone hands-free — no tapping or searching required. Your contacts will see your number when they receive the call so they know who is calling.

    Additionally, you can send messages via voice or text to anyone with a supported Echo device or the Alexa app.

    Let your household know when dinner is ready, ask someone for help with a chore, or remind the kids to go to sleep — without having to raise your voice.

    With the Drop In feature enabled for room-to-room calling, instantly connect with compatible Echo devices in your home.

    Far-field voice recognition

    Tucked under the light ring is an array of seven microphones that use beamforming technology and enhanced noise cancellation.

    The 2nd generation Echo has improved wake-word performance to hear you ask a question from any direction — even in noisy environments or while playing music at loud volumes.

    When you want to use Echo, simply say the wake word, "Alexa," and Echo lights up and connects to the cloud, where the Alexa Voice Service recognizes and responds to your request instantly.

    Echo has skills

    Echo has tens of thousands of skills and counting.

    Skills add even more capabilities, such as ordering a pizza from Domino's, requesting a ride from Uber, tracking your fitness with Fitbit, controlling your TV with Dish and more. To enable new skills, just ask Alexa.

    New skills are being added all the time. You can also see ratings and reviews to learn what other customers are saying about the thousands of skills available in the Alexa app.

    Always getting smarter

    Alexa is always getting smarter - the more you use Echo, the more Alexa adapts to your speech patterns, vocabulary, and personal preferences. And because Echo is always connected, updates are delivered automatically.

    Just in the last few months we’ve added Alexa calling and messaging, multiroom music, and reminders, along with skills from third-party developers.

    Suit your style

    Customize your Echo for any room with Echo Shell, available in a range of fabrics and finishes.


    Customer rating

    Rating 4.7 out of 5 stars with 2949 reviews

    98%
    would recommend to a friend

    Expert rating

    Rating 4.1 out of 5 stars with 34 reviews

    Pros

    Cons

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      Google Vs Amazon

      Posted
      TeeDub

      I have made home automation a hobby of mine as I find the whole process fascinating. That said I have a relatively large setup in my home, including lighting, home security, streaming devices, connected tv/harmony from logitech and other devices as well. The question was Amazon Echo, or Google Home to control everything with my voice. So first just to get the basics out of the way - I give them both 4/5 stars, either one will do you right, they both are great devices and I look forward to see them develop further over time. Also they both have a nice speaker for playing music, and good microphone. If you are picking one for just music purposes, it is going to be based upon Prime vs Google Music so to each their own. That said their are certain features to each device that may push you in one direction or the other. Here is my simple pro/con break down of both. Google Home Pros: Highly customizable -It's Mobile app is great and full of features for you to configure. -This is the big one -- you can program shortcuts! One of the hardest parts of using this, is making it user friendly. You have to say specific commands for the device to know what home automation process you are trying to kick off , for example, "Hey Google, tell my harmony to turn on the tv" What a mouthful. My family found ourselves sometimes struggling to remember the EXACT command to say to turn things on or off or mute. Especially as you add more devices to it. With Google, you can create short cuts in the phone app - essentially you can Map a command to something you would say naturally. So Hey Google Mute can be mapped to Hey Google tell harmony to mute the living room tv. If you take the time to set all of this up it makes it a highly usable device. I have several Shortcuts for each command to help ensure that speaking naturally to the device will allow it to perform the correct action -You can program it to recognize different peoples voices - so if you do not want the kids to be able to mess with it, or you have different short cuts for different people, it can be a neat feature Google Voice -- you can use it to call people, Hey Google call - and a number or contact and boom. As long as its domestic it is free. Ive used it to find my lost phone as well as place a call while I was working in the kitchen and my hands were tied up. If you use gmail/google Calendar, it can integrate into your calendar - ( this is one area where the voice recognition is nice, if more than one in the house hold is using it with their calendar) Cons: The lights on the top are a lot harder to see than the Echo ring. Sometimes I have had to repeat myself because it didn't catch my hey google and I wasn't aware until 3 seconds of akward silence. That highly customizable pro? Can also be a con - it can be customized so much, it leads to occasional buggines, or confusion It does not integrate to as many things , or have as many skills as the Echo, for me this has not been an issue, but Amazon seems to be ahead of the curve on playing well with others. *If you have Youtube TV for you cord cutters out their - with the correct device, the Google Home works GREAT at navigating live TV -- Hey google put on ESPN, Hey Google, put on CBS - My kids love it because they can put on the cartoon network and not need to figure out the remote. I love it just beacuse its cool. Amazon Echo Pros: -Easy to Use and to setup- the skills are easy to setup, the app is really straight forward. You do not need to be a tech savy person to do most of the basics on the Echo. -Ring on top lights up nice and bright when Alexa hears you. - Reponses to questions are much more natural and feel warmer from the Echo, The Google Home tends to ramble on and tell you non sense you didnt care about -Lots of extra devices that can all work together - We have the Spot in our bedroom as an alarm clock, it also can act as an intercom -It integrates with Skills to SO many products , you can have a security camera feed brought up on your Fire TV , or Show if you have one, really cool stuff Cons - -Not customizable for triggers -- You need to know what to say, and how to say it. Thats easy when its the simple stuff, but even things as simple as does she want turn on the living room tv or turn on THE living room tv, can be the difference between it working and not. If your goal is to have your family use it to, it needs to work, and work well, or they will just give up quickly. - Has a tendency to think it hears its wake word, and will answer questions you did not ask, or tell you she did not understand what you were asking. Creepy. * If you use a fire TV and you want to control your firetv - DO NOT GET THE GOOGLE HOME -- these two companies have made a cognizant decision not to play nice in the sandbox for the time being - so do not even bother. That is not to be said though of the Android devices. The Echo seems to do just fine talking to those. I personally am using both, Google for most of my home automation around lights, and thermostate, turning devices on and off, but use the Echo for hows the weather tomorrow and my Prime music Catalogue.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      Great product but with some limitations

