Amazon Echo

7.8/10 AVG.
RATING

  • Amazon Echo
  • Amazon Echo
  • Amazon Echo
  • Amazon Echo
  • Amazon Echo
  • Amazon Echo
  • Amazon Echo
  • Amazon Echo
  • Amazon Echo
  • Amazon Echo

The Amazon Echo is more than a Bluetooth speaker — it’s a bedtime buddy.

- Joe Brown , Re/code 


The Amazon Echo is a well-engineered appliance that has a set of capabilities that renders it quite useful just a few minutes out of the box.

- Ivan the K , Business Insider 

Specs / Features


Plays all your music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and more using just your voice. Fills the room with immersive, 360º omni-directional audio. Allows hands-free convenience with voice-control. Hears you from across the room with far-field voice recognition, even while music is playing. Answers questions, reads the news, reports traffic and weather, reads audiobooks from Audible, gives info on local businesses, provides sports scores and schedules, and more using the Alexa Voice Service. Controls lights, fans, switches, thermostats, garage doors, sprinklers, locks, a... More

Plays all your music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, and more using just your voice. Fills the room with immersive, 360º omni-directional audio. Allows hands-free convenience with voice-control. Hears you from across the room with far-field voice recognition, even while music is playing. Answers questions, reads the news, reports traffic and weather, reads audiobooks from Audible, gives info on local businesses, provides sports scores and schedules, and more using the Alexa Voice Service. Controls lights, fans, switches, thermostats, garage doors, sprinklers, locks, and more with compatible connected devices from WeMo, Philips Hue, Samsung SmartThings, Nest, ecobee, and others. Always getting smarter and adding new features, plus thousands of skills like Uber, Domino's, and more.

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Specification

Brand Amazon
Model SK705DI
Size 8 x 8 cm (3.2 x 3.2 in)

Reviews summary

7.8/10AVG.
RATING
Based on 42 reviews

What's good

  • Voice assistant can play music, make lists and answer questions
  • Small – can fit almost anywhere in the house
  • Doubles as Bluetooth speaker and voice assistant

What's bad

  • No access to email or calendar services
  • Doesn't always understand commands
  • No onboard battery – less portable

The Amazon Echo might be the first device of its kind, but its outward appearance betrays its hardware and software capabilities. Standing only 9.25 inches tall and a mere 3.25 inches around it is about the same size as many wireless speakers on the market. Circular perforations cover the bottom half, which is where the 2.5 inch woofer and 2 inch tweeter are housed. Reviewers do not suggest using the Echo solely as a Bluetooth speaker as the music was, as The Verge states, "shallow, tinny and compressed…Setting the Echo up is more complicated than an average speaker, too…"

The biggest draw of Amazon Echo is, of course, its ability to understand voice commands. The Echo uses its own voice assistant – Alexa. Like Siri or Cortana, users simply have to say the keyword (Alexa or Amazon) and then issue the command. The Alexa assistant was able to answer numerous questions experts posed such as the current temperature and even the population of Tokyo though Neowin notes that, "…it's hard to predict what it will understand." Experts add that Alexa often didn't recognize their voice when music was playing on the speakers, which proved to be an issue when they wanted to change songs or turn down the volume. As well, they warn Alexa is not as powerful as Siri as it lacked access to services like their email and calendar. So while they were able to set an alarm, they could not schedule a meeting. Even simple things like modifying shopping and to-do lists were not as straightforward as they liked as they could only remove items through the companion app.

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While the Echo can be controlled by voice alone, it also has two physical buttons: one to turn off the microphone and the other to turn on the device. The top of the device twists and adjusts the volume. The Echo also comes with a remote control that can also adjust the volume, pause/skip/rewind music and also has a built-in microphone for when a room is too loud or if you are too far away from the base. As it does not have an onboard battery, it must be plugged into an outlet at all times.

