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

Customer rating

Rating 4.7 out of 5 stars with 4915 reviews

98%
would recommend to a friend

Expert rating

Rating 4.2 out of 5 stars with 28 reviews

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  • 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

    A great smart speaker with good sound quality

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

    Amazon's Echo speakers have come a long way since they were initially introduced. I wasn't a fan of the original Echo, Echo Dot, or 2nd generation Echo Dot speakers. I thought their audio quality was subpar for the price (and just outright bad as in the case with the 1st and 2nd gen Dots), heavy reliance on Bluetooth for audio playback defeated the purpose, and thought the larger Echo was nothing more than a glorified speaker for a home assistant. I had a couple of 2nd gen Dots mainly to control Alexa but focused on Alexa-enabled speakers from other brands. Not only did they have better sound quality but they were better built and had more features. Fast forward to today and things have changed. The 2nd gen Echo still isn't going to compete with a Sonos One but it has vastly improved to the point where I actually don't mind it for listening to music. Content isn't flat, there's a surprising amount of bass for how small the speaker is, and Amazon has improved Alexa's ability to hear me even when content is playing. I have since replaced my Dots all with 2nd gen Echo's and have not been disappointed. I am a Prime member and was mainly using Prime Music, the free music service offered to Prime members, for my music needs at home. It was enough to get me through a party, hosting dinner guests, or taking a shower (I have an Echo in my bathroom). I then tried Amazon Music Unlimited, I signed up for the free trial where 3 months were only $1. I like Amazon's music service except for one thing: I can't upload my own missing files. Amazon Music Unlimited is missing entire albums from some of my favorite bands and one of them doesn't even offer their content digitally (Tool). With Google Music or Apple Music, I can upload my own mp3 files which comes in handy to fill in the gaps of streaming services. Amazon used to let you do this but they don't anymore. Then Apple opened up Apple Music and now the Echo speakers work with it. Amazon is working on adding Apple Music to other Alexa-enabled speakers but, for right now, it only works on Echo speakers made by Amazon. Either way, it has made my music experience better. Things still aren't perfect. For example, I can't say "Alexa, shuffle my Best of Ghost playlist." Alexa will play my Best of Ghost playlist on Apple Music but it won't shuffle. Instead, I have to say "Alexa, play my Best of Ghost playlist" and then "Alexa, shuffle." That's how it works with Spotify, Tidal, and Deezer as well. However, with Amazon Music Unlimited, I can actually say "Alexa, shuffle my Best of Ghost playlist" and it will work just fine. Alexa also won't work with smart playlists. I have Apple Music setup to put songs I give a heart to in a playlist automatically for me, I call it my "Best of" playlist. Echo speakers won't see it. I also have other playlists called "Best of Ghost," "Best of ..." where I setup smart playlists to gather songs from specific bands that I give a heart to. Alexa doesn't see those as well. You also can't control where Apple Music is playing unless it's on other Alexa speakers, Sonos control hasn't been released. So it's not perfect but it's something. Apple Music sounds good coming from the 2nd gen Echo. It's not as good as my Sonos One but I'm ok with that given that the 2nd gen Echo takes up about half the space of a Sonos One. It blends in easier and does the job. I like that I can tell Alexa which Echo speaker to play Apple Music on though grouping speakers together is a bit of a pain. Unlike with my 2nd gen Dots, Alexa always hears every command. I can have music playing at 8/10 and Alexa picks up my voice just fine. I don't have to repeat commands like I did before and the blue light sits there blinking a lot less after a command is given. Aside from better integrating Apple Music, I wish Amazon offered a more rugged version of the 2nd gen Echo with a built-in battery. I would love to take one of these in my backyard and put it by my grill, on my table, or maybe out next to a pool. There are 3rd party batteries and even Alexa-enabled speakers (such as the UE Blast/Megablast) but the batteries don't do anything for making the Echo more rugged and the Alexa-enabled speakers don't work with Apple Music (yet). I also think it's time Amazon added a small display to these. Nothing much, just a small 2"X2" LCD panel that cycles through the time and date, whether, shows the album art of music that's playing, etc. That would give them an advantage over Google and make the Echo products even more premium. I'm not saying the display needs a camera paired with it or that things need to be like they are with the Echo Spot and Echo Show but something along the lines of what Bose has done with their new speaker, just smaller and in an Echo device that's not $300. Other than that, I think the 2nd gen Echo is a vast improvement. It's sound quality is even better than the older, larger Echo speakers and the far-field microphones are even better. I highly recommend this for anyone who wants to start a whole-home audio system but doesn't feel like paying the high prices of Bose and Sonos. Yes, those will be better products but they should be for $200+. For the price, the 2nd gen. Echo sounds more than serviceable and will definitely get the job done.