      Posted
      str8gone

      The new Amazon Echo is smaller in height than the original but boasts the same 2" woofer with a slightly smaller tweeter. By slightly I mean by 2 millimeters. I have had the new one for a couple of hours now and from my observation the sound quality is much better. With the release of this newer version comes a few abilities that the original was lacking. For me the biggest improvement is the ability to stream music to all echo devices simultaneously. I have 1 original echo and 3 dots scattered throughout my house. And I can tell you that the sync in music between them is perfect. Even when you ask one a question it will quiet the music on that one echo while the rest play at regular volume. The other thing is now you can train the echo to know different people's voices in your household. Before my wife would have to switch to her amazon account to get her work traffic info. This is no longer the case. The last improvement is the ability to have 'routines'. You can setup a trigger command and have Alexa execute a series of different things. While great in theory this could really use improvement. Basic phrases like "Alexa, good night" or "Alexa, good morning" will trigger the desired actions. When I tried to create one that was "Alexa, Good Bye" she said she couldn't execute that. Which is a huge miss on Amazon's part. I would use that phrase to turn on/off specific lights in my house and change the thermostat. Instead I have to say "Alexa, I'm heading out". While not a big difference in verbiage but who really says that? I also found many of the custom phrases I wanted to make wouldn't work either. For a device that can understand human speech she couldn't execute the command "Alexa, I am leaving in five minutes". Which I wanted to use to tell me the traffic on my commute to work. Overall I like the device and it can only get better in time but I feel that some of the new features were rolled out before they did a lot of beta testing.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      Fun & complicated