Overall, experts are torn on whether to recommend the Echo or not. PCMag states, "…there's nothing really you can do here that you can't do with the smartphone…But there's something about Alexa that keeps drawing me back." Gizmodo adds, "…the Echo seems like something of a missed opportunity for some ambient sound recognition…But if you buy an Echo today, it'll definitely put a smile on your face."

Reviews (7.8/10 Avg. rating)


TrustedReviews

The future is now

from TrustedReviews

Alexa isn’t quite Jarvis from Iron Man yet, but I have no doubt that she’s on the way there. The original iPhone changed how we interact with technology, allowing us to control devices with apps via a screen and clean UI, and now Alexa promises to do the same for devices with Wi-Fi – but this time using voice.

Read full review

Alexa isn’t quite Jarvis from Iron Man yet, but I have no doubt that she’s on the way there. The original iPhone changed how we interact with technology, allowing us to control devices with apps via a screen and clean UI, and now Alexa promises to do the same for devices with Wi-Fi – but this time using voice.

Read full review

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Ars Technica

Amazon’s Echo has found a small but smart niche

from Ars Technica

Echo and Alexa are even the voice assistant duo of choice for people like me who haven't fallen in love with mobile voice assistants. Do I depend on Alexa in the same way that I do my smartphone? No, but I'm perfectly happy with Alexa at home. She assists me with simple household chores and adds...More

Echo and Alexa are even the voice assistant duo of choice for people like me who haven't fallen in love with mobile voice assistants. Do I depend on Alexa in the same way that I do my smartphone? No, but I'm perfectly happy with Alexa at home. She assists me with simple household chores and adds to my day with things like the Flash Briefing and easy music controls—and she does it without making me pause to interact with my phone. Confining Alexa to the home gives her a clear purpose. Because of that, fellow naysayers who have been skeptical of Siri and Cortana may actually enjoy talking to her, too.

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The Wirecutter

The smarter smart speaker

from The Wirecutter

If you care at all about smart-home controls, or if you’re a frequent user of Amazon Prime, Amazon’s Alexa platform is the best option for your home. In addition to its built-in features, the Alexa platform includes a growing list (more than 10,000 at last count) of “Skills...More

If you care at all about smart-home controls, or if you’re a frequent user of Amazon Prime, Amazon’s Alexa platform is the best option for your home. In addition to its built-in features, the Alexa platform includes a growing list (more than 10,000 at last count) of “Skills,” akin to apps on a smartphone, that unlock capabilities such as reading recipes, ordering pizza, or calling an Uber.

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PC Magazine

Excellent voice recognition, works with many third-party devices

from PC Magazine

The Amazon Echo is so much more than a wireless speaker. It's part voice assistant, part home automation hub, and its abilities continue to expand steadily. And it's a blast to use.

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The Amazon Echo is so much more than a wireless speaker. It's part voice assistant, part home automation hub, and its abilities continue to expand steadily. And it's a blast to use.

Read full review

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Tech Advisor

Alexa is one of the best personal assistants around

from Tech Advisor

The Echo is one of the most exciting gadgets in years and has huge potential. There’s a decent range of ‘skills’ available in the UK already, but you should check if your smart home kit is supported before you buy an Echo as it’s only half as useful otherwise. Sound qualit...More

The Echo is one of the most exciting gadgets in years and has huge potential. There’s a decent range of ‘skills’ available in the UK already, but you should check if your smart home kit is supported before you buy an Echo as it’s only half as useful otherwise. Sound quality from the large version of the Echo isn’t up to the standard of a £150 Bluetooth speaker, but the £49.99 Echo Dot is great value if you already have such a speaker or a convenient set of hi-fi speakers to use with the Dot. Voice recognition is very good, and it still works even if other people are speaking or music is playing. Being able to control smart home gadgets with your voice, or simply get a weather forecast or train times by asking while you’re doing something else, is not only brilliant fun but is also genuinely time saving and useful.

