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Amazon - Echo Dot (2nd generation) - Smart Speaker with Alexa - Black-Front_Standard

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Rating 4.7 out of 5 stars with 29701 reviews

97%
would recommend to a friend

Customer ratings & reviews

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  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Nice

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

    I have met the future and her name is Alexa. Most of us know Amazon for their great Amazon Prime shopping feature. I mean who doesn’t love free two-day shipping. However, today I’ll be talking about Amazon’s foray into the future of voice activated technology. The Amazon Echo Dot. Specifically the second generation model. Due to the success of the first model and competition from Google Home, Amazon introduced the second – gen Amazon Echo Dot back in October of 2016. What is the Echo Dot? Simply, it’s a hands-free, voice-activated small device with a built – in speaker. Dot can do all kinds of cool things, it can play music, provide information, news, sports scores, weather and more – instantly. In the Box: Packaging for the Dot is as simple as the device itself. Inside you get the Dot, a power adapter (9watt), a USB charging cable and basic instructions for setting up your new Echo Dot. Setup for the Dot couldn’t be easier. Just download the free Alexa app which is available for Fire OS, Android, IOS and desktop browsers. Once that’s done, open the app and follow the instructions to connect Dot to your Wifi network. Now you’re ready to say hello to Alexa. Alexa is actually one of four “wake” words you can use to activate your Dot. You can also use Echo, Amazon, or if you’re a Trekkie you can now use your computer. A friend of mine actually had to use a different wake word because they have a daughter named Alexa, which you can imagine caused some interesting problems. Speaking of kids, they will also love Alexa. I have two young nephews and when they come over they love asking Alexa questions or have her tell them corny jokes. Like most young kids they love Sponge Bob and got a real kick when they asked Alexa “who lives in a pineapple under the sea?” And she responded “Sponge Bob Squarepants.”

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Good voice recognition, skills make it useful

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

    These devices are meant to simplify your life by providing access to things like weather reports and news, but alone by themselves, they're basically a path for you to buy things from Amazon or get mundane information you could easily get elsewhere. For example, a short time back you could not ask Alexa (the female voice that speaks to you through the Echo Dot) to add an item to a to-do list. There just weren't any lists provided by Amazon. Now you can add items by voice, but you can't delete them (you have to use the Alexa app on your phone to do that). There's also a shopping list you can add things to, but same thing for deleting items. That's it - you get two lists (to-do and shopping) and you can't delete items from them using voice commands. Perhaps that will change with time. These devices do become useful when tied to other devices and services through a thing called "skills". Want to control music from Spotify? Add the skill. Light switches that support it? Add the skill. Have a viable calendar you can add appointments to? Add the skill. But you do have to have the other services or devices to tie a "skill" to, so you will need to create accounts with those other providers and possibly pay them a fee to use such services. The Echo Dot (or any Amazon device) just connects to them if the service provider has created connectivity for them via a "skill". BTW, adding a "skill" is easy, just give Amazon your credentials (id and password) for the service you want to tie to the Echo. As to the Echo Do for itself, the sound that comes from it is very clear, and the microphones are quite spectacular at capturing your voice from fairly far away. If you speak softly it'll hear you from about 10 feet away. Yell at it from 25 feet or so and it will still respond properly. You are also supposed to be able to connect several of these and the closest one to you will respond (haven't tried that yet, but then it will be quite nice to speak anywhere in one's abode and have the closest device respond). Also bear in mind where you place them. My most difficult test for it was placing it right over a bookshelf speaker I'd tied it to, and playing it at room listening volume (not loud, not soft). The Echo Dot had difficulty at time recognizing the wake work ("Alexa"), but for the most part it did. Voice recognition (parsing spoken commands) is quite good and for the most part you can say things in different ways and still get the result you expected.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Voice control has come a long way