      Posted
      Kerri
      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

      I actually really like the concept of the product. It is fun just to play around with, but difficult to operate, which I'll go into detail about later. I recommend the echo plus over the echo, if you don't already have one. The built-in hub on the echo plus isn't necessary, unless you plan on buying one smart light bulb are a time because the packs come with a hub free (an echo dot is sufficient and cheaper). I bought the echo for my teenage son to stream on. The speaker quality is great for music and can be increased fairly loud without distortion. Now for the difficulty with operating. For starters, your echo doesn't have many bells and whistles prepackaged. You have to search skills, which are kind of like apps or lessons to teach Alexa. There are many different skills you can teach Alexa, so make sure you have time to look through them. Now you've taught Alexa skills, but for every skill you must remember how to communicate exactly as instructed on the skill page or Alexa will not understand (e.g. "Alexa, tell to perform such and such task). If you don't remember the phrases to get Alexa to perform the skill you can always look through your app and under skills to find directions. Who will remember all the specific wording for each skill? Plus, the whole point in speaking to Alexa is that it's hands-free, so looking at the app for directions isn't convenient. It gets very frustrating if you don't have the Alexa app handy. Next, if you plan on controlling plugs or lights with Alexa you have to download apps from the manufacturer. Your now cluttered phone is even more cluttered and you don't speak the same language as Alexa. She also has difficulty understanding a lot of questions and you have to rephrase them several times for her to give you any answer. I love, love, love the functions I can remember the wording for Alexa to perform the task. There are so many things Alexa can do that listing them would make this review entirely too long. I will list my favorites and most useful to me. Turns on lights or plugs. Groups lights, traffic report, weather, and many other functions together to be performed with one command (e.g. "Alexa, good morning"). Orders pizza. Tells jokes. Gives answers to questions you have. Controls TV. Sends messages and makes calls. Adds things to grocery lists. Sets reminders so you won't forget things. Adds appointments to your phone or email linked calendar. Helps kids with homework. Plays games for adults and kids.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      Great speaker for all consumers

      Posted
      Andre

      Amazon Echo The Amazon Echo is a great device with many benefits that can improve everyone’s day to day life, and only has a few minor drawbacks that does not take away much from the quality of the product. The Echo is useful for anyone who wants to initiate music, catch up on news headlines, and find out the weather for the day from simply speaking to the device. Within this review I hope to highlight the many benefits and few drawbacks so that you can make a smart purpose. The criteria for my judgement is as follows: Compatibility: The Amazon Echo is compatible with just about any device. Through the use of Bluetooth, both Apple and Android phones can connect to the speaker. There is also a 3.5 mm audio output for auxiliary chords to plug into in case the bluetooth is not working. All of these features and wide varieties of devices that are compatible with the Echo make this product available for almost all consumers. Convenience: Even though the positive attributes of the Echo outweigh the negatives, the convenience of the product is the only topic that you will find drawbacks in. The Echo is 3.5 in. wide by 5.5 in. tall, making it easy to transport around. Although it is easy to carry around, you still need internet connection to use a majority of the features. If internet connection is nonexistent, the Amazon Echo will not be very convenient for your needs. Sound Quality: Although the sound quality has not always been the best for the Echo, it has improved tremendously. The Echo being sold now is the second generation, which improved the whole device. With the new generation you will experience flawless sound flowing out of the speaker. The new generation of the product is arguably one of the cleanest sounding speakers on the market and you will never second guess the sound quality. Durability: The durability of this product is top notch. I can think of numerous times that the speaker has been knocked over, and fallen off of elevated surfaces, and came out without even a scratch on it. When you pick up the product you can feel the durability. It feels hard as a brick, and the outer shell of the Echo provides an extra layer of protection to absorb falls from raised surfaces. Rating When considering all of the different areas of the product, the benefits out number the drawbacks by a long shot. For a reasonable price of $89.99, the Amazon Echo can be all yours. It will cover many needs that you may not even realize you have! If the price is too high, you can consider getting one of the smaller Echo speakers for a lesser price, but you will be sacrificing quality for the price. Overall I would rate this product a 4/5 stars.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Easy to use quality speaker

