Amazon has been in the news a lot lately due to various products and services that the company has been launching. Along with those announcements, you might have heard something called ‘Amazon Echo’ mentioned. Echo didn’t get a ton of press when it was introduced, so you may not know what Echo is all about. In case you don’t, here’s what Echo is and why you might want one.
What Echo Is
Echo is a speaker, but it’s more than that too. It’s a device that’s always on, and can hear your voice from across the room even if music is blasting. You can tell Echo to do certain things like play music, read the news, tell you the weather, and provide answers to most questions that you have. Echo is connected to Amazon’s Alexa, which is kind of like Apple’s Siri. The main difference here is that Echo is a standalone fixture (not a phone app) that sits in your home and is ready to help you out whenever you need it.
Echo connects via the cloud to Alexa to provide you with all those answers to any question that you might have. The Echo device is “asleep” until you use a prompt word (you can pick Alexa or Amazon as your word), and then the device jumps into action. Echo is trained to hear your voice with the command word, so you can just talk to it from across the room in order to activate the device. Echo is adaptable too, so the more you use it the more the device learns what your speech patterns are and what words you like to use the most.
Why You’d Want It
Amazon sells Echo as a premium speaker system as well as a connected device that’s always on. Echo is supposed to play music at great levels keeping trebles high and bass notes low. You can also use some of Amazon’s streaming services on a hands-free basis with Echo. So, all you have to do is ask Echo to play Prime Music (for example), and the device will respond and connect you with your Prime library.
So how does it work? Echo has received favorable reviews so far. Negative comments include the fact that Echo has to be plugged in to work, the cylinder shape of the speaker might not be what you want for your living room, and sound can be distorted at higher volumes. With all of these thing in mind in addition to the various options that Echo does offer, the device might be fun to have in your home if you have the extra cash to spend.
Price and Availability
Amazon’s Echo speaker retails for $179, and you can buy Echo exclusively through Amazon (of course). Do you need it? Maybe not, but it’s fun to have a device in the home that’s always connected and ready to do what you ask it to - kind of like a smartphone, but you don’t have to pick it up to use it. Check out Echo if you’re missing a device like this in your life.