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

    These devices are meant to simplify your life by providing access to things like weather reports and news, but alone by themselves, they're basically a path for you to buy things from Amazon or get mundane information you could easily get elsewhere. For example, a short time back you could not ask Alexa (the female voice that speaks to you through the Echo Dot) to add an item to a to-do list. There just weren't any lists provided by Amazon. Now you can add items by voice, but you can't delete them (you have to use the Alexa app on your phone to do that). There's also a shopping list you can add things to, but same thing for deleting items. That's it - you get two lists (to-do and shopping) and you can't delete items from them using voice commands. Perhaps that will change with time. These devices do become useful when tied to other devices and services through a thing called "skills". Want to control music from Spotify? Add the skill. Light switches that support it? Add the skill. Have a viable calendar you can add appointments to? Add the skill. But you do have to have the other services or devices to tie a "skill" to, so you will need to create accounts with those other providers and possibly pay them a fee to use such services. The Echo Dot (or any Amazon device) just connects to them if the service provider has created connectivity for them via a "skill". BTW, adding a "skill" is easy, just give Amazon your credentials (id and password) for the service you want to tie to the Echo. As to the Echo Do for itself, the sound that comes from it is very clear, and the microphones are quite spectacular at capturing your voice from fairly far away. If you speak softly it'll hear you from about 10 feet away. Yell at it from 25 feet or so and it will still respond properly. You are also supposed to be able to connect several of these and the closest one to you will respond (haven't tried that yet, but then it will be quite nice to speak anywhere in one's abode and have the closest device respond). Also bear in mind where you place them. My most difficult test for it was placing it right over a bookshelf speaker I'd tied it to, and playing it at room listening volume (not loud, not soft). The Echo Dot had difficulty at time recognizing the wake work ("Alexa"), but for the most part it did. Voice recognition (parsing spoken commands) is quite good and for the most part you can say things in different ways and still get the result you expected.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Affordable but like google assistant more

    Posted
    Rich
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
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    I got this Amazing echo dot gen 2 on sale for $30 right before gen 3 was released. I already knew about the new echo dot when I bought this but wanted to save some money. I haven’t listened to the newer dot to compare the two. The built in speaker is not very loud for music and is really only good to hear Alexa assistant or talking in general. This is great however that it allows you to pair this with any Bluetooth speaker to send the audio to much better speakers. I am also using this with the 3.5 mm line out cable to hook this to my non Bluetooth Sony alarm clock that is way too old to have built in Bluetooth. I really like being able to send audio via Bluetooth to my sony sound bar by voice command! Google cast with that same sound bar is very cool also. I also have the Insignia smart portable google Home speaker that goes on sale for very cheap prices all the time! I like the Insignia speaker better even though it doesn’t have a 3.5 mm line out jack and is not as versatile in working with any Bluetooth speakers as far as I can tell so far. The google assistant seems to answer my questions more often than Alexa. Also google assistant is much more chatty in general than Alexa. Kind of like a digital friend than a cold robotic assistant. For the price I paid though I think this is a good assistant to add to your smart home along side google.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Dot - A Useful and Enjoyable Device

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

    The Echo Dot does everything that the Echo does except high-volume sound. It was a snap to install once you download the Amazon Alexa App. The sound from the Dot is adequate for many uses in a small-to-medium-sized room. If you what high quality sound so that music can be heard and enjoyed over a good portion of your home, you will need to pair the Dot with a Bluetooth or wired speaker. I am using a Sony RSR-XB10 Bluetooth speaker that I bought on sale at Best Buy. If you need to buy such a speaker, the price of the Dot + speaker could exceed the cost of an Echo. There is an advantage to using a separate Bluetooth speaker in that you can move it around your house while the Dot stays stationary. Neither the Dot nor the Echo have a battery so that they must be plugged into an electrical outlet. The Echo Dot works very well with my secured WiFi home network and my relatively inexpensive (but new 2017 version) smartphone. The only draw back that both the Echo Dot and the Echo have is that you are somewhat limited in the music that you can play without subscribing to Amazon Prime, Spotify or some other service. You can listen to music "samples" from Amazon, but not from Spotify unless you purchase the Spotify Premium package. Music that you have purchased from Amazon during the past year or so (even if they were on CDs) are available to play on the Dot just by asking Alexa to play your selection from "Amazon Music." As yet, I have not found a way as yet to load my computer's music library that have files from music, purchased in past years from Amazon as well as other sources, into a place where Alexa could have access. This limitation may be due to legal issues. The other shortcoming is the audio quality of some of the free apps that are available. If you own or buy either the Echo or the Echo Dot, be sure to read reviews of apps before you install them using the Alexa App. All in all, the Echo Dot is worth the $29.95 that paid for it and I would give it a 4.5/5.0, and recommend that you buy one for your home if you can envision current uses, such as listening to news reports, music and a variety of podcasts, asking Alexa to look things up in Wikipedia for you, or have Alexa tell you corny jokes and words of inspiration or for future uses, such as controlling the lights (smart bulbs), alarms, smart thermostat, etc.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Echo Dot vs. Google Home