      Posted
      willschmitz

      I purchased my Echo first generation on Amazon Prime Day last year, so it was a fantastic deal. The Echo’s ease of use and low maintenance makes it a great product for all ages of users. The Amazon Alexa app takes you step by step during set up to make it quick and simple. I don’t have any other smart products to connect my Echo to, but I have heard from other users it makes Echo even better. Pros: My main use for the Echo is to use it as a speaker and it works perfectly! The ability to connect it to my Spotify, Pandora, and my phone allows me the ability to play essentially any song and listen to all of my favorite podcasts. For a small speaker Echo provides crisp audio that is surprisingly loud. Its maximum volume is plenty for parties at my apartment; I have no need for a blaring speaker. Another tool I use frequently is the drop-in feature. This allows you to call your contacts that also have Amazon speakers. It is easy to get a hold of my friends quickly when making split decisions. A great example is I can drop-in on my friend’s apartment to let them know I’m going to grab food off campus and ask if they want to join. Skills are features that are available for download to enhance the Echo experience, some of my favorites are Jeopardy, Song Quiz, MLB At Bat, and essentials like Weather. The quiz games are fun ways to kill time and MLB At Bat allows me to listen to all Mets radio broadcasts. Cons: Alexa can be pretty hit or miss when picking up your voice. It is important to be loud and clear when speaking to Alexa. I wish there would be a larger variety of skills, although each day it seems like they are adding more which is a promising sign. If you are looking for a large speaker to play at big parties I wouldn’t suggest relying on an Echo, but it works great for 10-20 people in one room. I purchased mine on Prime Day which helped lower the cost, but otherwise it is fairly expensive. Overall: Echo is by far my favorite speaker I have purchased. The ability to connect to other smart products in the future will only make it better! I believe the connectivity and ease of use make it worth the price. Be on the lookout for deals because Amazon always seems to have them on the Echo. Overall, the Echo is a great product to have in any household and I use it every single day.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

      Extremely Disappointed

      Posted
      Chris
      • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

      Wow, where do I begin? I LOVED my Amazon Echo 1st Generation. Sound quality was great, it was incredibly responsive and accurate. I was super excited for the 2nd generation. I don't know how this got passed Amazon's quality control. First and most important, the sound quality is much worse than the Echo 1. They are not even comparable. The 2nd generation sounds really muffled. I know its a smaller tweeter, but this sounds much worse. I played the two models side by side and there's no comparison. The Echo 1 sounds WAY better. Second, for whatever reason, the Echo 2 does not respond as fast as the Echo 1, if it responds at all. I've never had an issue with the Echo 1 not playing music, nor has there been much of a delay in response. The Echo 2 is incredibly slow and often does not complete my command. I'll ask it to play a song. Alexa says "Playing The Beatles." No music plays. Its not the volume because I heard Alexa respond. I even tried some trouble shooting techniques with no prevail. I hope this is just a bad batch and the Echo 2 gets better. If you don't believe me, check Amazon's user reviews on their website. This is really disappointing for an Amazon product and I will be returning this to Best Buy this weekend.

      No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      We're enjoying it

      Posted
      BBFan
      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      This was our entry point into IoT/smart home devices. So far we're enjoying it. Not perfect, but it's still early in the game for voice-activated devices. Setup was relatively straight-forward. Not a huge fan of the Alexa app, but that's a separate review, I suppose. For the uninitiated, you'll find out that you'll spend quite a bit of time in the app even though this is a voice user-interface device. For example, we have about 35 skills enabled after just over 7 weeks of playing with the devices. It's getting a bit difficult to remember the commands for launching different skills. Ultimately, you'll likely need to refer to the skills list for reminders. I'm surprised how much we use lists, reminders and alarms. If your reminder descriptions are difficult for Alexa to sort out, you'll also find yourself going into the app to edit the reminder. Alexa skills that run the gamut - some good (math skills practice, surf report checker, and interactive storytelling skills), some excellent (link to smart devices, streaming content like TED Talks/The Daily/NPR) and all lot not worth even mentioning. One thing we've had a tricky time getting set up is to get Alexa control of our Fire TV. It's been a couple months and a couple failed attempts. There's plenty of documentation online about how to do this, but we just haven't had any luck. I suspect this is mostly user error, but it would be great if 'it just worked' since they are both Amazon products.... honestly this is a relatively minor niggle. Of course, the whole privacy issue lingers in the back of my mind but there's not a lot you can do at this point unless you want to wait on the sidelines for the market to mature. Fingers crossed Amazon and the other smart device companies to do their part.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      So happy I got a second!

