Amazon Echo Plus

7.5/10 AVG.
RATING

  • Amazon Echo Plus
  • Amazon Echo Plus
  • Amazon Echo Plus
  • Amazon Echo Plus
  • Amazon Echo Plus
  • Amazon Echo Plus

By adding a smart-home hub into the Alexa-enabled Echo Plus, Amazon is trying to make the smart home more accessible to the masses.

- Mike Prospero, Tom's Guide 


If you’re looking to enter the world of the connected home, the Echo Plus is a great place to start.

- Gerald Lynch, TechRadar 

Specs / Features


Echo Plus connects to Alexa-a cloud-based voice service-to play music, make calls, set timers and alarms, ask questions, check traffic and weather, and more-instantly. With the built-in hub you can directly set up and control your smart home devices. | Alexa can control your compatible smart lights, thermostats, locks, garage doors, sprinklers, and more. Set up devices from Philips Hue, GE, Kwikset, and others without the need for a separate hub. Just ask Alexa to discover your connected devices. | Just ask for a song, artist, or genre from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, and more. With multi-... More

Echo Plus connects to Alexa-a cloud-based voice service-to play music, make calls, set timers and alarms, ask questions, check traffic and weather, and more-instantly. With the built-in hub you can directly set up and control your smart home devices. | Alexa can control your compatible smart lights, thermostats, locks, garage doors, sprinklers, and more. Set up devices from Philips Hue, GE, Kwikset, and others without the need for a separate hub. Just ask Alexa to discover your connected devices. | Just ask for a song, artist, or genre from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, and more. With multi-room music, you can play music on your Echo devices in different rooms. Echo Plus can also play audiobooks, radio stations, news briefs, and more. | Call or message anyone hands-free with your Echo device. Also, instantly connect to other Echo devices in your home using just your voice. | Improved speakers with Dolby processing deliver crisp vocals and extended bass to fill the room with immersive, 360° audio | With seven microphones, beamforming technology, and noise cancellation, Echo hears you from any direction-even while music is playing | Alexa is always getting smarter and adding new features and skills. Just ask Alexa to control your TV, request an Uber, order a pizza, and more.

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Specification

Brand Amazon
Warranty 12 months
Release date 31-October-2017
Size 23.6 x 8.4 x 8.4 cm (9.3 x 3.3 x 3.3 in)
Weight 951.8 grams
(33.6 ounces)

The "1-Minute" Review

What's good

  • Good audio quality
  • ZigBee integration for one-box solution
  • New audio-out for speaker connection

What's bad

  • Random Alexa mishearing/misunderstanding
  • Home hub feature still lacking
  • No Z-wave compatibility
  • Bass is a bit weak

The original Amazon Echo took the tech world by storm as a game changer in the smart home assistant market. The Amazon Echo Plus was announced in conjunction with two other smart speaker devices, though it acts more as the centerpiece. Does the Echo Plus impress reviewers as much as the original?

Read below to find out!

There are no surprises when it comes to the design of the Echo Plus. It features the same tall, cylindrical design of the original Echo. Appearance-wise, there’s not too much difference aside from the choice of a metallic gray finish in addition to black and white and a volume ring up top.

The biggest upgrade is the built-in ZigBee hub that allows you to control your smart gadgets without needing a separate portal. Reviewers were also happy to discover improvements to the Alexa smartphone app, which allowed them to group devices into rooms and run automated routines.

It comes equipped with a 2.5-inch woofer and a 0.8-inch tweeter. The upgraded hardware and improved digital processing via Dolby impressed reviewers. While most agree it sounded better than the original, they disagreed on the extent of the improvements. Some consider it a huge upgrade while others found the upgraded sound quality more modest. Regardless, all agree it gets quite loud and they noticed little distortion.

With that said, they warned it was not a replacement for an actual speaker system--mostly due to the weak bass. Luckily you can connect to speakers via Bluetooth or with the line-out auxiliary port.

As a smart home assistant, its other important function is performing various tasks, whether that’s turning off the lights, ordering pizza, or booking a taxi. Alexa can perform over 15,000 “skills” and utilizes its 7 far-field mics to listen for the Alexa command.

When it works, experts call it “a magical feeling, a little slice of that Jetson’s future.” They add the mic array was quite sensitive as it was able to identify voices from far away, even over ambient noise.

Despite this, many still ran into issues of Alexa misunderstanding or mishearing commands. While it didn’t happen frequently, these mistakes annoyed them all the more as they felt random.

Perhaps the biggest drawback is its limited capability. While there are many ZigBee compatible gadgets, such as lights, switches, thermostats, and motion detectors, the Echo Plus is limited to lights, outlets, and smart locks, at least for now.