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

    I have both the Amazon Echo Dot and Google Home. There are pros and cons for each. The Dot is more mature with about a two year head start on Google. More connected home devices work with the Dot than the Google Home. For instance my WEMO light switches work with the Dot but not with Google. The Dot is very app dependant. I have to go into the phone app and turn on skills or apps to obtain various types of information or features. You then have to remember the name of that app when you want that information. Here is an example. My parents have an Echo Dot. I wanted it to be able to alert me if they were in distress. To do that I had to enable a "skill" called "Ask Buddy". If my parents have a home accident they have to remember to say, "Alexa, have Ask Buddy alert and say my name". That is not practical. They should simply be able to say " Alexa, alert (name). I prefer the way I can ask Google on my phone any question and it usually gives me the correct answer. Google home is more like the phone app but for some reason is not as good. Questions my phone can answer the Google Home cannot. I was able to connect my Dot to a blue tooth speaker but seem unable to do so with the Google Home. As with other Amazon products like their tablet, the Dot is geared toward driving you to purchases through Amazon. I believe that Google has the capacity to overtake Amazon over time with a device more configured for the user's convenience and less toward apps and purchases. If you are on the fence, my gut says go with the Google Home. It will probably be better than the Dot in the future. Right now, the Dot seems better.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Dots a nice!

    Posted
    Alex
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
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    I have a mostly Alexa household with the competitor smart devices mixed in as well. Echo Dots are in almost every room allow for a household intercom system, telephone service, streaming music/news, voice assistant, control of smart lights and TVs, etc. and much more. I don't know how I'd get by without Alexa in my life. She's always there and doesn't get jealous if I talk to Siri or Goog-le. If I want a better music experience in a particular room, I connect the Dot through Bluetooth to a Bluetooth speaker. Alexa, supported by Amazon, is always improving and has excellent free phone support. I find that there still appears to be more connectivity and skills available with Alexa compared to the competitor AI devices although they are catching up. One thing that I wish Alexa would be able to do is to not rely on my cell phones contact list for phone contacts because in a household with a number of different people one really doesn't want others to potentially make a phone call to someone on your complete contact list. I would prefer making a contact list for Alexa's use online of just those people and businesses I want to allow anyone to access publicly in the household and perhaps also have the ability to ask Alexa to access my private contact list (using a pass code for access) when wanting to contact someone on that list. The product is great! Amazon makes a large variety of devices and you can't go wrong with any of them, e.g. ones with better speakers, and ones with video & cameras.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Echo Dot Does the Job

    Posted
    TylerC

    If you are looking to accomplish tasks without touching anything physically and just want to speak what you want done, the Amazon Echo Dot is the product you are looking for. This product works well for college students as well as homeowners who want to listen to music without getting out a phone and starting it. Instead, you can just tell the Echo Dot to play music. The Echo Dot does not have a big speaker inside of it, instead it has a small speaker able to answer questions but not enough to play music on. If you want to use the Echo Dot to play music, just plug the Dot into another set of speakers and it will work great. When you purchase the Dot you will want to program the Dot to recognize your voice. Otherwise, it may not recognize the command if you are in a noisy environment. I have owned the Echo Dot for two months after purchasing from BestBuy and here are some things that I have found work well with this device: Play Music The Echo Dot has six names that you can call it, but the standard name is Alexa. When you say “Alexa, play music” she will start playing whatever music you were listening to last and can connect to popular music apps such as Spotify for your convenience. Weather The Echo Dot will look at what the forecast is and be able to tell you if it will snow or rain in the next few hours. Reminders If you tell Alexa to set a reminder for you she will. Then when you told her to remind you about whatever task, she will remind you about it until you tell her that you got the reminder. Recognize Phrases When you purchase the Echo Dot, one of the things you can do with it in setting the device up is to have it recognize phrases. A good phrase to use is “good morning” if you want it to tell you the weather and news from overnight in the morning as you are getting ready for the day. Overall, the Amazon Echo Dot is a quality product that is efficient and you will find this product saves time in your daily life.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great device, still a few problems with software