    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 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: 1 out of 5 stars

    Dangerous Tech

    Posted
    Nick
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    Build quality 10/10 Voice recognition 9/10 Sound quality 9/10 Smart assistant skills, if it were possible on a one to ten scale it should be in the negative, my problem with Alexa as a smart assistant and the devices she’s enabled on is not the tech, but rather the way Alexa as an artificial intelligence fails to implement basic features to cater to her users wellbeing, after simulating calls of distress using her wake word then saying phrases such as “I think someone just broke into my house” she gives replies showing she’s not actually made to help simply saying “hmm I don’t know that one”... it’s the response she gives when she’s not programmed to recognize something, but as a smart assistant who is listening with an active microphone 24/7 if she’s not listening with the intent of keeping you safe, what is she listening for? Obviously her wake word so that you can give her a command because she’s not allowed to record anything until she has been activated... if that’s the case then explain the articles online of people who had transcripts of entire conversations sent to complete strangers over the Internet, even though she or her wake word were never even referenced. A simple test of asking her what she was made for results in a description ending with the line “I was made to be useful” but when you ask her what it means to be useful she gives the same “hmm I don’t know that one” If you’re ok with knowing that you’re paying for a device that has the ability to send anything it hears to anyone it thinks it should at any time it thinks it needs to then buy some of these and have some of the best smart home devices out right now, but if you have half a care of self interest, save your money and your privacy and wait till we see all of the side effects of what these things can do. -Nick Hohmann Ex Alexa user

    No, I would not 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

    For the money, surprisingly good sound

    Posted
    Phil123
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    I already own 3 Echo Dots (2nd generation, all bought when they were on sale) that are connected to speakers or audio systems because the sound quality of the Dot’s speaker isn’t good enough for music. I recently bought the newest Dot (also on sale) and the sound quality was good enough for short sessions of casual listening but still not great. But it is good enough that I decided to try the Echo. And I’m glad I did. Considering the size and price of this smart speaker, the sound was a pleasant surprise. Of course it’s not as full as a multi-speaker sound system, but it’s a lot faster to tell Alexa to play Spotify, Sirius, or Audible and get immediate results. The bass response is strong enough to make the table vibrate (you can’t see or hear the vibration, but you can feel it). Yes, the bass can sound somewhat muddy or restricted at times, but it’s not bad enough to bother me. It’s a trade-off of convenience and audio quality. The high end is quite good as long as you don’t crank the volume to the very highest level. Depending on the music, that can get a little harsh. But the clarity overall is pretty good for midrange and high end. Remember, it’s a very small speaker and it’s not very expensive. It is not an audiophile speaker and it doesn’t claim to be. And unlike a Bluetooth speaker, it doesn’t rely on your phone, though you can use your phone to control the content you stream (such as Spotify). Echo devices support Apple Music now, but support and controlling the music is quite limited compared to Spotify. You have to do it all with voice commands. Hopefully Apple and Amazon will work on improving the integration of Apple Music. It supports all the services that any Echo device does and the microphones are good enough that they can hear you from across a room even if the speaker is playing music, or if your TV is on. For the money, and considering everything it does besides just playing music, I think this is a great speaker.

