Amazon Echo, Black (previous generation)
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- Plays all your music from Amazon Music, Spotify, TuneIn and more using just your voice
- Fills the room with immersive, 360º omni-directional audio. Play music simultaneously across multiple Echo devices with multi-room music (Available for Amazon Music and TuneIn. Bluetooth not supported)
- Call or message anyone hands-free who also has an Echo device or the Alexa App. Also, quickly connect to other Echo devices in your home using just your voice
- Allows hands-free convenience with voice control
- Hears you from across the room with far-field voice recognition, even in noisy environments or while playing music
- Answers questions, reads audiobooks, reports news, traffic and weather, gives info on local businesses, provides sports scores and schedules, and more using the Alexa Voice Service
- Controls lights, switches, thermostats and more with compatible connected devices from WeMo, Philips Hue, Hive, Netatmo, Nest, tado° and others
- Always getting smarter - Alexa updates through the cloud automatically and is continually learning, adding new features and skills
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Amazon Echo is a hands-free speaker you control with your voice. Echo connects to the Alexa Voice Service to play music, make calls, send and receive messages, provide information, news, sports scores, weather and more. Prime members can also ask Alexa to order eligible products they've ordered before and many Prime products. All you have to do is ask.
Echo has seven microphones and beam-forming technology so it can hear you from across the room—even in noisy environments or while playing music. Echo is also an expertly tuned speaker that can fill any room with 360° immersive sound. When you want to use Echo, just say the wake word “Alexa” and Echo responds. If you have more than one Echo or Echo Dot, Alexa responds intelligently from the device you're closest to with ESP (Echo Spatial Perception). Learn more about ESP
Amazon Echo provides hands-free voice control for Amazon Music—just ask for your favourite artist or song, or request a specific genre or mood. You can also search for music by lyrics, when a song or album was released, or let Alexa pick the music for you. Listen to 40 million songs with Amazon Music Unlimited. With multi-room music support, you can play music across multiple Echo devices simultaneously (Available for Amazon Music and TuneIn. Bluetooth not supported). Learn more
Echo also provides hands-free voice control to Spotify and TuneIn. Plus, Echo is Bluetooth-enabled so you can stream other popular music services like iTunes from your phone or tablet. Echo has been fine-tuned to deliver crisp vocals with dynamic bass response. Its dual downward-firing speakers produce 360° omni-directional audio to fill any room with immersive sound.
With Amazon Echo, you can easily talk hands-free to anyone who has a supported Echo device or the Alexa App—no tapping or searching required. Additionally, you can send messages via voice or text to anyone with an Echo device or the Alexa App. Alexa calling and messaging is available at no additional cost—to get started download the latest version of the Alexa App on a smart phone with iOS 9.0 or higher, or Android 5.0 or higher, and verify your mobile number. Learn more
With the Drop In feature enabled for room-to-room calling, quickly connect with Echo devices in your home. Let your household know when dinner is ready, ask someone for help with a chore or remind the kids to go to sleep—without having to raise your voice.
Tucked under the light ring is an array of seven microphones that use beam-forming technology and enhanced noise cancellation. With far-field voice recognition, Amazon Echo can hear you ask a question from any direction—even in noisy environments or while playing music.
When you want to use Echo, simply say the wake word, “Alexa”, and Echo lights up and streams audio to the cloud, where the Alexa Voice Service is leveraged to recognise and respond to your request. Learn more about voice recognition on Echo.
Alexa—the brain behind Amazon Echo—updates through the cloud automatically and is continually learning, adding new functionality and skills. The more you use Echo, the more it adapts to your speech patterns, vocabulary and personal preferences.
We’ve recently added Alexa calling and messaging, multi-room music and reminders, along with skills from third-party developers.
Skills add even more capabilities such as ordering take away from Just Eat, requesting a ride from Uber, checking train times from National Rail and more. Enabling skills lets your Amazon Echo do even more—simply discover and enable the skills you want to use in the Alexa App.
New skills are being added all the time. You can also see ratings and reviews to learn what other customers are saying about skills in the Alexa App. Discover and enable skills.
Use Amazon Echo to switch on the lamp before getting out of bed, turn up the thermostat while reading in your favourite chair, or dim the lights from the couch to watch a film—all without lifting a finger.
Echo works with smart home devices such as lights, switches, thermostats and more from WeMo, Samsung SmartThings, Philips Hue, Hive, Netatmo, Tado°, Tp-link, Nest and others. Learn more about compatible smart home connected devices, including starter kits for easy setup.
Echo now supports IFTTT (If This, Then That), a third-party service that allows you to create rules (or “applets”) that automate how your devices, apps and websites work with each other.
With the free Alexa App on Fire OS, Android, iOS and desktop browsers, you can easily set up and manage your Amazon Echo.
Use the Alexa App to connect services you already use such as Amazon Music, Spotify and Google Calendar. Set up your smart home devices from WeMo, Philips Hue, Hive, Netatmo, tado° and more. See which books are available to listen to from your Audible and Kindle libraries. View shopping and to-do lists while on the go. Control your timers and set custom tones for your alarms, and much more. The Alexa App is also where you discover and enable third-party skills. Make calls, view your conversation history, manage contacts and get notifications when you receive a message (calling and messaging features available on iOS and Android smartphones).
Top customer reviews
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But this device takes radio unavailability to a whole new level. In the first day of listening, Tune-in had probably delivered more Radio 4 dropouts that in the rest of my life to date (including driving under motorway bridges and through tunnels). By the end of week 1, dropouts were probably on a par with the whole of UK broadcast history. Some news and discussion programmes were impossible to follow, as important words, phrases or minutes of audio would just disappear. It is hard to believe that 21st century radio reception can be this bad.
I've reset it numerous times. I've tested it as close to the router as possible, and compared it with an Echo Dot in the same place both using the default Tune-in app. It had about ten times as many dropouts as the dot and about a 5 second lag. In the old days all devices would play the same stuff at the same time, but not any more. Thinking positively, it occurred to me that if one dropped out in the lounge, I could dash into the kitchen and catch up. This thing should be marketed as an exercise machine.
Oddly, the device can stream music reasonably well. It also did a better job with Radio 4 if you asked it to use Radioplayer, but I don't see why I should have to do this and even Radioplayer seems to have deteriorated. I have checked the speed and strength of connection at the device and it seems way above what is required for radio. I've even asked broadband supplier to check the incoming signal and its fine.
Why is this thing so bad at radio, why is it so much worse than the Echo Dot and why should it depend on which app you use?
The alternative RadioPlayer works perfectly but because Alexa likes to use Tunein you find yourself having to try and get Alexa to use RadioPlayer for about a minute before she gives up on Tunein and does what you want - after a slight diversion with South Carolina public radio for some weird reason!
First World problem? Yes, but a damned irritating one that Amazon MUST be aware of looking at the various forums, blogs and Amazon reviews.
Apart from that it's great. Sound quality is fantastic, I have it in the kitchen on top of our larder fridge and rarely have the volume above 3/10, with a rich full sound. Using the timer function is a joy when you're cooking and my children come running when they hear the alarm go off as they know it means food :).
All of the other features need some work, especially the internet searching as it uses Bing which is not first choice for most people with good reason.
Overall a good product, but Amazon - sort out the bloody radio!!