    Posted
    joshrocker
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    This was my 3rd Alexa device added to my house. I originally started adding these devices to my house to control my Phillips Hue lights. Alexa mostly works great. The dot picks up my voice fairly well and I don't have to speak overly loud for her to hear me. The one problem I continually have is she doesn't work that great with Hue. Things are perfect most of the time but she occasionally says she's turned off the lights but she really hasn't. I would partially blame the Hue lights for this but I really don't have these kinds of problems when I use Siri. I imagine it has something to do with the skill system that Amazon uses where Apple has tighter integration with the Phillips system. One thing that works great with Dot is turning off and on my new Sony TV. As soon as I walk downstairs I ask "Alexa, turn on the tv". My tv and receiver turn on by the time I get to my couch. It's simple and not really needed but I love that. When we're done watching TV I ask "Alexa, turn off the TV" and everything shuts down as I'm leaving the room. My kids love controlling things with their voice. A new favorite feature is the "drop in" function. It acts as an intercom in my house. You can call another Alexa device in your house and talk to someone in a different room. It's been great to call the kids from upstairs while they're playing downstairs versus our old days of screaming at the top of our lungs for them to hear us. Overall, I recommend the Dot to most people. It's convenient to be able to ask the weather without looking for your phone. Controlling the lights is great when it works. Asking her to play music is convenient (although you better have external speakers hooked up if you plan on using this for music). This is really one of those devices that seems unnecessary until you have one and start taking advantage of some of her uses.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Tiny version of echo is OK

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

    I use my echo a lot!! I have mobility issues and "Alexa" helps so much. It's in bdrm. The dot was on sale for $29.99, and for just $5.00 more I could get a "smart device" to plug in to an outlet that's normally $35.00. I couldn't pass it up. The dot is in Liv rm. The good: it does the same things like to do lists, alarms, music, games, audible books, podcasts, etc. The bad: the sound quality is poor, like when you buy a cheap tv you know the sound won't be great. But for music being played more quietly it's fine. Biggest problem is it's not as responsive as large echo. I only have to say things once for echo in bdrm. It even picks up a "Stop" from another room when alarm goes off. Sometimes I'm giving many instuctions at once and echo doesn't drop the ball. With the dot I usually have to yell to get "her" attention, if music is playing dot can hardly hear me. I need to yell repeatedly. Once I get her attention, she still drops the ball a lot in terms of following the command. Despite these issues, I'm really very happy I have the dot, especially for the cheaper price. I use it often when in that room. But if you have an echo and don't rely on it much, the dot may be frustrating. In terms of how they work together, the dot seems to have my basic info and preferences. Listening to Christmas music on the dot and moving into the bedroom means I can't have the music continue on that echo. If I ask Alexa to play Christmas music, the echo says "you have another device in use. Do you want to use this echo?" So I say yes and start the music from the beginning of playlist. I can just say "skip" many times and get to where I was on the dot. But the devices don't sync up.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Solid Fun at Home