      Posted
      LittleAVguy
      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      Earlier in the year I picked up one of these for my kitchen to replace an Echo Dot that just didn't do a very good job of actually playing music. I was so happy with that purchase that I picked up a second for my home office when they went on sale again. Let me be clear- this is not an audiophile level of audio quality, but it is light years better than the dot, and I would say that it is good enough for any casual background music use. I have heard the Sonos speaker that is right about the same size and I would say that this Echo is just as good for 90-99% of usage, though it cannot match the more expensive speaker's clarity at high volume. But this isn't just a speaker, it is an Alexa powered SMART speaker. I am pretty much all in with a Tap, Dots, Echos, lighting controls etc...o I really like the features available with the Alexa ecosystem. Sure, my son really gets a kick out of corny jokes and asking for rude noises, but I am still learning new ways to put the system to use for hands free control, intercoms, phone calls and yes, even listening to music. Since I have adopted the system I have seen a maturation of the interface with far fewer instances of "odd" behavior or false readings from the speakers. Sure, they are in my home and listening to me all the time, but for some reason that doesn't bother me at all.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    What experts are saying

    Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars with 34 reviews

    Click to visit alaTest website
    Using an algorithm based on product age, reviewers ratings history, popularity, product category expertise and other factors, this product gets an alaTest Expert Rating of 80/100 = Very good quality.
    • Pocket-lint (UK)Rating, 3.5 out of 5Chris Hall on September 20, 2018
      Amazon Echo review: The best way to experience Alexa?
      If you want to dip your toe into the world of Alexa, the Echo might seem like the obvious choice. However, with the Plus better for music and the ShowFull Review
    • PCMagRating, 4.5 out of 5Sascha Segan on June 26, 2018
      Amazon Echo (2017)
      The Amazon Echo is a great-looking, affordable smart speaker with the best voice assistant technology.Full Review
    • cnet.co.ukDavid Carnoy on May 23, 2018
      Amazon Echo gets iOS app
      It's still hard to get Amazon's new voice-activated, cloud-connected Echo wireless speaker, but the company's now released an iOS app for iPhone and iPad users.Full Review
    • Alphr (UK)Rating, 5 out of 5Alan Martin on April 30, 2018
      Amazon Echo 2 review: Amazon's smaller, cheaper Echo
      The second coming of Echo is more of the same but smallerFull Review
    • techguide.com.auRating, 4.5 out of 5Stephen Fenech on April 26, 2018
      Amazon Echo Spot smart speaker review - all the power of Alexa and now with a display
      Amazon has been busy releasing its new range of Echo speakers and it's at it again with the launch of its latest creation – the Echo Spot – which includes a small circular screen so you can see as well as hear the information. The orb-shapedFull Review
    • Trusted Reviews (UK)Rating, 4.5 out of 5David Ludlow on January 29, 2018
      Amazon Echo (2017)
      Everything you loved about the original in a smaller, cheaper package.Full Review
    • soundandvision.comLeslie Shapiro on December 18, 2017
      Review: Amazon Echo 2nd Gen with Updated Audio
      The new Echo is shorter than the original Echo, and is certainly more style-conscious. It is available with a variety of fabric and wood sleeves, so you can match the decor throughout the house — the coverings are easy to slip on and off. TheFull Review
    • which.co.ukDecember 8, 2017
      Amazon Echo (2nd Gen) review
      Arguably the biggest speaker release of the year, is the Amazon Echo (2nd Gen) voice-controlled speaker a worthy successor to last year's revolutionary Echo? And, have they paid attention to improving the sound? We reveal all in our full review.Full Review




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