Amazon echo (2nd Generation) Review

One of the key differences between the appearance of the original Echo and the 2.0 is the height and color. The original is a somewhat boring pillar-esque speaker – nothing you’d want to put on a table as a centerpiece. The new Echo is shorter in stature – just under six inches tall – and comes with more design choices and colors. When the old and new sit next to each other, the height difference is stark.

Setting up

Attach the power adapter to the device on the back and plug into the wall. A blue ring of light around the top of the device will blink, and then Alexa will say:

“Hello, your Amazon Echo is ready for setup. Just follow the instructions in the Amazon Alexa app.”

If you haven’t already, you’ll need to download the Alexa app from the app store. Or if you prefer, you can set up your Echo via your browser. Once you’ve got the app, you should be guided through the setup process. If you don’t receive a prompt to do this, you can go to settings and then “set up a new device.” Once you do this, you’ll see an orange light circling the top of your Echo before hearing Alexa say, “You’ve connected to your Echo, go ahead and finish the set up in your Alexa app.”

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AUDIO PERFORMANCE

While the original Amazon Echo was an innovative new product when it was released in 2015, one thing that was definitely not innovative was the sound of the speaker. Our reviewer called the device “good enough” in sound quality. In other words, it worked for what it was designed to do, but don’t expect to blow your friends away with bass at your BBQ if you’re listening to music via the old Echo speaker.

The Echo 2.0 promised an improvement in sound quality over its predecessor, with a dedicated tweeter, a 2.5” down-firing woofer, and Dolby processing. Amazon says the improvements help the device to deliver crisper vocals and stronger bass throughout the room. Alexa integrates with Amazon Music, Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, TuneIn and others, so you can play your playlists from just about anywhere. One key feature for your Spotify lovers is that you can now set Spotify as your primary music source in the app.

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Capabilities

For regular consumers, here’s where Google Home will either live or die. It’s designed to make you life easier by quickly processing everyday questions and firing the answers back at you. With Google being the master of search, it’s fantastic at handling this.

You can also use it to fire up Netflix and YouTube by hooking it up to your TV via Chromecast. It’ll deliver news and weather updates and perform translations and calculations too, as well as play your favourite songs through Google Play Music or Spotify. After all, it is a speaker, though audio isn’t always crisp.

 

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ALEXA’S CONNECTIONS AND SKILLS

Now oodles of products, from smart speakers, thermostats, locks, and even light bulbs, have added the mighty Alexa to their functionality. In order to connect to them to Alexa, all you have to do is search for devices via the “add device” setting in your app. From there you can control them from anywhere in your home, assuming you’re within earshot of an Echo or Alexa-enabled speaker to direct her. The list of devices with Alexa capabilities are long and continue to grow every day. You can also connect Alexa to devices via third-party platforms like Wink.

Alexa now has more than 25,000 third-party skills that you can enable at last count, and companies are launching more daily.

 

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  • All-new Echo (2nd Gen) has a new speaker, new design.
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$84.99

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Binding

Electronics

Brand

Color

Charcoal Fabric

EAN

0841667189741

EAN List

EAN List Element: 0841667189741

Item Dimensions

Height: 582, Length: 344, Weight: 181, Width: 344

Label

Amazon

Manufacturer

Amazon

Model

XC56PY

MPN

53-006466

Package Dimensions

Height: 600, Length: 1600, Weight: 200, Width: 600

Package Quantity

1

Part Number

53-006466

Product Group

Amazon Home

Product Type Name

DIGITAL_DEVICE_3

Publisher

Amazon

Release Date

2017-10-31

Studio

Amazon

Title

Echo (2nd Generation) with improved sound, powered by Dolby, and a new design – Charcoal Fabric

UPC

841667189741

UPC List

UPC List Element: 841667189741

8.4 Total Score
Improved sound, powered by Dolby

All-new Echo (2nd Gen) has a new speaker, new design, and is available in a range of styles including fabrics and wood veneers. Echo connects to Alexa to play music, make calls, set music alarms and timers, ask questions, control smart home devices, and more—instantly.

Features
8.8
Usability
8.2
Design
8.5
Performance
8.4
PROS
  • Interchangeable shell allows you to mix up design
  • Updated Alexa features include individual voice recognition and routines
  • Compact
  • Audio output Jack
CONS
  • Sound on calling feature was more muffled than with original Echo
  • Acoustics better with firmware upgrade, still hoped for bigger sound
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