    Posted
    Scampbell6
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    I put these little dots all over the house and it's been a lot of fun. Can she answer everything? No. Maybe only about 60% of what we ask her and she clearly doesn't understand context like the google assistant does. However, it's cheap, it's fun. One thing we've been utilizing is "dropping in" on another room and basically using it as an intercom system around the house. The true power is when you enable "skills" which are basically other companies tying into the Alexa API and being able to use her. Example, my radio station and sports teams have both done this. So I can ask Alexa to play my station or ask her questions about my sports team and she will "open" up that service and start playing news updates from my team's broadcast channel, etc. There are thousands of companies that have tied into her from controlling things in your house to playing trivia. Yes, they use that one too much. Overall, this is fun because it does a lot and keeps growing plus was super cheap. Definitely buy for multiple rooms and get into skills. Even download the Alexa app on your phone first and look through skills if you want to explore before buying. Some other things we do: - sonos - she updates us on amazon orders (shipping, arrival, etc) - trivia games with kids - bedtime stories for kids (this is AMAZING and has been a game changer for our kids who fight sleep) - lullabies for kids to sleep (same as above) - intercom system - "Good morning Alexa" is a fun daily thing! - order stuff from amazon - weather reports before I travel somewhere or at home - history lessons on people from kids homework - sports team updates

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great but Beware of Its Shopping Habits

    Posted
    jailoliv
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember
    • Top 1000 ContributorTop 1000 Contributor

    It is difficult to talk about Amazon Dot Alexa without thinking of it as an actual person and that is the reason I will be referring to it mostly as "she/her". The whole family welcomed Alexa as she can not only help in the kitchen with timers and music but even with homework as our younger daughter quickly found out when she asked her to spell out some words. The only issue is that if you need to talk about her, you need to follow our sixteen-year-old daughter's recommendation and refer to her as "that-thing-you-can't-name". Otherwise, she will join the conversation. I'm not kidding. Alexa is always listening and even in a noisy environment with TV and people talking loud, she still can understand you when you mention her name. If you have compatible equipment she can turn lights on/off and do lots of other tricks. Its small speaker is way louder than I expected. Here is one bad experience though. A few days ago, I asked her what her deals were and she said nothing for about 15 seconds, then she asked "do you want to order it?". I quickly said no. She responded: "thank you, your order has been placed". I asked her to cancel but she told me to log on to my account and do it from there which I did for the $99 Lego that I'd never heard about. 10 minutes later, she randomly started listing Amazon deals and asked again if I wanted to order it which prompted the whole family to yell "NO". She again thanked and said she had ordered. I immediately called amazon which said it was a bug and helped me set up a voice order pin to prevent that from happening again. I can only imagine what would have happened if we had left home. However, that was scary but I found no other problem other than the fact that she can't control Amazon's own FireTV. That's why I'm not giving it 5 stars.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Amazing little puck

    Posted
    KCCO5
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    This little puck works wonders. Paired with the Phillips hue lights the dot take your house to the next level in smart technology. Being lazy when in bed has been has gotten even sweeter. All you have to say is Alexa turn bedroom off and just like that the lights begin to dim and you are prompted by the present voice of Alexa saying okay. With the adjustable features in the hue settings you are able to adjust the brightness of the bulbs with just a word. No opening a folder on your phone to find the hidden app. An added bonus to the dot and Alexa platform is the ability to play songs/albums/and created playlists off of Spotify. This paired with a Bluetooth speaker or a home entertainment center is unparalleled. Now for some cons. There are very few that I can find with this product. One being the connectivity. Everyonce in a while the echo will lose its connection to the wifi rendering it pretty much useless and a shiny paperweight. Now this little hiccup doesn't last all that long. One thing that Amazon brags about is the voice recognition software with the surrounding microphones. I find that the dot does have it's moments of toning you out and not wanting to hear you. She doesn't light up or respond. This is just fixed by restating the previous request. This is a very finicky feature. There are times that I can be 10 feet away and practically whispering and it will hear me and turn the lights off on the room. Then there are times where I am no more than 2 feet away from it and it is unable to pick up my voice. Yes this is a fairly new product and can be improved with a simple update. Even with the slight cons the dot is an overall great product and I am looking into getting more for other rooms within my home.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Nice for the price