In addition, it cannot access any gadgets that are Z-Wave compatible. Other dedicated smart home hubs, like SmartThings or Wink, support both protocols.

Overall, considering the cost and features of other smart home hub options available, critics have a difficult time fully recommending the Echo Plus. The Verge states, “...it’s a little too simple to recommend...you’re better off buying the less expensive second-generation Echo and a dedicated smart home hub…” CNET adds, “...wait on the Echo Plus. There’s plenty of potential, yes, but it just isn’t there yet.”

Critic Reviews


Good Gear Guide

Zigbee connectivity doesn't quite seal the deal

from Good Gear Guide

Despite its shortcomings, if you’re looking to buy the best of the three Amazon Echo speakers, the Echo Plus is still probably the one to get.

Read full review

Despite its shortcomings, if you’re looking to buy the best of the three Amazon Echo speakers, the Echo Plus is still probably the one to get.

Read full review

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finder.com.au

Thousands of skills on offer

from finder.com.au

Bigger body, bigger sound and a bigger price tag, but even the integrated smart home hub functions don't justify this speaker over the standard Echo model.

Read full review

Bigger body, bigger sound and a bigger price tag, but even the integrated smart home hub functions don't justify this speaker over the standard Echo model.

Read full review

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PhoneArena

A capable smart assistant and an excellent value

from PhoneArena

The Echo Plus gives new smart home users a solid, and very reasonably-priced foundation towards creating their ideal connected homes.

Read full review

The Echo Plus gives new smart home users a solid, and very reasonably-priced foundation towards creating their ideal connected homes.

Read full review

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Tech Advisor

Enhanced sound and a built-in smart home hub

from Tech Advisor

Ultimately, the Echo Plus makes sense only for those with compatible smart home products who want to eliminate multiple hubs connected to their router. If that's not you, then the slightly better audio quality compared to the second-gen Echo isn't enough to justify the extra cost.

Read full review

Ultimately, the Echo Plus makes sense only for those with compatible smart home products who want to eliminate multiple hubs connected to their router. If that's not you, then the slightly better audio quality compared to the second-gen Echo isn't enough to justify the extra cost.

Read full review

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BGR

Quite literally, the speaker with skills

from BGR

Talking to the Amazon Echo Plus is engaging, as long as it detects your voice commands easily. When ambient noise levels go up, the conversation begins to feel like an effort. If I’ve to compare the AI capabilities with competition, the Alexa does understand Indian accents much better than Siri.

Read full review

Talking to the Amazon Echo Plus is engaging, as long as it detects your voice commands easily. When ambient noise levels go up, the conversation begins to feel like an effort. If I’ve to compare the AI capabilities with competition, the Alexa does understand Indian accents much better than Siri.

Read full review

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India Today

Straight out of a sci-fi movie

from India Today

It's surprisingly good, for the most part that is. And it is evolving which means that it's getting better each day.

Read full review

It's surprisingly good, for the most part that is. And it is evolving which means that it's getting better each day.

Read full review

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Gadgets Now

The digital personal assistant everyone should have

from Gadgets Now

A great device or rather a great personal assistant, to have around the house that can take care of many errands.

Read full review

A great device or rather a great personal assistant, to have around the house that can take care of many errands.

Read full review

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TechHive

Not plus enough

from TechHive

The Echo Plus is better as a voice-recognition adjunct to a smart home system than it is as a smart home system that has voice recognition built in.

Read full review

The Echo Plus is better as a voice-recognition adjunct to a smart home system than it is as a smart home system that has voice recognition built in.

Read full review

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GSMArena

Only really brings the advantage of a built-in hub and that can be hard to justify

from GSMArena

If it's just Alexa you want, the cheapest Echo Dot can do almost everything the more expensive models can. As a speaker, the Echo Plus is decent. While not good enough to replace any home audio system, the sound is sufficiently deep and pleasant for a small room and the convenience of just tellin...More

If it's just Alexa you want, the cheapest Echo Dot can do almost everything the more expensive models can. As a speaker, the Echo Plus is decent. While not good enough to replace any home audio system, the sound is sufficiently deep and pleasant for a small room and the convenience of just telling it to play something cannot be overstated.

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Pocket-lint

The better Alexa experience

from Pocket-lint

With the second-gen Echo and the Echo Plus both being cheaper than the original Echo, Amazon is making the Echo universe more appealing to your wallet. The fact that you get more from the Plus than you did from the original Echo, for less money, is difficult to argue with, so we're happy to recommend the Echo Plus.

Read full review

With the second-gen Echo and the Echo Plus both being cheaper than the original Echo, Amazon is making the Echo universe more appealing to your wallet. The fact that you get more from the Plus than you did from the original Echo, for less money, is difficult to argue with, so we're happy to recommend the Echo Plus.

Read full review

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