Amazon Echo is designed around your voice. It’s hands-free and always on. With seven microphones and beam-forming technology, Echo can hear you from across the room—even while music is playing. Echo is also an expertly tuned speaker that can fill any room with immersive sound.
Echo connects to Alexa, a cloud-based voice service, to provide information, answer questions, play music, read the news, check sports scores or the weather, and more—instantly. All you have to do is ask. Echo begins working as soon as it detects the wake word. You can pick Alexa or Amazon as your wake word.
Always be heard
Tucked under Echo’s light ring is an array of seven microphones. These sensors use beam-forming technology to hear you from any direction. With enhanced noise cancellation, Echo can hear you ask a question even while it’s playing music.
Echo uses on-device keyword spotting to detect the wake word. When Echo detects the wake word, it lights up and streams audio to the cloud, where we leverage the Alexa Voice Service to recognize and respond to your request. Learn more about Echo’s voice recognition.
I requested an Echo (Alexa) in late 2014 and Amazon sent me an invitation to purchase one in February. I’ve used it daily since then. This review is going to sound a bit contradictory. I love her. I hate her, I love her. Let me start off by saying that Alexa, while I do love her, is at times about 50% smarter than a bulldog. Her IQ is somewhere between 25 and 160 depending on what you’ve asked her. You will very quickly learn how to talk to her in a way that she will understand and it’s not unlike speaking to a small frustrating toddler. Alexa, when was George Washington born? George Washington was born…blah blah Alexa stop. There were rumors his teeth were wood but these turned out to be false, ALEXA stop speaking! There will be many times she will not understand what you’re saying which can be both frustrating and hilarious. Alexa, put tomatoes on my shopping list. I’ve put potatoes onto your shopping list….Well, guess I’m eatin potatoes. That said, now that I’ve learned how to speak to the Echo it usually does exactly what I want it to do. I think the echo is well worth the price Amazon is asking and I’m thinking of getting a second one for the living room.
+ Amazon has done a great job updating the Echo and adding features to it frequently. Since my purchase, they’ve added traffic reports, sports scores, Pandora, IFTT, voice control over the smart lights and appliances in your home, iTunes support, Spotify, and new fun features like rolling dice, and Simon says.
+ You can use the optional echo remote to control the volume or speak commands. It works really well from a good distance (I’ve tried 20-30 ft). I use it frequently and feel like it’s worth the additional cost.
+ The Speaker sounds great with music and gets plenty loud.
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