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

    Compared echo dot vs Google Home mini, ended up getting the Echo Dot only because I am Amazon Prime member and have two Firesticks for my tv's. I don't like the appearance of it. Cons: Looks like a hockey puck with Amazon logo emblazed on the front. Prefer the appearance of the Google Home mini better. The power adapter/cord protrudes 3 1/2" from the wall which I hate the most about it. The Google Home mini has a much smaller adapter that is not as obtrusive. These do require to be plugged in and are not battery operated. The Echo doesn't automatically recognize each person's voice, it has to be set up manually If you want Alexa to add things to a specific persons list or calender. The Google Home mini does this automatically. Alexa generates cards for every command it is given for you to mark if Alexa understood you that I have to delete manually to clear. This on your app on your phone. I find this to be a pain, now I have this to maintain in addition to deleting junk emails. Isn't able to answer all questions, some which seem easy. Speaker sound quality is not great if listening to music. Pros: Is good at recognizing commands/requests accurately. Can pair with Bluetooth speakers to listen through instead of the dot. Did not pair easily. Integrates with anything Amazon. Has buttons on top which can be used in lieu of voice commands. For $29.99 it was worth the price. If the Google Home mini was able to integrate with Amazon devices/ services, I would have bought it as I prefer the appearance of it over the Echo dot.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Very smart (but not the smartest)

    Posted
    Tonii

    First of all, I'd like to say that I am very satisfied with my Echo Dot 2. I like the interaction that Alexa brings with the APIs (smart skills) that are available from the Alexa app. I use it to turn on/off my TVs, outside lights, interior lights, and now my newly purchased smart thermostat (Ecobee3 Lite). It can learn your agenda by connecting it to your Google calendar so not only will be you be reminded by your phone, but now also by Alexa (no more excuses for missing an important date). One feature I'd like to see in the near future is the ability to learn/speak multiple languages. I really believe that whichever of the big guys (Amazon, Google, Apple) is able to to come up with this feature first, it will definitely move up to the top of the pyramid. That will open a market to a totally new audience which will boost up their sales and expose their product worldwide and not only to English-speaking regions. Overall, it is a great smart voice assistance device to have. Most of the time it understands what I'm asking it to do even if I speak faster than usual. I have one under the kitchen cabinets to conceal it and since I have an open-floor structure so I can ask Alexa to do something from the living room and still hears me just fine. I definitely recommend the Echo Dot if all you need it for is voice commands. This will definitely do the job for you.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Great for smart home, versatile

    Posted
    callmeageeth
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member
    • Top 250 ContributorTop 250 Contributor

    I have both Google Home and Amazon Echo Dot. I also have a Harmony Hub and several smart home devices. I love the smart home integration and once you activate lights and your entertainment center with your voice, good luck going back. For now, the Echo has better integration with my smart home, but once Google Home catches up, I will be switching to Google for the sole reason I subscribe to Google Play Music. But to be honest all of these devices have limited uses and the "fun" or "cool" appeal wears off soon. It's fun to ask Alexa questions or ask her to tell you a joke, but that gets old quick. It's also cool to order something from Amazon, but I rarely do so because I like to look at what I'm ordering. You will definitely need a secondary speaker to connect this to. Which brings me to the one big problem and that's having a secondary speaker on at all times (and sometimes on the correct input). For example, I connected my Echo Dot to my receiver to play sound through it, but I also use the receiver to watch TV, etc., so I change the inputs. So when I ask Alexa to answer a quick question, I have to make sure it's on the right input. I know that I an ask Alexa to tell Harmony to change the input but I often forget to do so. I wish I could have a dedicated sound system that awoke whenever Alexa was triggered. At the end of the day, it's a fun device to have that provides some useful "skills" (ordering Dominos is cool, but I've only done it once) and games (I like Jeopardy) but it's true usefulness is its ability to be the voice hub for your smart home, if you're interested in having one...