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The Guardian

Combined speaker, voice assistant and smart-home controller

from The Guardian

The Amazon Echo is a device that once you get into your home you’ll find more and more uses for it. The question is really whether it does something that’s interesting or useful enough for you to buy it. It’s a pretty good speaker, but not the best. It has fantastic voice r...More

The Amazon Echo is a device that once you get into your home you’ll find more and more uses for it. The question is really whether it does something that’s interesting or useful enough for you to buy it. It’s a pretty good speaker, but not the best. It has fantastic voice recognition and can hear you from anywhere over anything. It will pretty much always understand what you’re saying but can’t always help you out with it. It has third-party apps for most things and more appear each day.

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Tech Advisor

One of the best tech gadgets you can buy right now

from Tech Advisor

The Echo is one of the most exciting gadgets in years and has huge potential. There’s a decent range of ‘skills’ available in the UK already, but you should check if your smart home kit is supported before you buy an Echo as it’s only half as useful otherwise. Sound qualit...More

The Echo is one of the most exciting gadgets in years and has huge potential. There’s a decent range of ‘skills’ available in the UK already, but you should check if your smart home kit is supported before you buy an Echo as it’s only half as useful otherwise. Sound quality from the large version of the Echo isn’t up to the standard of a £150 Bluetooth speaker, but the £49.99 Echo Dot is great value if you already have such a speaker or a convenient set of hi-fi speakers to use with the Dot. Voice recognition is very good, and it still works even if other people are speaking or music is playing. Being able to control smart home gadgets with your voice, or simply get a weather forecast or train times by asking while you’re doing something else, is not only brilliant fun but is also genuinely time saving and useful.

Read full review

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The Telegraph

The most exciting new gadget in years

from The Telegraph

I’ve found it a little difficult to explain the appeal of the Echo to friends since I’ve been using it, because the things you can do with it aren’t particularly revolutionary - setting timers, playing music and turning the heating on are all rather simple, so spending £15...More

I’ve found it a little difficult to explain the appeal of the Echo to friends since I’ve been using it, because the things you can do with it aren’t particularly revolutionary - setting timers, playing music and turning the heating on are all rather simple, so spending £150 on a device to do this seems like an extravagance.

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IT Pro

Great speaker quality, highly accurate voice recognition

from IT Pro

The Amazon Echo is a great speaker, but it's Alexa that really shines. Amazon's AI assistant shows us a world beyond touch interaction, and does it with so much polish and panache you'll wonder how you ever lived without it.

Read full review

The Amazon Echo is a great speaker, but it's Alexa that really shines. Amazon's AI assistant shows us a world beyond touch interaction, and does it with so much polish and panache you'll wonder how you ever lived without it.

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TechRadar

A fantastic addition to any home

from TechRadar

The speaker itself is smart and is a fantastic conduit for Alexa. Alexa bristles with intelligence and speaking to the Echo soon becomes second nature - give it a day or two and using Alexa goes from being a little strange to the norm. There's niggles and sometimes the Amazon Echo will draw a blank but these issues were few and far between.

Read full review

The speaker itself is smart and is a fantastic conduit for Alexa. Alexa bristles with intelligence and speaking to the Echo soon becomes second nature - give it a day or two and using Alexa goes from being a little strange to the norm. There's niggles and sometimes the Amazon Echo will draw a blank but these issues were few and far between.

Read full review

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Amazon.com Reviews Summary

55,999 from Amazon.com

55,999 Amazon.com shoppers shared a review for the Amazon Echo. Ratings are generally positive, averaging 4.4 out of 5 stars. See all Amazon.com customer reviews.

8.8/10

Amazon.co.uk Reviews Summary

13,553 from Amazon.co.uk

13,553 Amazon.co.uk shoppers shared a review for the Amazon Echo. Ratings are generally positive, averaging 4.3 out of 5 stars. See all Amazon.co.uk customer reviews.

8.6/10

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