    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: 4 out of 5 stars

    Better than I expected

    Posted
    DJ11001
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    Picked up a pair of the Echos during the Holidays when they were on sale for $69 a piece. I wasn't expecting to be that impressed, as I already own 2 UE Megabooms that in my opinion sound great, but serve a different purpose, as they are wireless. The one thing to keep in mind with the Echo, is that it is not a wireless speaker. Once you plug it in, you need to leave it plugged in as there is no internal battery to charge. Not a big deal, but one still worth noting. Needless to say, once you get the speaker(s) where you want them, setting up a multi-room speaker group was the next task I took on. It took me a little while to figure it out. The Alexa app walks you through the process, but it's a little tricky to get the speakers to sync up at first. I suggest checking out a youtube video for the best way to do this, as the Alexa app gives you limited support for this process. After the speakers were setup, I must say, I am pleasantly surprised at the volume and richness of the sound that these little speakers put out. These are no SONOS speakers, but for the money, especially at $69, they are well worth it. The Alexa app adds features that come in handy such as being able to tell you weather, setting an alarm to wake you up to a specific song if you so desire. The bass these speakers give off seem to be perfectly balanced. One trick I have discovered to help make the bass sound a little stronger, is to place the speaker near the corner of a wall, on a desk or countertop. It seems to help reverb the sound off the walls and does create a slightly different effect which makes the bass seem a little more powerful. Not by a ton, but enough to notice. If you are looking for an affordable way to get into the whole house sound game, I highly recommend these speakers. In my house, we have 2 Echos that are paired with 2 Echo dots, which allow me to play the same music simultaneously in 4 rooms of our house. I also forgot to mention that you can use these speakers as an intercom in your house as well, which is a pretty cool feature.

    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

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Great start to making a Smart Home!!

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

    Bought this a week ago, my wife and I have been wanting to try out how to make our home be part smart. After seeing a relative give us a demo of their Echo Alexa in their house, both of us were impressed!. Now we are going to purchase smart plugs and maybe upgrade some of our light switches to connect with Alexa now and really get the ball going with this unit. My only minor complaint is, sure I have read that Amazon has slowly brought other streaming services for Alexa to access, however my wife and I using iTunes it is still not fully accessible (or needs a bit of a workaround), for Alexa to play from what we have been trying to do (in our case since we have Bluetooth speakers already we will be solely using it to control outlets, switches, and access Amazon shopping). BUT if anyone has had no problems with doing that, Amazon should work more on this area so that it is fully seamless, at best still a work in progress!! OVERALL though great unit has growing features and capabilities up and coming, setup was easy to follow no problems. We're finally getting our home to plug into the "Smart Home Age"!!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Useful device depending on your needs

    Posted
    RLB64
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    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. Pros: My main use for the Echo is to use it as a speaker and it works perfectly! The ability to connect it to use music apps or your phone allows the ability to play essentially any song. For a small speaker Echo provides crisp audio that is surprisingly loud. Its maximum volume is plenty. I have no need for a blaring speaker. Another feature, is the drop-in feature. This allows you to call your contacts that also have Amazon speakers. One of the best skills is making sounds overnight (like fans or relaxing sounds) which can help with relaxing and sleeping. Cons: Sometimes 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.I purchased on sale which helped lower the cost, but otherwise it is fairly expensive.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Smart and handy

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

    When Amazon introduced the first Echo Dot (the small hockey puck shaped version of the Echo), I picked one up used it to start my journey into making my home a "smart" home. The Echo easily ties into and controls smart outlets (Alexa, turn off the Christmas lights. OK), the temperature (Alexa, increase the temperature to 72, OK), or control the lawn irrigation system, tell me if the garage door is open, etc. I like music, and this Echo provides better sound quality compared to the original Echo Dot that I have. (Alexa, play soothing background music. OK, here is a playlist of background music). The ability to provide info and settle arguments is another plus. (Alexa, who won the Super Bowl last year. The Philadelphia Eagles defeated the New England Patriots 41 to 33 in Super Bowl 52.) The Echo is easy to set up and connect to your home Wi-Fi via the Alexa app. I think every home with a Wi-Fi internet connection should have a smart speaker, and my experience is the Echo is a perfect choice.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Nice addition to the home