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Making my home smarter, one step at a time

    Posted
    trying2help
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
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    I'm usually more of an Apple (Siri) or Google kind of person when it comes to technology but this device is pretty cool at modernizing my home. I received this device for FREE when I purchased my "Honeywell - Lyric™ T5 WiFi Thermostat - Dark Gray". I waited almost a month before even connecting up this device but I'm very glad that I finally got around to it. I plugged the output speaker connection into an old JBL iPod Loudspeaker system in our living room and it works great. Both Alexa and music sound considerably better with this connection than the built-in speaker. Connection to the Alexa app on my iPhone and to my two thermostats was easy. Adding iHeart Radio capabilities for music and radio stations was also simple. I may eventually connect up to Spotify or Pandora to improve my music choices even more. Home lighting and other controls might be added if I continue to like this device. Control of the music features is not quite as intuitive as I would like; it seems to clutter the Alexa app history with every single change (I would have only taken off 0.5 stars if that was available but I had to reduce to 4-star instead). Using this device to get news, weather, or other information as well as control music and temperature is a nice step towards a more "Star Trek" technology level inside my own home. I love it!

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Cool new technology, still working out some bugs

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

    Overall, I'm very pleased with my Amazon Echo Dot. I bought one sort of as a toy as I was intrigued after seeing the commercials. I use it primarily for playing music (either Pandora or Amazon Prime Music), checking the weather, and for controlling Wemo mini switches in my apartment. I bought a second one after learning that the Echo Dot can pair via Bluetooth with my laptop and relay the audio to the connected stereo in my home office (I don't believe they advertise this function, but it works well and connects automatically when I wake my computer). There is definitely evidence that the Alexa technology is still in the development phase. She will always hear the wake work, but sometimes she won't catch the command or won't be able to determine what you're asking from the command. However, the required Alexa app logs every request and you can give feedback to help increase reliability. In terms of speaker quality and volume, I was surprised by the powerful sound for such a small device. Now, its not meant to be a stereo, but if you're wanting background music while working in the office or cooking in the kitchen, then it gets the job done. There is a good range of frequencies and the bass is surprisingly profound (we're not talking subwoofer, but it sounds balanced). Overall, this is a genius piece of tech that just needs some time and user feedback to increase its abilities. I love the ease of use and simple set up. As a side note, the Echo Dot goes crazy when the Alexa commercials come on TV, which is quite comical ;-)

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Effective Digital Assistant

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

    I find that Alexa (the default name of the AI unit that powers the Echo) to be a good digital assistant for basic tasks like playing music, setting alarms and reminders, and checking the price of an Amazon item. I do find that the option of purchasing an item through Amazon is a bit clunky, which is surprising considering that Amazon has every incentive to streamline that process but you do get full search results pushed to the Alexa app on your cell phone. If you are looking forward to using this device to set calendar reminders then you should know that it is really only equipped to handle Google calendars. There may be workarounds but I have not been able to figure one out and frankly you shouldn't need a workaround for something that common. It's a nice device to plug in and ask to run a web search for you and give you some results and offers basic functions like checking the weather and traffic. I do find that it's a bit more helpful and robust than Siri for iOS but at the same time I have more calendar options with Siri and can also place phone calls and text messages, a feature notably lacking with Echo at this time. Still, this is cheap device overall that gets the job done. There are integration options if you have other smart home equipment that seriously increase the usefulness of this device as it becomes a control hub for you but even without any smart home equipment I can still see the usefulness of owning one of these devices.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Learn multiple languages & is a 5-star

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

    Really like the Echo Dot (v.2)! Just like many people, I have started turning my house into a smart home and have added multiple smart switches to control the lights inside but particularly the outside lights. It is so much more convenient to just tell Alexa to turn on/off the lights rather than opening the individual apps or pushing the switch (can’t believe I would ever say that, I am becoming lazier and lazier by the day). One of the things I wish Amazon would do soon is the ability for Alexa to learn multiple languages. The device is already super popular among English-speaking people and I definitely believe it sales would grow exponentially if Alexa could “speak” foreign languages. The Echo dot fits perfectly into my lifestyle. I don’t need the integrated fancy speakers as I already have my own surround sound and WiFi speakers so this device is perfect for me. I highly recommend the Echo Dot to anyone who is looking into making their home a smart home. There are a ton of smart devices that are compatible with Alexa, as opposed to Google Home or Apple’s HomeKit. I am a very satisfied customer and will most likely buy another one to have full coverage around my home.

    I would recommend this to a friend