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

    I’ve been hesitant to get an echo but my doctor who likes to talk about gadgets after our visit convinced me for the price of an echo dot for 39.00 it’s worth getting for all the assistance you’ll get. I found the speaker in the echo dot not loud enough so when the echo 2nd generation went on sale a few days after getting the Dot I decided to at least check it out. The sound from music and radio shows is just amazing. It sounds so clear and loud it’s almost like having a Bose speaker. I kept the Echo Dot and put it in the bedroom so I have access to it as well. I only paid 20.00 for the Dot at Best Buy redeeming rewards and a gift card. There is so much the echo does and I have it setup so in the morning I say good morning and I get the weather and news from various sources and then it plays my favorite music channel, Pandora. You can ask Alexa anything and you’ll be surprised with the information you’ll get. She’ll even tell a joke or a story if you’re looking for something to get you thru the day. She can even sing a song or rap. It’s like having your own personal assistant. I guess that’s what the device is after all. Highly recommend one.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Love it and the drop-in feature

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

    Got this when they were on sale for buying multiple. The price point was awesome. I love being able to tell it what I want to listen to and having music start. I have started adding other smart items to the home as well. The ability to control lamps with my voice is fun. Controlling them remotely to mess with my wife is even better. I have purchased wifi plugs from different companies and Alexa has had no problems adapting to all of them. The sound on this is good but not mind blowing. It definitely doesn't compete with speakers intended only to be speakers but for the size it produces good sound. It has a decent amount of bass. It gets fairly loud. I wish there was a way to control some of the audio settings but who knows what functionality they will add down the line. Drop in is also a nice feature. Having different Alexa/Echo devices around the house has essentially created an intercom system. Add in the fact that you can drop in using your phone from outside the house and you've just created a way for your kids to contact you without needing a phone themselves.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Oh Alexa, Alexa!!!

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

    This has to be one of my favorite purchases in the last 6 months easily. This Amazon Echo is unbelievable. I'm glad I made this purchase. Alexa is better than I expected her to be. Much better than other voice assistants around. She smart and can be unpredictable at times. The Alexa companion app is also useful and helps you get and stay connected to WiFi. Alexa skills are somewhat leaps and bounds ahead of other competitors currently in the Voice Assistant market. All you have to do is just ask Alexa (which the code word can be changed in the settings of the companion app) anything and she's right there to help. The Amazon Echo is also an amazing bluetooth speaker. Even while being used as a speaker, Alexa is only a call away just by saying her name. And speaking of calls, you can sync you contacts with the Echo and it will call anyone on your contact list. At the moment the possibilities are endless with the Amazon Echo and I'm glad I purchased it when I did, especially at the price I got it for. I would recommend anyone that's wanting to get into the smart home entry, this is an easy way to get into the smart home industry.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Starting basic!

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

    I got my daughter a Google Home for Christmas and thought it was pretty cool. She took it back to college so the wife and I were thinking about getting one. We have Amazon Prime so the Echo and Alexa works better for us as we have Prime Music and all the Prime stuff already. Love the cloth design of this Echo. It sounds very good and responds extremely well to all commands. We are still discovering all the things she can do which is fun. We have not added any smart home functions or other Echos or Dots so we are basic users. It was extremely easy to hook up to our Sprint Warp home hotspot. A previously bought Sonos One would not hook up to our home internet and had to be returned. I'm sure this Echo does not sound as good as the Sonos but it works! We are a huge Apple family and would be interested in the HomePod but one thing we don't have it Apple Music since Prime Music is free with Prime. An addition of a HomePod in the future could be interesting but for now we are very happy with Alexa and this Echo.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Depends on who you are.

    Posted
    Carlson275
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    These are hard to review because so much of what separates this from a dot, is audio performance. If you just want to use your voice to control devices, get a dot. If you want affordable multiroom audio or voice control, get a dot. If you have speakers you want to connect via aux cord or bluetooth then get a dot. Or if you want a cheap intercom system, get a dot. But if you dont have other speakers, or if you have extra money, then get this echo to upgrade your musical proformance. They dont sound like bose or other high end portable speakers, but they dont cost as much either. I love these echos cause i have one for bedroom and other in kitchen where we want better sound proformance but dont need a stereo system. I have a dot in laundry room, a dot in living room paired to my stereo, and dot in living room paired to a bose. Gives us whole house audio.

    I would recommend this to a friend